Friday, May 13, 2005

Evolving Personalized Information Construct

It's easier all the time to imagine a future where MSM organizations are irrelevant. Quality will suffer of course, but if quality were a priority for news consumers, this would look very different:

Constant reader crionna pointed me to this hypothetical scenario by which the future behemoth Googlezon (Google + Amazon) defeats the New York Times Company in a SCOTUS case that allows Googlezon (via their new product EPIC [Evolving Personalized Information Construct]) to sell the work of freelance editors (that's where you and I come in) who put their version of the truth online. EPIC then sorts through the available data and customizes the news from a multitude of sources for each reader according to their demographics, desires, network of friends, etc. The result is criticized in some quarters as a collection of trivia, much of it untrue, all of it narrow and shallow, but essentially it's what the public wants. The MSM retreats from the fight, and by 2014 The New York Times goes offline.

Perception trumps reality.

I see a few problems with this scenario, though. Someone will have to still collect the raw data (quotes from those on the scene, photos, etc.). If it's the freelancers (and who will the most successful of them likely be if not ex-MSM reporters?), they will still need some procedures, guidelines, etc., by which to operate, and those with the higher standards will become the most sought after, no? In other words, if one source proves to be more reliable, even though you can't necessary distinguish that person's contribution in the jumble you're fed, that person will rise in power eventually, no?

God, I hope so.


Anonymous crionna said...

Heh, thanks E. My name in lights, I'm all a-twitter ;)

What's interesting to me is that balanced journalism may then become the norm again. I'd think that in a story with balance, EPIC's algorithm would strip out some comments for say, Timmy and some for you resulting in the reporter making more money than if he/she just went for one side of the story.

Course, you and Timmy would never see the balance....

Have a great weekend!

5/13/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

What's interesting to me is that balanced journalism may then become the norm again

I'm sure I'll regret asking this, but I assume you mean more than just FoxNews in that, no?

5/13/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous crionna said...

Oh dude, I read the Chron. The writing there is more balanced than Fox (although I wouldn't know, I honestly can't remember when I last depended on/watched TV for news of any type. Maybe 9/11, but not since) but its not that much more balanced.

I mean real balance, where a reporter reports both sides of a story, and reports rather than editorialize.

You think I watch TV news? I'm hurt ;P

5/15/2005 03:22:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

You think I watch TV news? I'm hurt ;P


I watch TV news...I don't trust any of it, but I do watch it...they bury the weather in there somewhere.

5/16/2005 09:42:00 AM  

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