Transparent Expertise


I'm a little late reading this, but in case you are as well, be sure to read Jon Udell's critique of the WSJ article on the future of media. One important point from many is that it's now possible to check up on the expertise of reporters and analysts:

Who, for example, is Brian Steinberg, the author of the above recommendations? The Journal asserts that he is one of "our experts." Google tells me he's a WSJ staff reporter. At ad-rag.com I learn that he's the Journal's "advertising reporter" and I dig up a reference to an audio appearance on theadvertisingshow.com. These sources suggest to me that Steinberg was probably the right guy for the future-of-advertising blurb (which he also contributed), but perhaps not for the future-of-newspapers blurb.

I'm not just throwing rocks at the WSJ, by the way. This kind of thing can happen at every publication -- including, mea culpa, InfoWorld. Happily, we're entering a world in which expertise isn't merely an assertion, it's a transparently discoverable reality. The skills and knowledge of reporters, writers, and editors, like the skills and knowledge of their sources -- the folks whose ideas and experiences inform publications -- can be and will be documented on the public web.

It's understandable that this radical accountability would terrify Old Media. Of course their stalkers, the Pajamahideen, are likewise accountable. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Most professional lives will be open to inspection, most significant achievement will be well-documented, most reputations will be measurable.
From Jon Udell: It's not about Old Media versus the Pajamahideen
Referenced Wed Jun 01 2005 08:03:34 GMT-0600 (MDT)

This is one of the questions I frequently get about my blog: "Doesn't having so much of your life in public bother you?" or something to that affect. My answer is twofold: first, I find the benefits outweigh the costs (and there have been some very real costs). Second, it's my professional life, mostly, that's public. I still have a private life and many things I don't put on my blog.