11 May 2009

Cool, and Weird

I had a moment yesterday to read Maureen Dowd’s Sunday column in the NYTimes. She talked about newspapers and stuff, sorta like I did last week.

So I commented, as one can do now on their website. Was the first in fact. Thanked her for raising the issue and asked why she did not address solutions. I mentioned my own idea, briefly, and posted a link to the last post I made here.

It must have worked, as 120 folks checked it out yesterday, almost 5 times the usual number. But when I went back to see if my comment elicited other comments (as sometimes happens) my comment was gone. Not there, not listed, vanished.

What did I do wrong?

Or, what did I do right?

The fate of the news is a real issue. Not only did I write on it last week, having seen it on CNN, but clearly others are thinking about it too. But apparently, the policy of the NYTimes is to limit the virality of the conversation, at least that which passes through their portals. Which has the paradoxical effect of silencing part of the conversation.

Even on the radio show where I have been a guest these two past weeks (that’s WPRR in Grand Rapids, Public Reality Radio, Fridays at 10 am) and commented on the crisis of failing newspapers, there was no response from our vast listening public. I know it is not entertaining or exciting, but democracy is a tedious and slow grinding machine. Like the man said, there are two things you never want to watch being made – law and sausage. But unless someone does watch, we all become sausage.

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