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Doc Searls Thinks We Should All Get Wet

Doc Searls – co-author of the brilliant ClueTrain Manifesto – thinks news is a river, a living, flowing, moving thing that doesn’t take well to being being bottled up and stored for an hour or six before being uncorked and consumed.
Here, he says it better:

Future to Newspapers: Jump in the river

the problem with most news: it isn’t. It’s olds. It happened hours ago,
or last night, or yesterday, or last month, or before whenever the
deadline was in the news organization’s current “news cycle”. It’s not

Unless, of course, it’s been fed out through syndication and picked
up by a news reader or feed search engine (e.g. Google Blogsearch or
Technorati) that’s paying attention to how long ago something got

Note that feeding is not cycling. Rivers don’t flow in circles.

News is a river, not a lake. It is active, not static. It’s what’s happening, not what happened. Or not only what happened.


Because it’s not enough to be “online” or to have a “presence” on the Web.

To be truly alive, truly new, truly part of the life of its readers,
a newspaper needs to be on the live web and not just the static one. It
needs to flow news, and not just post it.

It needs to flow rivers of news, or newsrivers.

A year from now every newspaper will have a newsriver — if not many
of them. Most papers will copy other papers, of course. But one paper
will start the trend, take the lead, and break the ice that’s damned up
their purpose in static sites and tombed archives.

(It’s from his blog, read the rest here, and don’t skip the comments)

Doc’s points are so simple, so direct, so obvious, they almost disappear when you look at them straight on. Of course news is organic, flowing, constant. And increasingly – think Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce, or aggregator blogs like Fark and Digg or All News (or sports or talk) Radio or even CNN for heaven’s sakes – we are dipping  our cupped hands into that river whenever we have a spare moment and drinking deep draughts, smalls sips or greedy gulps as our appetites and the times dictate.
So why don’t we undam the damn river of information we collect and carefully bottle ever day?

Bill Dunphy

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