The essay co-authored by Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle, two of the Internet's terrific thinkers, is some of the richest writing on the evolution of digital media you'll read.
Better that their words occupy the screen, but in summary, they discuss the emergence of the digital power of the collective mind, with cooperating systems, implied metadata, sensor-based information, the generation of mapping from unstructured data, and real-time information guiding businesses.
It's an eloquent look at the last five years and the possibilities of the time ahead.
A new Nielsen report suggests the belief teens are eschewing conventional for social media is somewhat mythical. They're still glued to the TV, reading (gasp) printed media, and playing in the new sphere but not living in it.
They watch less online video than adults. They watch TV substantially --- three hours-plus a day, up in the last year. The PC is the second-most-popular medium at 52 minutes. One in four read a paper.
Interestingly, they spend less time online than other demographic groups: 11 hours per month, compared to an average of 29 hours in the general population.
Details are emerging on the Journalism Online initiative co-founded by Steven Brill, designed to help newspapers monetize their online content.
In a briefing this week, Brill suggested the model he's developing would earn revenue from 10 per cent of online users. A hypothetical model put forward in the briefing assumed a newspaper with a circulation of one million and an online audience of 20 million would earn $110 million in the first two years.
The Journalism Online projections are far higher than other estimates of how many would pay for content now widely available and free. Most estimates suggest one to three per cent of users are prepared to pay for content, even when it's packaged and of a premium quality.
Daily Finance reports that a typical outlet would retain 88 per cent of its page views and 91 per cent of its advertising as it moved to the model
An earlier presentation from Brill to newspaper publishers in May is below from the
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicts that within 10 years all content will be digital. In the shorter-term, he suggests the recessionary impact will be permanent on advertising in media.
"I don't think we are in a recession. I think we are reset," he told an advertising conference in Europe. "We have reset and we won't rebound and re-grow."
In the future, "static content won't cut it." Replicating a newspaper online won't cut it, either.
Meantime, he says, media should plan for a smaller share of the pie.
The testy relationship between the newspaper industry and the world's largest search engine has been ratcheted another notch. The publisher of the Wall Street Journal, Les Hinton, says Google is "sucking the blood" out of the newspaper business and promises technology to address it.
Hinton, chief executive at Dow Jones, says making content free "gave Google's fangs a great place to bite." He told a conference we'll never know what might have happened if newspaper publishers hadn't gone that route.
But he says Dow Jones is in the final stage of technical development of a platform that will earn permit newspapers to earn revenue from online users.
Flowing Data, the impressive site on information and its availability, has gathered 20 visualizations of crime.
They run the gamut from basic mapping of crimes and victims to more complex charts and real-time data that alerts users to recent problems in their districts.
The visualizations are from conventional and new information sites and offer some inspiration for newsrooms as they produce more such content from publicly available data.
Alan Mutter, in Reflections of a Newsosaur, questions the viability of grassroots journalism. He suggests that it isn't sustainable economically so won't develop professionally in a form that reliably serves society.
"Although a number of do-it-yourself ventures have embraced modern technology to attempt to fill the void created by the retrenchment of the mainstream media, there is scant evidence to date that any have succeeded to the point that they will support the sustained efforts of professional journalists," he writes.
Neither he nor anyone really seriously knocks the efforts of community-based news sites to provide journalism. What he questions, credibly, is the financial underpinning of such efforts and their inability to channel substantial resources at a journalistic project or challenge.
"While it is true that the hard work of one or a handful of highly motivated individuals can create something worth reading for as long as their enthusiasm holds out, the time and hard work involved in serious reporting seems to suggest even the most impressive grassroots projects will be condemned to relatively short life spans."
New data from Nielsen Online suggests the time spent on newspaper Web sites declined at 17 of the top 30 U.S. outlets in May. The typical user spends seven minutes a month on such sites.
Part of that decline has to do with weather; spring and summer numbers tend to decline in traffic and time spent. But it suggests that there are some challenges for newspapers in keeping people online to consume their information.
As if that information isn't enough, there is news today that Yahoo is creating a new self-serve advertising tool. My Display Ads is a partnership with AdReady, which already works with the newspaper industry and Yahoo, but the reach of the new service is into small outlets and may prove very troublesome for less-sizeable markets.
The University of British Columbia's graduate school of journalism has produced a story for the PBS program, Frontline, on electronic waste.
In the course of its travels to Ghana (it also visited India and China), it obtained a hard drive that contained sensitive defence industry contract information from Northrop Grumman. Its revelation has piqued the interest of the FBI.
The documentary (video clip below) was underwritten by a donation from the Mindset Foundation, run by Vancouver-based philanthropist Alison Lawton through a recent $1-million donation. The financing serves as an interesting model for schools and organizations.
It was produced for Frontline by Peter Klein, an Emmy-winning professor at the school who also produces for 60 Minutes. (Disclosure: I am an adjunct professor at the school.)
The Earl Blog is the creation of Earl Wilkinson, the respected executive director of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA), and it ought to be a substantial addition to the blogosphere.
Wilkinson assembles some of the strongest overviews and analyses of the newspaper industry, so even posts that contain morsels of his Inbox should prove helpful in an era of all--info-is-good-info. He travels extensively, so while many media blogs have a geographic emphasis, Wilkinson's views are bound to be more varied and educational.
To wit: His latest post is on the multiple cultures --- and success therein --- at Schibsted, the Norwegian publishing company.