Wednesday, March 02, 2005
  Ecology of Information
Yeah: blog-wise sourcing Wolff's words!

Michael Wolff, a media columnist for Vanity Fair:
"Media companies can't hold an audience because what they produce is shit," he said. Today's media-savvy consumers realize that they're "just being sold something," so they "turn the dial or toss the magazine. We've created a situation of such high disposability of information that, of course, the value is going to drop. ... The ecology of information has been disrupted because there is so much information that nobody has authority."

Wolff expressed even less love for the bloggers: "I'm not going to be part of this blog stuff. ... By all rights, 18 months from now we should be looking back at this and all kind of embarrassed to say the word blog -- I hope."

"A profound change has happened. The ecology of information has altered, and virtually nobody (at least nobody who has a job) has been willing to really examine the implications of information flowing not from it's usual source but from so many other sources. The implications of one person having this remarkable control. I mean, that's the reversal. It used to be that if you were an information provider you had control. Now you have no control. Control has absolutely passed to the consumer.

"The ecology of information has been disrupted because there is so much information that nobody has authority. So if you're in the information business what you have been customarily selling is authority: "We know. We have information." Nobody believes that you have information anymore. Nobody believes your information should not be qualified by other information.

"The most interesting change in the information ecology I know is actually the Martha Stewart model in which she closes the loop on information. She is just selling herself so it's a circular thing. All we can do in the media business is sell. But instead of selling someone else's products, we will just sell ourselves. So we have no product to sell. We have no information, as it were, to sell. We just have the name Martha Stewart to sell, which has worked. If I had to go back into the media business that's exactly what I would do. I would go to jail.

"I want to stop rambling and finish up by telling you why I don't want to write a blog. Because I don't. At some point in the '50s Truman Capote was asked about Jack Kerouac, and he said, "That's not writing, that's typing," which is to some degree how I feel about blogs. I even hate saying the word blog. I hate being forced to say the word blog.
When I look at that particular blog piece of software I react viscerally. I said, "Oh, I don't want this. I don't want to be part of this." There's that scene in "Doctor Zhivago" where the professionals and the intelligentsia are reduced to having to walk with the hoi polloi, and that's what I feel when I'm forced into this blog stuff.
So I want to take what I think of as a noble and principled stand in saying that I'm not going to be part of this blog stuff. And I'm going to insist upon this until I am washed away.

Thank you very much. Any questions? I'd be delighted ...
Dear Cile,

Welcome to the world of blogging!

The news business was rarely an act of presenting ‘pure information’. It is invariably accompanied by some perspective, analyses, views, opinions and sometimes… agenda – declared and undeclared.

This is even more so in the blogosphere. But the difference is that the arena is now open literally to anybody at very little cost. So, naturally one can expect all sorts of participants!

I find Mr. Wolff’s comments rather elitist. It is like someone refusing to drive down a certain road because anybody can use it. Well, he can stick to his noisy ‘helicopter’. I, on the other hand, will be quite happy to use the same road as you, Aunt Najma and many others… including some undesirable characters!

I don’t believe many people will be ashamed of the word ‘blog’ in 18 months’ time. We can only wait. It is not such a long time. I believe that Mr. Wolff will find that his remarks reflect ‘unprofessional’ wishful thinking.

All the best.
yes abu!
exciting to meet here in (whuaahh) MY blog. about that: I myself think Wolff is being hilarious here, but exactly because of that i thought it was fun to 'blog' him against the wall (paper)! ;)

see my recent posts on

my blog=http://iraqidoctor.blogspot.com

:) :( :) :( :) :( :) :( :) :( :) :(
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