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Citizens Media – Jeff Jarvis

Jun 01, 2004
Category Writing

I spent a couple of hours hanging out with Jeff Jarvis today. I was originally introduced to Jeff by Fred Wilson a few weeks ago and have been enjoying his blog ever since.

My goal for my meeting with Jeff was pretty simple – I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the Blogsphere (although this phrase appears to have been hijacked, so I guess I’ll have to call it something else). Jeff’s been a media guy for a long time and has a widely read blog. As a software / tools / data guy rather than a media / advertising guy, the more smart folks I talk to, the more of a clue I get.

I’m not entirely sure what Jeff’s goal with me was, but we had fun. He said a bunch of stuff that stuck with me, including the notion of blogging as a “Citizen’s Media” – a phrase he’s coined. We talked about the incredible proliferation of blogging in places like Iran, town blogging (news for the people, by the people), the blog content business (“it’s like owning a burger king franchise – a nice small business – but that’s not such a bad thing”, and blog advertising.

As each day passes, I see the power of two things converging – one is the massively distributed nature of content creation via blogging – which can be both good (everyone is a publisher) and bad (anyone is a publisher) – coupled with the rapidly decreasing friction associated with creating and disseminating information. People playing around with the Internet for a while have been predicting changes in the publishing, newspaper, TV, and advertising industries since 1994 (or whenever Al Gore invented the damn thing). They continue to be right – incrementally – especially as the broadband everywhere-anytime connected world becomes more of a reality. The friction of information creation and dissemination is one of the major inhibitors to this transformation. We might see real upheaval this time around.

Jeff – thanks for the stimulating conversation.