Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Every reporter should be able to start a blog

Please read Ken Silverstein's piece, his story of First Look Media.

Watching them stay silent for so long, I suspected they lacked basic publishing ability. It made no sense to me. You can set up a blog on or Tumblr, with a custom domain, in at most a couple of hours. Anyone with basic tech knowledge could do this.

With all the talk about learning to code, and the digital native generation, it's kind of appalling that they can't do something as basic as create their own blog, to navigate around any blockage from their management.

Silverstein says, as others have, that there was no prohibition on publishing, they just didn't have a way to do it. To me, that's like saying in 1992 that you couldn't print a document on a laser printer because your boss wouldn't come and choose the New command from the File menu.

There's a basic failure of technological literacy here.

Or so it seems to this outside observer.

The tech could be easier

We're caught in the same trap tech was caught in when I started programming in the mid-70s. There was a priesthood that had no incentive to make things easier, and a built-in belief that things couldn't be easier. My generation had a different vision, we worked on ease-of-use.

WordPress, which is the choice most professional organizations make these days for publishing, never was that easy to begin with. They missed some obvious ideas that were available to be stolen from the previous generation of blogging software. And over the years, a priesthood has developed, and the software has become even more intimidating to the newbie non-technical user.

It's time to loop back the other way. Yes, some reporters should already be able to climb over the hurdles. They just aren't that high, and the current generation of journalists have had computers in their lives, all their lives.

But ease of use, and ease of getting started is something the tech industry should be working on. Yes, it might put you out of a job, but if you don't do it, someone else will. And further, you're supposed to do that -- in the name of progress, and in this case, since it's about publishing, freedom.

Last built: Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:07 AM

By Dave Winer, Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10:28 AM. All baking done on premises.