Just ran into Craig Newmark, of craigslist.org, outside of the Big Tent, the indy blogger conclave for Convention '08. He was interviewing Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's former campaign manager, on a new-fangled little video "device". At the end of the "interview" Newmark remarked that he's just pretending to be a journalist but that he's keeping his day job.
Newmark, whom we chatted up for a minute, was on his way to Arianna Huffington's suite for a little foot massage. He posted the massage video on his blog before the Trippi video, showing that Newmark has his craigslist priorities in order, at least. We won't scoop him on the interview... perhaps it will show up later, or maybe he decided it was not really news.
We like Newmark and think he is sincerely trying to utilize technology in novel and helpful ways, but we agree he should keep his day job. Here's a few tips for Newmark and all the indy bloggers out there:
1) An interview does not mean recording a guy saying whatever the hell he wants. Ask some damn questions.
2) Everything is not news. You are drowning us with mere documentation. Know when something is really happening, man.
3) Don't assume people know what you are talking about. Either give us some context or at least a wikipedia link or something. What is networked governance, Craig... we need a little more information!
4) Don't diss the old media if you use it. Huffington has a very valid critique of traditional journalism and its elevation of equity over truth. But half the stuff on her site is AP wire copy. If you can do it better, then do it. If not, then don't whine about it.
5) Figure out a way to organize yourselves better. Perhaps this is a good project for Craig, because I am totally overwhelmed trying to separate the blog wheat from the blog chaff. Help a brother out.
The is a real debate going on in terms of credentialing at this DNCC. The Democratic Party has given bloggers nearly free reign, but the gatekeepers, the U.S. Senate Press Galleries, have been overwhelmed with newbie issues, according to one inside source, who spoke to BW over rum and cokes and thus will not be named. "Journalists" credentialed by the DNC have been spotted working the floor with Obama stickers and buttons on, wearing shorts and hats, and acting like amateurs. Some of them have been kicked out.
While we are completely in favor of throwing open the doors and changing the rules of journalism, every avocation needs some rules and some standard operating procedures. Who is going to figure that out?
I nominate Newmark.