In a fairly high-level interview with MediaGuardian.co.uk, Craig Newmark reveals a little of what’ll be coming our way in 2006:
Newmark has invested in a website edited by Jeff Jarvis, MediaGuardian columnist, who believes newspapers must now look to share their resources with citizen journalists. While Newmark is reticent about specifics, a rollout is anticipated this spring. He is also working on a “collaborative filtering technology, which is supposed to help people find the most trustworthy versions of big stories,” he says. “But it’s not a citizen journalism project in the sense that people are thinking. And while I’m very excited about citizen journalism, I do remind people consistently that there’s no substitute for professional journalism.”
Yet Newmark favours the idea of “community truth” derived from a global army of fact-checkers whose intentions are well-meaning, based on his experiece of dealing with the users of Craigslist. “I’m looking to organise the world’s news using the best of technology, community, and editors because I think we’re in a period of historic change,” he says. “With the internet everyone gets the chance at describing what history is.”
I may just have missed it, but I didn’t know Newmark was in bed with Jeff Jarvis. And as for “collaborative filtering technology”, I just don’t know. Whose version of “the truth” are we going to be talking about here?