Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Command and Control

So LabourList launched yesterday with Lord Mandelson declaring that in "new media command and control doesn't work" the article may well have been written by his second life avatar who appears along with the piece. However, I read in today's Times diary column that within hours of the launch yesterday there was a tightening of the comments moderation.

Well if you're going for a high profile media launch of a site supporting an unpopular government you are going to have to expect a few abusive comments at the off. It would have been better to launch with tighter moderation at the start and then loosen as the novelty of the first day at school wore off. Especially when your star piece on day one is all about how with Web 2.0 the narrative is somewhat lost through the old channels and control is harder to achieve even for the master of spin.

It brings me on to the issue of that MacNumpty, Jeff and Adopted Domain all broached in the last couple of days. Is there a need for some sort of bloggers association to protect ourselves. Can this rag tag crew of individuals ever truly be brought together under one umbrella. As pointed out my MacNumpty the Scottish Round Up shows that we can work together.

I'm always impressed at how the editors of any week will post stuff they do not necessarily agree with, unlike Mr Dale Tory Vers 1.0 who over the weekend on his Saturday and Sunday Daley Dozens failed to acknowledge even one piece that covered the pro-Gaza rally but happily covered the pro-Israel march on Sunday. Indeed he bemoaned falsely, until I pointed out to him, that there was any coverage at all. Whereas the Scottish Round Up gave coverage to the march in Edinburgh as well as the reluctance of others over the importance of such demonstration of cause.

But just because the Round Up works here north of the border through people across the political spectrum working together in respect does that that mean a Union, Guild or Federation of bloggers need to be established to protect ourselves? This may shock a few of you but I'm a staunch trade unionist, although my current place of work prohibits the formation of any (oh the joy! of being in an American owned business). But I don't think unionisation of the blogosphere is going to work. We're too diverse. Too individualistic. Besides if we were to set up a slosh fund, who would manage it and how would we control hop it was used? Say we had the Private Eye of blogging in our midst that was constantly running to the Court of Session with another libel action would that be fair on the average blogger who is wary of their sources before hitting the publish button?

I know that in the past I've had a couple of gems and sought to authenticate that story before publication. I've also been known to jump on the bandwagon of some story that hits the MSM and then turn out to be a misrepresentation. Sure there will be times when bloggers get it wrong, but if the litigious nature of the word becomes so much that we have to verify every story from three sources before hitting publish we may as well shut up shop now. Every political blogger longs to have that scoop. Many of the Scottish Blogosphere through the nature of their work, contacts or activist roles must have so much stuff they could publish but we don't. We're wise enough to know, by in large, what needs to be out there and what is wise to put out there.

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