POSTED ON May 02nd 2016 BY LESLIE LOFTIS UNDER Blog Admin, Bloggers and Blogging, Motherhood, Social Media, US Media
Just when it seemed that we were starting to settle into the new media era, everything went sideways. I see two major reasons for this:
- The sheer volume of information. We need vetting, either by a small website that sifts news and commentary for a specific topic or one that sifts general news for quality.
- Right media and blogosphere or social media network has been rocked by this election cycle. As my colleague at PJMedia noted, established news habits have shifted in recent weeks, and there will be no going back.
Add on minor problems with social media. Twitter’s use of shadow blacklists and uneven enforcement of bad behavior has dampened the platform’s appeal. Facebook changes it’s algorithms often. As soon as you get settled into a news reading pattern, they change the rules. Medium is trying to recover from becoming a “Try my new app” platform. It did not work as writers hoped.
In news and commentary, online magazines pop up and fade or get absorbed into bigger sites at varying speeds.
Right now, how does anyone make that informed threshold of the past: skim the WSJ or NYT headlines while listening to the local news over coffee and the nightly news after dinner? With the deluge of information coming at us from everywhere, is it any wonder if the American public seems oddly under informed. With so many options it is easier to either ignore the noise or get lost in the mindless junk.
This hurts local awareness particularly hard. How do local stories manage to break though the national and international trends? In Houston’s recent mayoral election, we had to push so that the public would know that we have a problem. Months later, the problems are still there. (Bill King did not win the runoff as the previous link hoped.)
We must accept that Houston has deep financial problems to solve. No other option. https://t.co/DHZjKDlNh9
— BigYasha (@BigYasha) May 2, 2016
Looking for quality news sources has been a problem for casual readers for a while. Now it affects heavy readers, and so I see a re-sort coming again. And as mentioned previously, I still have a hunch that personal websites will end up like mobile phone numbers, at least for those who put their name to public commentary. For the constant re-sorts, writers almost need to be their own self-contained unit. That would also help us avoid what Prof. Jacobson noticed. Conservatives essentially got trapped by Twitter.
Some bloggers have gone back to their old sites. And many of their once active commenters have returned to those comment threads rather than commenting on Twitter. I’ve experimented with other networks, everything from Disqus to GoogleGroups to Medium. None match the efficiency of a single website.
And as I started my original website to experiment with idea networking, that’s what I’m going back to here. This time I will work on vetting ideas, pulling various commentary together by subject matter. Over the next weeks I will also redo my link lists as my own personal newspaper, a series I can click though and skim over a coffee, noting articles to read. I’m aiming for finding ways that we can be generally informed enough to have a discussion at the watercooler or PTA meeting.
I’m still writing more elsewhere. That’s one of the reasons I’m thinking in subjects because those have become more focused, and that has worked well. I’m doing motherhood for professionals advice at PJMedia, America Watch election commentary at The Conservative Woman in the UK, and longer commentary pieces at The Federalist, usually on feminism, law, or UK issues.
But I still like to experiment. So, back to blogging.