The Media Oxpecker: Creating the Internet We Want

Every week we round up media & tech industry news you may have missed while you were bringing down the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.

  • In you didn’t catch David Carr’s column from SXSW this week, you “missed” the unveiling of The Curator’s Code, a proposed set of standards for bloggers created by Simon Dumenco and Maria Popova:

    The Curator’s Code will use a symbol resembling a sideways S to express that a piece of content came directly from another source, and a different figure — a curved arrowlike symbol — to signal what is commonly known as a “hat tip,” or nod to a source that inspired a further thought. The Curator’s Code supplies the appropriate symbol and then the blogger or writer simply puts in a hyperlink behind it as they normally would.

    The Awl‘s Choire Sicha summarizes it best: Now writers are supposed to “insert some sort of hobo symbol” into their posts to give proper credit.

    Unsurprisingly, the idea is being met with a lot of skepticism. Says GigaOm‘s Mathew Ingram:

    While it may be well-intentioned, no one who is actually doing the bad things that the code is supposed to prevent will pay any attention to it … In the end, this is a cultural thing, not something that can be legislated or imposed, either by a code or by inscrutable symbols.

    PaidContent‘s Staci Kramer “cringed” at the idea and suggested a golden rule alternative: “Link and credit unto others as you would like them to link and credit unto you.”

    This isn’t academic publishing. We’re dealing with people who can’t even agree on lower casing internet and with companies creating their own styles, not sticking to the AP Stylebook.

    More from Choire:

    While we’re sympathetic to their aims, for sure—who likes being ripped off? Who likes watching corporate blogs lumber and clear-cut their way through the Internet?—there is always something impossible about this sort of mission. It seems like the sort of thing that’ll end, at best, with in-fighting, or at worst, with some sort of Night of the Long Blog Knives.

    And former Village Voice writer Joe Coscarelli demonstrates the concept in action with, “How to Properly Aggregate David Carr’s Column on Aggregation.”

  • In other news, last year newspaper ad revenue had its “poorest showing since 1984” with revenue falling to $23.4 billion according to the Newspaper Association of America.

  • Newspaper executives deserve the blame for not changing newsroom culture, say two journalism professors.

  • More papers put faith in daily deals and tablet payments as profit shrinks.

  • Digital First Media editor Jim Brady: “If print is 85% of your revenue, you’re terrible at selling digital.”

  • How one local Patch editor got fired for running a comic by former L.A. Weekly cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz.

  • Are hyperlocal blogs approaching advertising all wrong?

  • Consumers have even less patience for slow load times on tablets than mobile phones, according to a survey by Compuware.

  • Conde Nast will begin providing its advertisers with tablet metrics for the iPad and Kindle Fire editions of its titles, including statistics on individual ad performance.

  • Facebook ads get mixed reviews from merchants.

  • After Harper’s publisher John MacArthur wrote a screed blaming “internet con men” for ravaging publishing, The Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal responded:

    People’s lives aren’t divided into “offline life” and “online life,” even if we’d like to pretend that’s the case. People on Capitol Hill use the Internet. People on Main Street use the Internet. People on Wall Street use the Internet. The Internet is where the action is: it’s where all the elegant, dirty, pretty, lowbrow, brilliant ideas come together to commingle and evolve.

  • And finally, “We have to make the web we want,” says Anil Dash:

    Regardless of whether Gawker’s new experiment in commenting succeeds, the thing that excites me here is that Nick [Denton] is still experimenting, still trying new things. For too long, the fundamental assumptions and format of blogging have been stagnating, and the technology has barely been advancing. At the same time, there’s been almost a casual acceptance of the shoddiness of conversations on and between blogs … It’s not enough for us to decry the worst things about the web. We have to actively work to change them.