Sunday, January 30, 2005

Nick Coleman -- A Google reference in search of a hit

Posted by Craig Westover | 1:11 PM |  

Maybe I’m just a little miffed or more than a little envious or maybe I really lust in my heart after Nick Coleman, but his continued pursuit of Powerline is more than a little peeving.

It’s pretty clear to us psychology majors familiar with the behavior of rats confined in cages (or cubes) that getting hammered on the Internet every time he pushes on the Powerline guys is less punishing for Nick than the reward he gets being mentioned by mainstream sources -- most recently Editor and Publisher. (Funny hat tip to People’s Republic of Minnesota.)

The E&P article, “Beware of the Blog” by Joe Strupp, rehashes the Coleman/Powerline feud and fallout, then attempts to provide some context.
For [Star Tribune] ombud [Kate] Parry, both sides should be warned to be careful dealing with the effects of blog-newsprint battles. "I have yet to find anywhere in the mainstream media anyone who really has a handle on bloggers," she asserts. "We are dealing with a relatively new phenomenon."
Guess that relgates "Captain Fishsticks" to so much chopped cod. As Bogus Gold posted, the Maxfield controversy was a case study in the way a mainstream newspaper column and a blog can combine to provide readers with a complete picture of an issue that spans multiple media and sources, no matter when they become aware of the story, and provides opportunity for follow-up and clarification, which newspaper readers are coming to expect.

From Bogus Gold --
Today, an interesting new development occurred. In the pages of the Pioneer Press, a letter from someone named "Gary Thompson" was published responding to one of Westover's columns on this topic. While the letter writer clearly disagreed with Mr. Westover, his letter offered some intriguing clues about how blogs are changing the way news consumers relate to even traditional media sources. Some choice tidbits:
"Readers had to investigate past Pioneer Press articles and Westover's blog to figure out what he was really talking about."
Column space being limited, they certainly did if they wanted to truly understand all the background on the matter. It wasn't very difficult either. Everything is right there for all to see on Westover's public blog. That's how blog readers investigate that kind of background every day. And apparently that model is crossing into consumers of newspapers as well; even to this hostile letter writer.
"Please, Westover, come out and fully explain that your idea of public school choice is in the form of private school vouchers."
And indeed, Mr. Westover did just that today; in terrific detail and unrestricted by column space, because he did it on his blog.There is also the matter that this letter to the editor resembled a comment on a blog, in that it seemed to fully expect a reply. And Westover treated it no differently.
So rather than resent being Rwanda in the summer of Iraq, I’ll take some solace in the fact that while Nick chases after the Powerline guys, he fled the field on the Maxfield and school-choice issues, and left me with the last word.