OhMyNews is now 46,000 citizen reporters.
Founded on the premise that “every citizen is a reporter,” OhmyNews is accredited for having a tremendous impact on the news production, distribution and consumption habits of citizens across the world. By promoting an inclusive online forum for news reporting, OhmyNews encourages online global collaboration and features over 40,000 contributing journalists worldwide, generating over one million hits daily. OhmyNews president Oh Yeon Ho reflected on the importance of online social movements, “Being acknowledged by institutions such as Infosys and Wharton confirms the arrival of citizen journalism as a catalyst to create an egalitarian media.
Further N. R. Narayana Murthy, chief mentor of Infosys Technologies said,
Organizations should look beyond technological innovation as a means of delivering business impact to realize that innovation has the potential to transform a whole community.
CyWorld, the WIBTA 2006 “Enterprise Business Transformation Award” recipient, has redefined how users interact in the digital age by blending offline and online life into a widely used social network service that have grown to over 17 million users in South Korea. With plans to expand internationally, the company’s success heralds a new age of E-Society as it allows users to create a fully customizable webpage. On receiving the award, Seung-Hoon Lee, senior vice president of CyWorld, commented, “It’s an honor to stand here recognized for the innovational excellence that has allowed CyWorld the distinct privilege of connecting millions of people in an online society. WIBTA is a distinguished proponent of the spirit of innovation and should drive organizations across the world to pursue new-found growth through business transformation.”
However in the Financial Times this weekend Trevor Butterworth wrote an extended piece on blogging. Time for the last post. After all the hoo-ha about blogs its unsurprising that someone is going to cock a snook at the blogosphere.
Butterworth sniffely observes
Still, blogging would have been little more than a recipe for even more internet tedium if it had not been seized upon in the US as a direct threat to the mainstream media and the conventions by which they control news. And one of the conventions that happened to work in blogging’s favour was the way the media take a new trend and describes it as a revolution. The surge of hype about blogging was helped by the fact that many of the most prominent bloggers were high-fliers within the media establishment - such as Andrew Sullivan, a former editor of The New Republic, or Mickey Kaus of Slate, the online magazine Microsoft sold to The Washington Post Company just over a year ago.
And then goes onto say
That such established journalists were blogging gave the revolution a dose of credibility that it might not have had if it were in the hands of true outsiders. And then, just before the presidential election in 2004, blogging had its Battleship Potemkin moment, when swarms of partisan bloggers rose up to sink CBS’s iron-jawed leviathan Dan Rather for peddling supposedly fake memos about Bush’s national guard service.
This seemed to prove one of blogging’s biggest selling points - that the collective intelligence of the media’s audience was greater than the collective intelligence of any news programme or newspaper.
It also showed that blogging was irrepressible - that power was shifting from the gatekeepers of the traditional media to a more open, fluid information society that would have gladdened the heart of the philosopher Karl Popper. And it solidified the belief among conservatives that blogging was a way to take down their longstanding enemies in the once impregnable fortress of the liberal press.
Then winding up for the big pitch
But as with any revolution, we must ask whether we are being sold a naked emperor. Is blogging really an information revolution? Is it about to drive the mainstream news media into oblivion? Or is it just another crock of virtual gold - a meretricious equivalent of all those noisy internet start-ups that were going to build a brave “new economy” a few years ago?
Shouldn’t we just be a tiny bit sceptical of another information revolution following on so fast from the last one - especially as this time round no one is even pretending to be getting rich? Isn’t the problem of the media right now that we barely have time to read a newspaper, let alone traverse the thoughts of a million bloggers?
I suspect so, not least because the “dinosaur” businesses of the old economy have a canny ability to absorb, adapt and evolve.
You can't argue with Butterworths dialectic - but then you can.
Yes he brings some good analysis to the topic of blogs but I would argue that he has brought his lens in too close. Though admitedly he does write
This is patently not the case in other parts of the world. “In a market like the US, blogs are superabundant and often irrelevant because we suffer from a glut of data and have lost our norms for creating information hierarchies,” said Anne Nelson, a media consultant and adjunct professor at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. “In authoritarian societies like Syria or China, it’s the reverse - people lack independent information and may question the imposed hierarchy. In fact, as Nasrin Alavi notes in her recent book, We are Iran, blogging is creating an information revolution where the Iranian regime has been stunningly successful at shutting down newspapers (41 over the past decade). “Thanks to the anonymity and freedom of weblogs, Iranians are at last speaking up and discussing issues that have never been publicly aired in the national media before,” Alavi wrote in the FT magazine last November. “The head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, recently described the internet as a ‘Trojan horse carrying enemy soldiers in its belly’. He’s right. The Iranian blogosphere pulses with opposition to the Islamic revolution.
Bit none the less, just tell the guys at Cyworld or Habbo Hotel or Stormhoek read the podcast here or OhMyNews that you can't be socially AND financially successful out of connecting with online communities. And at times taking them offline.
What blogs and connected communities do via the mobile or the internet, or, both is to make available to us, the ability to publish, listen, share, scrape, (jeff jarvis' word) respond, and, break the hegomony of media and political control - the trend is bigger and more systemic than the FT article would suggest.
Sure there are a ton of blogs out there which are crap, but then there are a ton of books, films, music, plays, newspapers that add to the manure pile.
Today, we salute OhMyNews and Cyworld for proving everybody else wrong.