I have now read the entire Internet

Well, maybe not.

But I did get caught up with all the blogs I subscribe to today. I probably hadn’t looked at them since Christmas, so they’d piled up a bit. Five hundred-some posts later, I emerge, informed and energized.

It occurs to me that this is either an emerging, or already dominant, way of getting the sense of the world around you. At least three different blogs might post the same link, and through that sense of shared voice, you see which internet voices can command attention, and which ones still have that sense of the personal blog that no-one’s really reading.

(I will take full responsibility for the irony of that last sentence; this is a personal blog with a readership of mostly friends and colleagues. Maybe one or two explorers who might have seen it among WordPresses ‘new posts’ aggregate feed.)

A while ago, I had this idea for an anachronistic morning; we’d get croissants, coffee, and a copy of the New York Times, (in print!) and catch up with the world in bohemian splendor. We would avoid our computers, where we end up reading our separate blogs. We would share in the experience of collecting information from the world around us, with our fingers on paper instead of a mousewheel. It was going to be great.

It turns out there was a delivery problem getting the NYT into the magazine shop, and we opted for bagels instead of croissants. There was still coffee. One out of three. We went home and surfed the internet.

That’s how we learn about our world, now. Sometimes be reading news sources and hearing it on the radio, but now also in the negative space of media, the real life and digital discussions between the stories. There have been major news events that I heard about first when my friends all started talking about it together on Facebook.

I didn’t start typing this with the idea of talking about newsgathering, or the viability of major newspapers, but now that I’ve started… what if our news sources started thinking about a deeper permeation in the new social networks? Enjoy a particular column or section? It becomes a Facebook friend. Some of this is already happening, but the problem that I still see involves these organizations seeing themselves as institutions to be respected. Those of us native to the ‘net are fickle. You earn or lose our trust every time we click on your link.

Maybe those institutions are just the shell that New News will come out of; trained journalists who are flexible enough to make a new kind of living out of an information ecology.

Anyway; caught up on my blogs. Yay.

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