Read & Respond week 4: Links and Crowds

This week, we’ll be talking about connections: The in-person links that create crowds and the digital ones that create, well, the Internet. Briggs talks specifically about “crowdsourcing;” the term “the wisdom of crowds” was popularized by James Surowiecki, but it’s been around for a while. Some take issue with the idea that crowds actually have any particular wisdom. Here’s a little tune on the subject from Nova:

Moving on to links and linking, consider some ideas from these posts:

Since there’s no class on Monday for the Labor Day holiday, you have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, September 6 to make your responses to this post. Keep it concise, relevant, and don’t forget to integrate Briggs!

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14 Responses to Read & Respond week 4: Links and Crowds

  1. Beyond Craft Beer says:

    In Chapter 3 of the Briggs text, Briggs focuses on “crowdsourcing,” which is the idea that a group of people with a commitment to the same project is more effective in the community than a small group of experienced professionals. I like how he added his mother’s saying of “many hands make light work.” That comment offered a clearer understanding of the concept of crowdsourcing in journalism. The BBC News link offers the title “I link, therefore I am” which immediately leads the audience to believe the article will be about connecting with others and finding self-purpose in linking lives together. However, the article focuses on how people abuse the Internet through piracy and hacking, but how the “abuse” is publicly viewed as acceptable. This distribution of information, or songs and different types of media, is similar to the idea of crowdsourcing because these groups of people are interested in the same things, music, food, etc. This makes distributing relevant and useful ideas to the interested community much easier because people throughout the community can chime in on the topic and offer their own insight.

  2. Strength in numbers is a popular saying and it holds true in journalism. I thought the Briggs text highlighted an interesting way to use crowdsourcing for stories. It talks about Misty Montano, who is TV reporter in Denver. She says she uses crowdsourcing daily in news reporting and gathering. I thought it was extremely smart to use comments from Twitter, Facebook, and articles in the editorial process. This immediatley provides angles that are tailored to your readers which is a huge advantage. On another note, for the David Post Link it was interesting to see the mindset of people almost 20 years ago. I thought it was pretty funny how the New York Times and TotalNews.com were going back and forth in the coding of the site to get their advertising revenue. Lastly, that video/song was quite weird and strangely informative from a historical context.

  3. Ryan Decker says:

    Hyperlinking can be a very useful tool to bloggers and readers of blogs alike. They can make the story have a little more meaning, while also showing where information in one story came from in another. Another thing that bloggers can do is crowdsourcing. It helps to expand your reach that your work extends. Personally, two ways that I have crowdsourced is by sending anything MLB-related that I write is by sending it to someone from an app that I use, and they normally include it on the weekends. Another way I have done it is by getting a friend of mine who blogs to send me his stuff and I send him mine.

    It’s odd to think there was a time when websites, such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and Time, would protest to having their content hyperlinked on another site, like what was talked about in the Temple.edu article by David Post. In today’s internet, hyperlinking is an involuntary action in most cases. The act of linking one story to another so readers can get a better idea of what the original story they’re originally reading is talking about, as well as boosting the viewership of the sites being linked, seems like a very harmless thing.

    That is what is stated, in more words with better word selection that how I state it, towards the bottom of the BBC article that we had to read. “As things stand, a link from one page to another is simply a connection, and does not imply any specific intention.” However, the fear is part of his next sentence. “… Lawyers representing the content industry and politicians scared of the shift in the balance of power the internet represents are trying very hard to ensure that that legal system ignores the technical reality and imposes a commercially and politically useful reading.”

  4. lmalexander1 says:

    What I took away from this lesson was the phrase “two minds are better than one,” meaning the more minds that are collaborating on one project, the better the outcome. This is almost how Briggs explains crowdsourcing. He explains that crowdsourcing is the result of many hands and minds that are focused on the same project or answering the same question makes for light work and is better than a small group of professionals collaborating on one idea. I really liked Surowiecki’s idea that “larger groups of people are smarter than an elite few.” That really helped me understand his idea of “the wisdom of crowds.” A quote from the video that really struck me and helped me see this lesson in a different light was “If you have a group of people and they each have tiny bits of information, then you can learn a lot if you can just gather all those bits together.”

  5. kameronduncan says:

    As Briggs points out in Chapter 3, crowdsourcing (and therefore links one may use on his or her blog to external sources) helps to better inform readers. If several individuals or groups can give context to an issue, it becomes easier for someone reading an article or story to understand.

    In terms of how we read news and get our information today, crowdsourcing and the many different forms of it are extremely helpful. An example of this would be an event occurring on campus. Rather than having to wait a day (or even longer) to see that event in the school newspaper, when in some cases that event is no longer relevant, we can read tweets, Facebook statuses and even Snapchat posts from our peers to see what is happening. Of course, due to the nature of social media, that information may not always be the most accurate, but in some cases it can help get a story told faster.

    Briggs also notes in the text that many news organizations encourage their readers or viewers to engage with them on social media to help expedite the recording process. Reporters in Denver and Tacoma, WA talk about how their experiences with crowdsourcing and social media have made their jobs easier.

    In terms of how the industry has grown, the criticisms placed on the act of linking in the Temple article from 1997 provide a snapshot into the thought processes of news organizations then and now. Whereas 20 years ago it was seen as a bad thing to let another outlet link to your service, the ubiquitous nature of links and the culture around how we use them has changed to the point where it is encouraged, if not outright mandatory. The BBC article also talks about how links and their use has changed with how we use the internet itself, and how they could potentially continue to change as more time passes.

  6. I find the concept of crowdsourcing to be very interesting as it could very well be said that this concept was born from the development and incorporation of technology in journalism. If it weren’t for social media platforms or the increasing simplicity of sharing information, this kind of collaboration and interactivity wouldn’t be possible. Briggs mentions the new angles for journalistic reporting that can be found in the responses from the literatures audience. This kind of thorough reporting is very helpful in making sure the whole issue or topic is communicated and nothing is missed. This concept also makes for a more well-rounded coverage of the topic as there is not just one view or interpretation.

    Chapter 3 also mentions the importance of generating interaction with the audience. This is extremely important when it comes to building a trust with the audience as well as generating a larger audience. Responding and interacting with the audience also builds credibility for the news organization as more views on the topic are covered.

    I see the crowdsourcing as a very modern form of reporting that incorporates several types of coverage and keeps up with the most recent news and opinions. This is a prime example of using social media to better and advance the world of journalism.

  7. carlyperez5 says:

    According to Chapter 3 of Briggs, crowdsourcing is a form of outsourcing. In other words, they are using the power of the community to improve a service. According to Briggs, an example of crowdsourcing would be Wikipedia. Wikipedia uses the community to get their immense amount of information, which is how crowdsourcing works. Crowdsourcing demonstrates that a larger group of devoted individuals can do much more than a smaller group paid professionals. I personally understood what exactly crowdsourcing was with the comment Briggs made saying “Many hands make light work.”

    It was interesting to read the two articles on links and linking considering they were completely different. Bill Thompson talks about how important he feels links are. He used the example of a fax machine and how he is grateful that links have, for the most part, replaced the outdated machines. Thompson believes that the copyright claims are quite ridiculous and states that we should maybe start to explore what the link can signify, before the law takes it away and limits the future potential of the web.

    The other article is by David G. Post, who believes that links can in fact be dangerous. Post believes that the more the Internet grows the more legal questions will come up. I slightly understand his concern when he brought up the instance with the woman who put up a picture of her deceased daughter and it ended up being linked to a “Babes on the Net” site. Although this is a terrible thing to happen, I believe that links are much too important to be taken away.

  8. jayrudolph says:

    In the text Briggs refers to crowdsourcing as being known as distributed reporting usually relates to reporting a specific project or answering a specific question. The article then refers to the World Wide Web as “hypertext” medium in which jumping links can be posted. The group will always be better then the individual and teamwork will always prevail over a single mind. Hyperlinking however is a little bit on the legal border with whether or not the sharing of that information is always acceptable. Many trademark, copyright and privacy laws come into play as to which links are allowed and which ones are not. This is why the whole group is better then the individual because multiple sources need to be brought together as one for anything to work.

  9. smarino92 says:

    I think in the argument about “crowdsourcing” relates a lot to piracy and torrenting. For example, if you go onto a torrent server you have to have a number of “seeds” to download that material otherwise it becomes hard for you to access that material. Yes, I understand that downloading a movie or music off a site like that is illegal, but when so many people come together, it’s kind of hard to stop it. Just like the article about The Pirate Bay, it’s been shut down so many times, and always finds it’s way back onto the airwaves somehow. It’s because of the following. I guess that is a great example. Even though piracy is frowned upon, it always makes a comeback because a community of “pirates” are there to “seed” that information and keep it going. How can one entity end what so many people are fighting for, good or bad? I guess I never thought about it in those terms before.

  10. michalalynn says:

    This chapter of Briggs covers crowdsourcing, open-source reporting, and Pro-am journalism. Prior to reading this chapter I thought these were all synonyms for the same thing. I didn’t know that open-source reporting was basically pulling the curtain back on the reporting process. It was interesting to see the slight differences between the three. The video explaining the experiment was interesting to see. I didn’t know that crowds had the potential to be so accurate. I also didn’t know about the Public Insight Network. That will be a great tool for my future story writing and newsgathering assignments.

    The BBC article on linking was interesting because of the fact that linking is encouraged on our blogs. The Briggs reading also talked about the importance of link curation and the importance of linking to stories written by the competition. It makes a journalist more credible for readers to know that they also know they are not the only person writing this story. Linking to and from other competition allows both of your communities to converse with each other. I never thought about Google as a curation service but once the idea was posed to me in the Briggs reading it makes sense.

  11. ostarabanova says:

    Crowdsourcing as well as pro-am journalism are powerful tools that let people spread news faster then some traditional journalism organizations. While reading Briggs, I really liked the idea of CNN’s iReport. Anybody can contribute photos and videos that then end up airing on CNN. This is a great example of collaborative effort between professional journalists and regular citizens, that make the final product – the news – together. It was interesting to find out about “community management”, I’ve never heard of this term before, but it makes sense. The amount of information and the speed we are getting the information is mind blowing. Moreover, there are so many people commenting, reacting and sharing that it’s important that there will be somebody who will have the skill to refine all the data and make sure it’s legitimate.

  12. rmsurella says:

    It would certainly seem as though there is a serious slippery slope of conflict of interest related to hyperlinking. The Temple University article talked a lot about legal consequences regarding advertising that carries over from aggregate sites to more established sites they post links to, minimizing that sites own advertising. That would certainly seem like grounds for a legal suit, and since I haven’t seen much of that online I would guess there was some kind of universal litigation put in place regarding that. I thought the BBC article tied in a bit more nicely with the Briggs reading, as it raised the question of whether merely pointing to a source that compromises the interest of another group is a form of unethical crowdsourcing. Sites like Pirate Bay, which are almost exclusively used for the acquiring of unlicensed content, are able to become successful not only due to the convenience they provide in locating said content, but also because they show the user how many people have used that same provided link to acquire it. This allows the user to determine which of these listed sources will provide them with the most tested and reliable providers of the content. If the question is of the ethics of this practice, I would say that a determined individual would probably be able to locate unlicensed content in the long run away, but the companies who own the content have every right to point a finger at sources who make finding it possible for just about anyone who searches it up.

  13. Alexa Ciattarelli R&R4

    Chapter 3 of Journalism Next, by Mark Briggs, focuses primarily on crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the idea that in using the Internet, large and committed groups of people can share a message better than small groups.

    As an example provided in the text, “… Microsoft, with all its resources, struggled to keep pace with the development of the Firefox browser, a project powered by volunteers collaborating under the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation.”

    While this is a surprising revelation, it makes perfect sense. If a large group of people come together to help push a broken down vehicle, it will work better than a few people.

    Even though that example doesn’t exactly compare to crowdsourcing, it emphasizes the point that there is substantial power in community.

    The benefit of crowdsourcing is people’s ability to provide the value for a given webpage. But, some have voiced issues with the Internet, as it allows “website creators to easily insert “jump links” to any other pages on the system”. Even though this doesn’t seem like a big deal, plaintiffs are concerned that hyperlinking is taking people away from their sites. And with the impact crowdsourcing can have, their concern is valid.

    But, as stated in the BBC NEWS article, “As things stand, a link from one page to another is simply a connection, and does not imply any specific intention.”

    Overall, after reading the BBC News and The Link to Liability article, as well as Briggs Chapter 3, I think that crowdsourcing is just one of the many benefits that has stemmed from the Internet and serves the Internet’s primary purpose –interconnected web of users.

  14. Crowdsourcing is the idea that multiple people, a community, have the power and ability to share their information with each other, such as websites like Wikipedia where people can edit the work themselves and have users benefit from the information. Being able to have people share what they want, whenever they want is also very beneficial such as the CNN iReport example. CNN iReport also shows that how when a community comes together it can be very effeiecnet because if a person experiences news and reports it before an actual journalist it can get out to the world faster so people can be aware.
    The other articles the ended up talking about the pros and cons of links. Links are important but at the same time can be in murky waters legally. Although the future of links are in the air, Thompson believes that links are more effiecent and part of our future. On the other hand Post thinks they should not be allowed as they can be dangerous.

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