Blog first and ask questions later?

Blog first and ask questions later?

Summary: The Promethean Dave Winer (who I wrote about here) chimed in to the percolating Berlind/Scoble (chief Microsoft geek blogger) conversation about their respective views on Technorati and blogging styles:Meanwhile Scoble is getting some grief from ZDNet's David Berlind. I've gotten this kind of grief myself, and it's based on a big misunderstanding.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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The Promethean Dave Winer (who I wrote about here) chimed in to the percolating Berlind/Scoble (chief Microsoft geek blogger) conversation about their respective views on Technorati and blogging styles:

Meanwhile Scoble is getting some grief from ZDNet's David Berlind. I've gotten this kind of grief myself, and it's based on a big misunderstanding. I'd rather make a mistake and have it corrected within a few minutes, than spend two weeks researching something and still get it wrong, as most reporters do. Further, I don't have the two weeks, so the choice is to take a chance or not get the information at all. I'll always err on the side of taking a chance, and always add a grain of salt to everything you read here (and everywhere else for that matter). Now I understand what Scoble was saying when Michael Gartenberg was criticizing him. Scoble is doing the right thing. They should try to understand how he works, because it produces much better results than the system Gartenberg and Berlind are advocating. Demonstrably much better. 

The conversation will undoubtedly continue (as it should)--and I hope it will evolve into more of a dialectic (Def: The art or practice of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments)--but I want to address Dave's point about blogging first and asking questions later. I don’t subscribe to the notion that “I'd rather make a mistake and have it corrected within a few minutes, than spend two weeks researching something and still get it wrong, as most reporters do.” It makes sense to get stuff posted quickly, but it also depends on what stuff. Making corrections fast and allowing the blogosphere to converge on some semblance of truth is great.  But that's not an excuse for shooting from the hip when it's easy to do a bit of checking or the context demands more scrutiny. After all, it's your authority and reputation that are at stake, and the blogosphere shouldn't have to waste effort cleaning up after you if it can be averted. We trust that the bloggers, podcasters, vcasters and plain old journalists or people to whom we subscribe and read/watch/listen err on the side of accuracy, and aren't opposed to a little extra leg work. Otherwise we turn off their feeds. That doesn't mean that "taking a chance," as Dave puts it, is unreasonable--there are no hard and fast rules, but common sense should prevail. I don't think Dave, Robert (Scoble) or David (Berlind) would disagree.

However, Dave's comment--"I'd rather make a mistake and have it corrected within a few minutes, than spend two weeks researching something and still get it wrong, as most reporters do. "-- is demeaning to reporters (as well as bloggers  who spend time researching topics, striving for accuracy before pulling the trigger). We reporters/bloggers from the 'establishment' don’t always succeed, and we always hear about the failures, but well researched journalism (text, audio, video, animation, images) is primary source material and critical to the information ecosystem. 

Topic: Microsoft

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6 comments
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  • Breaking News!!! You old media set those...

    ...rules. Being "the first" to publish something (anything) was the goal. You can always correct it later. Bush won Florida?
    ordaj@...
    • Journalistic integrity? What integrity?

      Yes, Bush did win Florida.

      But your point is well made. The so-called "journalistic" standard has been completely trashed in recent years. It?s much better to either (a) get the story, or (b) attack the target than it is to get the truth.

      Of course "recent years" is a relative term. The media has been in a state of decline for a couple of decades at least. At this point bloggers have as much respectability as the ?main stream? media.
      __howard__
  • Journalistic integrity?!?

    Ouch... I think I hurt something while laughing so hard.
    Denis-de-Bernardy
  • The new "rules"...

    ...if we can call them that, are ultimately self-defeating. Yes, you will be first, but what good is it being first if you are wrong? Do this enough times and eventually you will lose credibility and will be ignored.
    OldeTimeGeek
  • Bad assumptions...

    There are responsible reporters AND bloggers who work very hard to do the research, verify or debunk the rumors, and crank out journalism with a lot of integrity. Then there are irresponsible reporters AND bloggers who say to hell with it, let's just throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

    As with most things, there's a spectrum from one extreme to the other. Do Not Assume all are created equal!
    CharlieR
  • Journalists not perfect, but most take it seriously

    Maybe it's my own training in journalism, but I find this notion of "write now, find the facts later" absurd. Yes, if you are blogging about what hair color works best for dying your poodle, you can probably play a bit fast and loose with the facts. But for anything that has any social value, that affects the reputation of people or institutions, that is contentious, then it is really incumbent on the writer to do their homework FIRST. After all, part of what motivates good writers is the opportunity to actually learn about a subject before sharing their thoughts with others.
    hobart.swan@...