Citizen publishers?

Scott Karp has an interesting angle on the phrase ‘user’ and its negative connotations

In most cases “users” in Media 2.0 are defined as the “people formerly known as the audience” or the “users” of Web 2.0 applications, including social networking sites like MySpace. The problem is that “users” are defined in opposition to “publishers” — as if people who create “blogs” are still in some lesser, “other” category, below and apart from traditional publishers like, uh, Yahoo.

He would rather we were all referred to as publishers

It’s time we start adjusting our taxonomy to recognize that the tools do not define the activity or the output or the people doing it. There are large publishers and small publishers. There are people who publish for friends and family, and people who publish for professional colleagues and people who publish for a (relatively) broad consumer audience. The revolution is that ANYONE can publish to the network and that anyone can leverage the power of the network.

I like this idea a lot. Not just because I firmly believe that, in journalism, we need to ‘adjust taxonomy to recognize that the tools do not define the activity or the output or the people doing it’.

I like it because if we swap journalism for publishers in the citizen/collaborative/networked journalism debate, we circumnavigate a whole load of internal arguments.

2 Replies to “Citizen publishers?”

  1. Matt Terenzio made a similar comment last July:

    “Perhaps in the next iteration, the news organizations will finally wake up and realize the conversation is happening, and “user-generated content” is not a conversation because it literally bespeaks the fact you don’t consider the user an equal. Let’s get rid of that buzzword. Let’s get rid of this condescension.”

  2. Thanks for the heads up Martin.

    I like Matt’s approach:

    “Newspapers are more religion than business to many of their producers. We need a left turn and it’s nearly impossible to get them to budge a few degrees.”

    Yes.

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