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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

A Plan B for news? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Jeff Jarvis responds to my series of pieces about news after the hypothetical collapse of the news industry. I wrote a comment there, which I'm reproducing here, with some light edits.

A picture named albumCover.jpgJeff, the stuff you're justifying is the stuff that's going away, that there is no money to support. If we all care about the news, and making sure that it gets from the people who have it to the people who want it, we're going to have to learn how to do it without all the heavy iron. It seems to me the responsible thing for the news industry to do, while it is laying off its reporters and editors and the rest, is to help us come up with a Plan B -- what we will do for news once all that is gone.

An analogy -- imagine a group of doctors knew that the hospitals and pharmacies were about to shut down. What would they do? Might they do something to make sure their client's health needs were at least partially attended to?

The same would presumably apply to many other professions, whose services are in some way necessary for life: police, fire, bus drivers, teachers, garbage collectors.

We're often asked to believe how noble the profession of news is -- now that is about to be tested in a whole new way. Are we just supposed to cry for this industry and throw our hands up and wait for the collapse before starting to put it back together, or would they like to help while they're still here?

Here's a question I ask people privately to help focus their thinking... Suppose there were no NY Times tomorrow, and you heard somewhere, maybe on Politco or Huffpost or Memeorandum that it had gone out of business and was never going to publish again.

1. How would you feel?

2. What would you do?

3. What should the Times have done but didn't do before they shut down?

Food for thought.

It's time to have this conversation Jeff. Imho. ;->

Update: Scott Rosenberg checks in on the thread. "Victimhood is written deeply in the culture of the newsroom."

Newsosaur: "A newspaper that cannot sell enough advertising or cut enough expenses to sustain profitable operations is not likley to make it to the other side of 2009."

An image processing web service Permanent link to this item in the archive.

On Sunday, I wished for a web service that would take an image, a height and a width, and return a thumbnail for the image.

Andrew Burton put up a service, I gave it a try, with no luck. Maybe we can get this working. Ideally, I'd like to run it on the same machine as the application that calls it, since the images can be fairly large.

Here's a text file containing the text, and the picture I used.


Last update: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 at 1:23 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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