This email interview conducted by Guillermo Franco Morales, a university professor and content manager for the newspaper El Tiempo in Colombia, South America, is meant to be a primer on weblogs, for a country where little is known about the blogosphere. Guillermo interviewed us (Shayne Bowman, Chris Willis) as well as Dan Gillmor, J.D. Lasica and Steve Outing.
The article is called, “Re-blog-lution” (English | Spanish) and is running on the portal Terra.com, ElTiempo.com and El Tiempo’s technology magazine. There are some interesting comments about recent issues such as Eason Jordan, Dan Rather, Asian Tsunami and Jeff Gannon. We particularly like this question:
The Eason Jordan and Dan Rather cases can be described with words like truth or transparency, but is there a ‘dark side’ of weblogs? Can you describe weblogs with words such as lies, gossip or rumors.As you may recall, Guillermo is who we worked with to translate We Media in Spanish. In its first month online, the PDF of the translation had 2,000 downloads.
Steve Outing: “Oh, definitely there’s a dark side to blogging. Lots of inaccurate information is put out by bloggers. Blogs tend to be self-correcting, in that a blog’s readers will point out untruths and such; a lying blogger won’t retain credibility for long, as word of his/her lying spreads around the planet.
“But a problem is that by the time an untruth is corrected, others bloggers may have spread the untruth via their own blogs, repeating it and spreading it other blogs. It can take a while for the truth to spread to all those channels, if it ever does. Gossip and lies can take on a life of their own in the blogosphere; reputations can be tarnished by the quick spread of untruths.”
J.D. Lasica: “As the saying goes, a lie travels halfway around the world while truth is still putting on its boots. The Internet and blogs make that maxim even more apparent.
“The dark side of weblogs is that too many readers are credulous. In the months following 9-11, my own niece believed a rumor she had read on a blog that police had recovered a nuclear weapon planned by Islamic terrorists in the Lincoln tunnel.
“We need to be vigilant in calling out and confronting lies that we see in weblogs - not just in the mainstream media.”
Dan Gillmor: “I’ve had people tell lies about me or misquote me in their blogs, and in several cases they’ve refused to correct their mistakes even after I asked for a correction. I find this reprehensible, but there ultimately isn’t much I can do about it except rely on the trust of people."
Interesting. But to look at the pics you would think that blogging and its experts is a male only area.
Maybe it should be called an emale interview ;-)