Revenge of the Experts
March 10, 2008 10:27 PM   Subscribe

Revenge of the Experts. The individual user has been king on the Internet, but the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward edited information vetted by professionals. "Fueling this is advertising revenue, it is easier to woo advertisers with the promise of controlled content than with hit-and-miss blog blather. 'Nobody wants to advertise next to crap' ".
posted by stbalbach (25 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those with a more tempered opinion say the expert cometh, but only modestly. "I think it's a shift in degree, rather than in kind," says Glenn Reynolds, whose book An Army of Davids defends the staying power of the little guy.
posted by stbalbach at 10:30 PM on March 10, 2008


Speaking generally before reading the link, I almost always find myself laughing at mainstream trend pieces that use quotes like "the pendulum seems to be swinging back to x after y." In almost every case, both x and y turn out to be overly simplified strawmen/exaggerations, and the "swinging pendulum" has more to do with the news outlets' need for trends to write about than with any real shifting in the culture at large.
posted by mediareport at 10:34 PM on March 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Man, what a crappy article. They grab a handful of crappy startups and half-baked Google ideas (like the "wikipedia killer" that I've never even seen anyone link to online) and declare the ideas just the start of a whole new wave. Filed under "zomg I found three things alike on the internet today therefore this must be a paradigm shift!"
posted by mathowie at 10:40 PM on March 10, 2008


You're just upset because MetaFilter is hit-and-miss blog blather and advertisers don't want anything to do with us, Matt.

no, i'm not serious
posted by Mikey-San at 10:45 PM on March 10, 2008


Old journalist's standby: one's a news story, two's an amusing coincidence, three is a trend piece.
posted by ntk at 10:49 PM on March 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


'Nobody wants to advertise next to crap' ".

Hear that, Matt?
posted by klangklangston at 11:22 PM on March 10, 2008


I've heard similar stuff from several sources very recently -- that the professional blogger is inherently superior to the amateur. I think it's some sort of blowback from the large congregation of pros in Austin at the moment. If you were to believe your twitter stream, no intelligent life exists outside of SXSW this week.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:42 PM on March 10, 2008


Nobody wants to advertise next to crap

They should see the magazine rack in my bathroom. Bad news.
posted by dhartung at 11:52 PM on March 10, 2008


'Nobody wants to advertise next to crap'

Yeah, but, compared to quality, crap's just so cheap and easy to make. You get a better RoI by keeping the low cost of crap and investing a little of the profit in convincing people it's really quality. That way, you end up with manufactured meat being promoted as the finest steak, with a side dish of advertising.

c.f. anything Rupert Murdoch has ever touched.
posted by Pinback at 12:48 AM on March 11, 2008


Nobody wants to advertise next to crap

Then explain Fox.
posted by bwg at 1:56 AM on March 11, 2008


"Nobody wants to advertise next to crap." [citation needed]
posted by Rhaomi at 3:49 AM on March 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


your twitter stream, no intelligent life

Amen!
posted by lukemeister at 3:58 AM on March 11, 2008


"Internet Needs More Experts", say Experts.

And you know they're right, because they're Experts.
posted by gimonca at 4:39 AM on March 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would like to challenge the implicit equating of "expert" with "professional" (not to mention the exclusion of "individual" from either category).
posted by DU at 5:23 AM on March 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Worthy of Professor Irwin Corey, self-described as "The World's Foremost Authority."
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:32 AM on March 11, 2008


Yeah, the article is a trend piece, so, by definition, it's pretty worthless. But I do think that the author has a point - user-submitted content with a thin editorial layer is a model that we're going to see more of in the coming years.

And maybe 10 years from now, suggestion algorithms will advance to the point where they're actually useful, and thus the "pendulum" will swing back once again.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:22 AM on March 11, 2008


user-submitted content with a thin editorial layer is a model that we're going to see more of in the coming years.

Kevin Kelly wrote about it recently saying the same thing: The Bottom is Not Up (Feb 2008).
posted by stbalbach at 8:24 AM on March 11, 2008


Then explain Fox commercial broadcasting.
posted by TedW at 8:27 AM on March 11, 2008


'Nobody wants to advertise next to crap'

Oh Reaaaalllly?
posted by Big_B at 8:40 AM on March 11, 2008


This is all probably redundant, but for the record the flat-out dumbest single socioeconomic class of gainfully employed "professionals" I've ever had the misfortune to regularly interact with are TV talking heads; I recently cancelled my subscription to my local paper because, much as I value local reporting, it was a daily insult to my intelligence; and my personal professional experience in the magazine and book-publishing industries is that the overwhelming majority of the gatekeepers haven't got a clue what their readers value and stride boldly into that fog with the cojones of castrated chihuahuas. And this is without even touching the clanging chattering snakepit of mediocrity that is the "punditocracy" or the ball of brainmelting goo that is the entertainment industrial complex.

The Global Conference of Companies Who Refuse to Advertise Next to Crap was cancelled thirty years ago for lack of interest, and no one's trying to revive it. Wherever the middle ground lies in this clusterfuck, it sure doesn't involve renewing the credentials of the existing batch of pompous windbags.
posted by gompa at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Newsweek continues to rely on Experts to frame the issues of the day.
posted by gimonca at 11:54 AM on March 11, 2008


I accidentally typed paradigm shit. At first I though "whoops" but then I realized "perfect"
posted by srboisvert at 12:22 PM on March 11, 2008


It's even got a Fox-style headline: "Is User-Generated Content Out?"

That way they can avoid even making a claim; they're just raising an "issue," and the fact that the answer could very well be "no" or "we don't have a clue" or "we didn't even really check" doesn't matter.
posted by mabelstreet at 12:40 PM on March 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any article from 2008 that seriously uses the word "netizen" to describe users of the Internet automatically merits a "fail."
posted by librarylis at 11:25 PM on March 11, 2008


Nobody wants to advertise next to crap

I call bullshit on that statement.
the author clearly hasn't watched vh1 recently. or any given 'reality' tv show.

there is a massive market in crap and I'm not talking about recycling. the masses are exactly like flies -- they seek out the smelliest pile of cowdung and dive in. the less demanding your product is of them, the easier it becomes for them to accept it as pleasant entertainment.
posted by krautland at 12:50 PM on March 12, 2008


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