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

What of Woodstein in the Rebooted World Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named bonehead.gifEvery time I write about Sources Go Direct, like clockwork, someone asks how will we get Woodward & Bernstein reporting without great reporters sniffing around for stories that bring down Presidents.

Never mind that it only happened once and hasn't happened since. Only Richard Nixon has been forced from office by the press (or anyone) and it turns out that had W&B not been sleuthing, the NYT had the story too, but they blew it. So it's possible that without W&B, Nixon would have remained in office. However it's hard to imagine that he could have been worse than Bush II, who the press of today did not bring down. (A fact the defenders of projournos never address.)


In the rebooted world, Deep Throat, the source, might go direct -- anonymously, using a proxy server, possibly -- and a Twitter account created for just such a purpose. BTW, I don't assume there won't be reporters in the rebooted world, but I do assume the sources will be able to go direct if they choose to. And in this case I don't see why they wouldn't.

If we're lucky enough to have a Woodstein out there digging, let's hope we have the sense to listen to them. And if we don't get blessed or if the economics of projourno crumbles, and Deep Throat wants us all to know how screwed the President is, let's make sure that anonymous pathways exist so they can say what they know and stay in place to keep reporting.

I write this from Berlin, a place that has seen huge change, many times, in the last 100 years. The kind of change that would make Americans weep with fear.

While you were sleeping, from Berlin Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mwom.gifIt's 9:11AM as I write this, and back home in California, it's just after midnight. I've done this so many times, but it still seems something of a miracle. How a day can be starting and another day be ending, all at the same time.

Glad to see Scoble blogging again. I predict a return to blogging as people discover the power of being able to finish a thought, and to link to another site without going through an intermediary. Once again people will discover the power of Small Pieces, Loosely Joined.

Chris Anderson is right, of course -- and uses a device to bait the press to object. Good way to sell books, perhaps, but I'd rather he'd not taken the shortcut. Malcolm Gladwell objects, and my friend Howard Weaver says that Gladwell got it right. I don't agree. When you think of news as a business, except in very unusual circumstances, the sources never got paid. So the news was always free, it was the reporting of it that cost.

What Anderson calls "Free" -- we in Rebooting The News call Sources Go Direct. Absolutely nothing strange about it. The Internet always disintermediates. Did you see the "media" in the middle of that word? It's the middle that's hurt in the new world. Sorry. The new world pays the source, indirectly, and obviates the middleman.

Following up on yesterday's piece about Wikipedia, I wrote it, unintentionally, so that people reacted to the bit that's uncontroversial and missed the controversy. Of course it's good that the reporter escaped and his life was spared. Who could think otherwise.

Here's the controversy:

"What about when information on Wikipedia, true or not, hurts people in other ways? Why shouldn't anyone be able to get whatever they want redacted?"

Clearly some people can get stuff redacted sometimes.

Who, and under what circumstances?

Further, no one has that power over the web. Would it be better if Wikipedia worked like the web?


Last update: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 8:13 AM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, 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.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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