Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the new beast of editing

Yesterday I was obsessed with the idea of editing. Who are the new editors with democratized publication? What is their role? What are the varied ways editing manifests online, beyond the literal editing of a Wikipedia entry? A colleague offered up the idea of Twittering links to popular news as an example, be it an annoying one. 

I was thinking of it more in terms of collaborative filtering as a new mode of editing, a transformed mode. 

Is editing -- in this evolved state-- how the wisdom of the crowds prevails over the known dysfunction of groups (think: groupthink, loafing, etc.)? Is this how we achieve quality outcomes from crowdsourcing? If so, is the editor's need to 'get things right' self-serving? Is it even a need to 'get things right' or is more about filtering and mastery-- making sense of the world? 

I was ready to let it go, but then my mother called my attention to Tina Brown's newly launched Daily Beast a pastiche of traditional journalism and modern day online dialogue. David Carr's piece, aptly titled Editor of Note, Perched Online, says this:
With a slogan splashed across its home page promising rigorous editing of the culture for complicated times — “Read This Skip That” — the Beast is aiming to be a smaller, less chaotic version of the World Wide Web itself.
This style of 'rigorous editing' doesn't really seem to embrace the complicated times we are in (Note: purely technologically speaking). It seems like editing, online. I'd like to see Tina Brown achieve an evolved state of editing. But I think it will require more than 'sensibility'...

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