Blogs have been seen as cool for some time now. Are they just that or do they serve a useful purpose? Can they effectively compete with the institutions with the $50 million presses? Dan's instances of the role that blogs have played in several recent events will leave you in no doubt.
Blogs and other new media like wikis and picture collections are providing the interactivity and range of sources which TV viewers never had. They have brought in more transparency even in mainstream media. However, as their importance increases, other questions are getting raised - how much can you depend on them? If you need to take a really critical decision, can you base it on information in such grassroots media? Are these media realizing that they carry this responsibility now?
As blogs move from the edge of the network to the center, as mobile phones power the next leap of blogs, these questions are increasingly relevant and Dan Gillmor is in a very good position to start answering some of them.
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Dan Gillmor was a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News from 1994 to 2004. He was with several other mainstream newspapers before that. He was one of the earliest adopters of blogs and used to write one for SiliconValley.com. He is the author of We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People a book that is widely credited as the first comprehensive look at the collision of technology and journalism is transforming the media landscape. He is the founder of Grassroots Media, working on a project to encourage and enable more citizen-based media.
This presentation is one of a series from the South by Southwest Interactive Festival held in Austin, Texas, March 11-15, 2005.
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This free podcast is from our South by Southwest series.