Interesting call for a “fixer” movement

Wired.com has published an interesting piece about the need for a “fixer” movement not just a Maker movement: We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement.

Google & the Newspaper Crisis

This morning Wired’s Epicenter blog is running an interesting piece: Five Things Google Could Do For Newspapers. There’s some pretty interesting stuff in there, but my fear is that all of the suggestions are merely handwaving unless papers deal with the real problem – they don’t actually print enough real news. Newspapers made bets in the 90s and into the 00s that served (essentially) to divest themselves of the business of publishing the news, in many cases preferring wire services for the majority of news content. What (many) newspapers have become are reprinters of wire copy padded by a myriad of opinion, editorial, and marginally ethical fluff “journalism”.

What Google should do is to set up a fund to help struggling newspapers re-staff their news divisions and a deeply discounted consulting wing to help owners – who have made the bad decisions that got us where we are today – understand that their only real commercial value springs from factual reporting.

Looking back at Wired 1.1

In his blog Fimoculous, Rex Sorgatz takes a look back at Wired 1.1, which came out 15 years ago this month.

I caught up with Wired at # 1.2, the Crypto Rebels issue, which I bought at a newsstand on Rideau Street in Ottawa. I was already familiar with both Mondo 2000 and the original bOING bOING zine, but that’s not to say that seeing the same kind of material in a clearly more mainstream magazine wasn’t pretty cool.

I wouldn’t say that Wired changed my life – as far back as 1.2 people who were involved in the culture Wired covered were (often rightly) critical of the magazine. But within a year I was in the world that Wired was all about – I had moved to Montreal and was working at CTHEORY, immersed in some of the earliest online publishing and (elsewhere) web community activity.

It’s kind of hard to believe it has been 15 years.

Followup about Anderson and the PR folks

At the beginning of last week, Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail and the Editor-in-Chief of Wired, announced that he was permanently blocking the email addresses of PR people who had sent him inappropriate email and published a list of those addresses. The post garnered a lot of attention, and a couple of days later (Nov. 1) he posted a followup: PR Blockage: The Aftermath. Definitely worth a read if you have any involvement with media relations.

Via Wired News:

The Wired 40 for 2005. Lots of big companies with big ideas here. Proof positive that the next big thing may come from one of the bigcos – but not a guarantee of that by any stretch of the imagination.

From Wired News:

School RFID Plan Gets an F. A school superintendent thought it would be a good idea to tag students with chips embedded in name tags, make them mandatory, and then use them to track students’ locations in the building. How anyone thought this was a good, uncontroversial idea to try and slip under the radar is tough to understand. How anyone thought so without the benefit of a nice fat kickback is doubly confounding.

Finally:

Wired News will henceforth no longer be capitalizing the “I” in “internet.” Rather, it’s just the ‘internet’ now. I tried to make this move about 5 years ago but was (and I have since been) rebuffed at every turn. Now, though, I have ammo: the definitive style guide is with me.

Crap:

Paul Boutin is reporting that Webmonkey is about to close up shop forever.

Paul Boutin in Wired:

101 Ways to Save the Internet. A nice, fun list of things that would make the Internet and the world of tech in general better. In particular, please (please!) consider the following: “Stop with the jokes. If we get the one about French military victories one more time, we’re going to come over and unplug you personally.”

Netscape’s DevEdge site

fatures a great interview with Douglas Bowman about the Wired News redesign. It turns out that my complaints about the colours the other day probably look silly out of context, cause they change the colours of the site regularly.