Saturday, April 12, 2008

You saw it here first

A couple of updates to ponder this weekend:

I mentioned Sac Bee's use of Nokia cell-equipped video cameras to stream live footage of SF Olympic torch protests to Qik and thence, near real-time, to its website. Others noticed, too, including Well done.

And I blogged a couple of weeks ago about Chris Anderson's analysis of how newspaper performance numbers don't exactly add up to certain doom. Now Jeff Jarvis has another rumination about the state of newspaper thinking and, as usual, his conclusion is that we're generally way behind the curve. He mentions Chris and me as "finding kismet" in our moderately optimistic views, and I guess that's right. I certainly plead guilty to (generally) seeing glasses as half-full -- at least partly because I think optimism is an essential ingredient in the fuel that drives success.

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer (hardly my role model) once said leaders must be able to do two things: to be coldheartedly realistic about current conditions, and to have an optimistic vision of where the organization can go from here. I try (with varying success) to shape my behavior that way.

Jeff definitely practices a tough-love model of criticism, and I'd argue there's more than a shadow of hyperbole in there once in a while. But I know he believes in core journalistic values and wants, like us, to see the best possible information available to the broadest possible audience.

And without question, we're in agreement on his final point in the post:

... a discussion of how bad bad is isn’t terribly helpful, either. What we need is discussion of ideas and action.We must move past this pining for the past and shrugging about the future. We also have to stop seeing newspapers as the center of the news universe.

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