I laughed (at them). I cried. Last night, on the way home from Dave Winer's eat-meet-and-greet in Cambridge, I listened to a replay of Thursday morning's episode (The Future of the American Newspaper) of NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Along with Terry Gross (also of NPR), I consider Ashbrook to be one of the best radio interviewers in the business. He really listens to those who call in and eloquently reframes their questions in a way that demands a pointed response from the interviewees. But most of what I heard yesterday from his guests -- Roy Peter Clark, Tom Rosenstiel, and Peter Bathia -- made me roll my eyes. Clearly, by virtue of some of the things they said, they're in touch with the impact that the Internet has had on print. But the credibility of the blogosphere was poo-poo'd and no one knew (or had the guts to say) that newspapers as we know them are dead because of how technologies like RSS make it possible for us to build our own papers (electronic or print) based on who we thing is credible. Need proof? By way of Steve Rubel's most excellent Micro Persuasion blog (subscribed!), here's the future.
Suggested interviewee for this topic: David Weinberger, fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard's School of Law (where I'm speaking next week), author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined, and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Hear him get interviewed by Thoughcast's Jenny Attiyeh's regarding The Web 2.0 and beyond.
Related: Yesterday, I was interviewed by Marketplace's (NPR) Janet Babin about HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray. Although it fell on the cutting room floor, Babin asked all the right questions one of which was "Which is better?" Answer: It doesn't matter. It's VHS vs. BetaMax all over again. Only this time, the stakes are too big, the warchests behind both are too substantial, and the market is too politicized for technological supremacy to play the role it should. In the end, just like with DRM, with multiple incompatible technologies and agendas being shoved into the marketplace, we lose.