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November 27, 2009



Very interesting piece. I posted something on similar lines a few months ago (which I now can't find!), and it strikes me that the phenomenon you describe presents an interesting possibility for the production and consumption of journalism: that is, the end of News. The urgency of News has been progressively increased, not by the needs of its consumers, but by the march of technology and by the commercial imperatives of corporate media and competition. So we end up with rolling news channels and the low-cost, low-effort, superficial journalism that results. The disruption of that temporal plane which you so clearly articulate frees us, the consumers of information, from the timescale of "news". I will catch up with material of general importance, or of specific interest to me, in my own sweet time, not when the paper is published or when the Ten O'Clock News comes on. What could be interesting is the development of more and more forms of journalism which are similarly liberated from the tyranny of news time.

Nick DiGiacomo

I would add an "Action" timestamp after consumption in your initial list - i.e. the time at which you take action on the data/information. As you suggest vis a vis Tiger Woods, most of the "real time" data from microblogs are manifestly irrelevant, as useful action is rarely taken (unless one considers retweeting into the mob a useful action). And if action is taken, it is done only after independent confirmation of the data.
Otherwise said, the more actionable a datum is, the more valuable it is. But the more costly the action, the more one wants confirmation of the data/information. This "cost/benefit" analysis is exactly what clients want done for them, which is why just selling tools that gather and display real-time data (e.g. about brands, products, etc.) is a low-value business solution. SAS calls it "business intelligence" for a reason.

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