Interactive News

Computerworld is running a story on the future of news. Many of the “big names” in this area are quoted. But I think they ought to be thinking less “Minority Report” and more “Bloglines.”

That’s not to say that I think the future of news is RSS. In some ways it sounds like this is what they were suggesting. Rather, I think it might be worthwhile to see why some people don’t like RSS, or use it only for headlines. I’ve seen a lot of people express lago’s[1] viewthat text and layout (while seperable for design) support one another, and that stripping text of its visual context may not be the best way to experience it.

What is, then, the future of news delivery? Call me quixotic, but I’m sticking with the good old early explanation of what online news will bring: the bottomless news hole. I want full transcripts, scanned documents, citations, links. I want the ability to do my own factchecking, even if I never make use of that opportunity. I don’t want to make my own news, but I do want to be able to make my own discoveries.

And I want to have a conversation, not to be a party of eyeballs, a mute audience. I want to know what others think of the news, and then what others think of what others think. Getting at the facts is a vital part of this, but I do not have the time or energy to “interact” with my news on an individual level. I do want to do so at a social level, in much the way we always have.

fn1. Who, due to a trick of typography, I have permanently imprinted as Iago (as in this guy).

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2 Comments

  1. Posted 3/10/2004 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Hehe. The question is, of course, whether or not Iago would blog. My guess would be no, as evidenced in his response when prompted to give the worst of his thoughts the worst of his words:

    “Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and false;
    As where’s that palace whereinto foul things
    Sometimes intrude not? Who has a breast so pure,
    But some uncleanly apprehensions
    Keep leets and law-days and in session sit
    With meditations lawful?”

  2. Posted 3/11/2004 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I want discussions, too, and the observations and thoughts of individuals. After reading about bombs in Madrid in half a dozen newspapers all saying the same things I wanted the Metafilter discussion where a few different ideas were to be found.

    Conversation. And documentation.

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