Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Clueless Journosaur

Yet another old-media rant about the unfriendliness of the Internet, this time courtesy of Washington Post journosaur Richard Cohen.

"It seemed that most of my correspondents had been egged on to write me by various blogs. In response, they smartly assembled into a digital lynch mob and went roaring after me. If I did not like Colbert, I must like Bush. If I write for The Post, I must be a mainstream media warmonger. If I was over a certain age -- which I am -- I am simply out of it, wherever "it" may be. All in all, I was -- I am, and I guess I remain -- the worthy object of ignorant, false and downright idiotic vituperation."


"What to make of all this? First, it's not about Colbert. His show has an audience of about 1 million -- not exactly "American Idol" numbers. Second, it marks the end of a silly pretense about interactive media: We give you our e-mail addresses and then, in theory, we have this nice chat. Forget about it. Not only is e-mail too often a kind of epistolary spitball, but there's no way I can even read the 3,506 e-mails now backed up in my queue -- seven more since I started writing this column."

Cohen's rather late for his reality appointment. It's long been obvious that no one in a high-profile position like a Washington Post columnist can read and respond to all the emails a public Internet address will gather. It's tough enough keeping pace with interoffice emails.

So what does someone like Cohen do? For manageable interactivity, he can blog, then read and reply to the comments he gets. And he can start his search for a new media paradigm here.

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