Om Malik arguing that the New York Times should fight the scrappy news upstarts not by playing their game, but by rising above:
Now, if they can actually overcome their angst — and it hurts me to say this — they can change the conversation in the media business away from the increasingly shallow content and instead bring the focus back to quality and in-depth journalism, which is their stock in trade. If the New York Times management were feeling bold, it would put $25 million to work on creating 100 other Snow Falls and basically change the reader’s expectations of what long-form digital content and journalism are in the new century.
Snow Fall is fairly amazing.
Roy Peter Clark for Poynter:
According to traditional standards of newspaper writing, this lead should be a disaster. It is 79 words long, most of them in that first rambling sentence. It begins not with the news but with a subordinate clause. There are no concrete nouns. No strong active verbs. Why, then, do I think it works so well?
In a word, it has voice.
Any experienced writer can master the short snappy sentence. It takes a good writer to master the long sentence, the one that takes the reader on a journey of discovery, the one that leads you to a special place you could not have imagined when you stepped on board the bus.
This is exactly why I loved reading Ebert. And, truth be told, it’s the same style of writing that I’ve tried to put forth. Any success that I’ve had as a writer, I’d attribute directly to that notion: voice. Of course, I’m nowhere near Ebert’s level of expertise — give me 40 years.
Robert Cottrell (who curates The Browser) for The Financial Times:
After thousands of diligent appraisals, I can confidently sign off on this excessively simple truth: good writers write good pieces, regardless of subject and regardless of publication. Mediocre writers write mediocre pieces. And nothing at all can rescue a bad writer.
A simple assertion, but put it in context and it becomes more complex and interesting. Think back to the days when print media ruled. Your basic unit of consumption was not the article, nor the writer, but the publication. You bought the publication in the hope or expectation that it would contain good writing. The publisher was the guarantor of quality.
Not anymore. Great thoughts in general.
Also love this idea:
I suspect that the wisest new hire for any long-established newspaper or magazine would be a smart, disruptive archive editor. Why just sit on a mountain of classic content, when you could be digging into it and finding buried treasure?
The extremely short shelf-life of content has always bothered me. For newsy items, it makes sense. For everything else, there should be something like an archive editor to re-surface truly great writing from time to time.
Simon Kuper for FT Magazine:
Email kicked off an unprecedented expansion in writing. We’re now in the most literate age in history. I remember in 2003 asking someone, “What’s a blog?” By 2006, the analysis firm NM Incite had identified 36 million blogs worldwide; five years later, there were 173 million. Use of online social media rises every month. In fact, writing is overtaking speech as the most common form of interaction.
So there is something good that has come out of email?
[via Felix Salmon]
Whoa, hey there, c’mon. That’s… okay, yeah that’s fair.
What if we show you our Chartbeat stats?
I just don’t respect you.
John Herrman of BuzzFeed:
According to data from the BuzzFeed Network, a set of tracked partner sites that collectively have over 300 million users, Google Reader is still a significant source of traffic for news — and a much larger one than Google+. The above chart, created by BuzzFeed’s data team, represents data collected from August 2012 to today.
Yikes. Did Google just shut down the wrong product?
Om Malik talking about why he does what he does.