Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Web 2.0: Divining the Collective Brain

Great idea from this item at the Online Journalism Blog, one of my regular RSS reads through iGoogle. (If you don't know what iGoogle is, go here pronto. It's a very cool aggregator tool you can customize to scan all your fave sites.) OJB suggests that journalists and news organizations should make a habit of creating "datastores." These are simple spreadsheets and other databases linked from their stories that give raw data for the public to chew on.
One benefit from such datastores for news workers is reeping the bountiful harvest of "distributed journalism," OJB says in this other interesting item. That's the idea that the public can participate in journalism by finding new patterns and connections and giving tips and feedback for stories. Datastores give the public more tools to do just this.

I'm a big fan of this idea. Us journalists like to think we're so smart and no one else can do our jobs. But blogging here and especially at my market site has opened up an amazing world of "distributed knowledge" for me, from which I've learned an immense amount. It's actually, in my opinion, one of the main reasons to blog.

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