First! I want to get this idea out (before anyone else). I was perusing the printed pages of the Wall Street Journal, coming upon an interesting number (Who shall I grant the hyperlink? Hmm…so many commercially-related choices…I’ll go with the author.) by Mike Esterl. His subtitle (not mine) reads, “Lawmakers, Big Tobacco Claim Upstarts Should be Taxed Just Like Manufacturers”
Retro Newsbreak: March 27, 1979 - Frank and Valerie welcome their child to life; a life, which would usher volumes of good (enough for reader attention?) and bad thoughts, branding Anthony Pensabene (Pensa bene=”think well” – go figure!) into the world.
I see parallels between the smok’em dynamic, addressed in Esterl’s piece, and the writ’em dynamic, unrolling on the digital writing scene between (red carpets unfurl and trumpets sound) mainstream journalists and (blows his horn) everyday bloggers, like me.
Let’s begin this novice-penned piece, shall we? Last week, I read an article in the NY Times by David Carr. It tells of a digital world, where new lexicon takes shape, and novel terms, “content aggregation” and “content curation,” ape expressions of “real” content creation; where online entities pillage the stories of others, kidnapping them for their own, and adding salt to wounds, stealing reader traffic (to boot). It tells of Simon Dumenco, a writer wronged by aggregation and curation; a writer who had his ‘rightful’ attention taken by another online source.
Simon says…other writers feel the same… Dumenco and followers have formed something of a ‘citizens on patrol’ of journalism, the Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation, not to be confused with other iterations of CEBA, such as ‘Creative Excellence in Business Advertising’….#justsayin…
Curated Taken from the NY Times piece:
All of them [the elitists members] believe there is value in looking at what might be called best practices when it comes to linking, summarizing and aggregating.
I understand. Just like another group, who has a lot of online experience and desires change ‘for the good of all,’ some privileged journalists (once off, now online) want to change how things operate on blogger turf online.
Can the words CEBA pose as SOPA? No, that’s silly. Speaking of that past horror story, Danny Sullivan did a great job covering SOPA. Danny Sullivan is one of the best online journalists bloggers I read. (VERY) True story: DS may be (IS (IMO)) better than most personalities CEBA protects. (Isn’t this an ironic journalist’s (or is it blogger’s?) perspective on news attribution!). I couldn’t help but notice his breakdown of digital news. In fact, I can’t help notice his views on a lot of things…because he knows what he’s talking about…he’s a good writer…he’s a journalistic force…he’s a blogger…recognize or step aside.
Sometimes, I kid (since the days of the newsbreak above). I was intrigued by this laser-tag-smartphone gadget (and still am!), jesting about a Wild-West-style shootout amongst journalists and bloggers:
‘Mainstream’ journalists and bloggers should settle matters in a genteel fashion.. Draw pardners!
Actually, this is what I really think about the situation:
I hope good writers always remember they’re on the ‘same’ team regardless of where words are housed.
Word: “there is no need to seek the approval of a committee of elite writers and editors in order to be respected”
Good writers want to educate readers, right? The news was (once?) meant to educate -now it’s about.. who’s first.. to profit?
Read Danny’s post on the dynamic between Google and the WSJ (and probably other news sources at present or to come) if you didn’t heed my direction above (I mean, who am I to inspire readers, right?).
Yes, as a writer, I’m a little insulted by the notion of CEBA. I’m not the only one who believes it’s a bit elitist. However, it comes down to facts (of the money-stack kind). Other writers, journalists, bloggers, composers, novelists, persons of letters (ahh, cramp, (shakes out his writer’s hand) – can you relate?), etc, can ‘about face’ the elephant online, if they want; but, I won’t.
In the originally-referenced story above, cigarette shops that house machines, which roll tobacco cigarettes for consumers (who seek to evade the high costs of ready-made packages), are now seen in a different light. Under a new Senate bill, retailers, who situate consumers with roll-your-own machines, will be treated like mainstream cigarette manufacturers.
Senator, Max Baucus (Montana), states:
Roll-your-own cigarettes machines takes advantage of an unintended tax loophole, and that isn’t right.
An “unintended” loophole, he observes. What do the 99 percent cigarette-machine owners think? Phil Accordino of RYO Machines:
I’m David fighting Goliath
So the Marlboros of the journalistic world believe readers are unjustly puffing on the wrong blogger streams? I think some journalists have smoke in their eyes; it’s (very) likely due to the ‘business’ of others, those blowing smoke up mainstream journalists’ ink blots; are you really telling me (writer to writer) your words have some birthright, which mine lack? If so, (smirks) may the ‘Writing Wild West’ be justly won; I’m your Huckleberry. When the smoke clears, I believe readers will have a say, paying with attention rather than dollars, weighing rightful, online-writing princes and paupers. But, who am I to express?
Thanks for reading – Anthony Pensabene