Dan gets Strumpetted

Marvellously entertaining clash of civilizations between Dan Gillmor and Amanda Chapel on Britannica (if that's citizen media -- I'm all in favor). I love Amanda's comment that "you can't have a boat with a hole in it." But I'm not sure I agree. Unfortunately, you can have a boat with a hole in it. The problem is that this boat will sink. Then it won't be a boat -- i'll be a shipwreck (or a Cluetrain wreck)

Dan introduces an agricultural word with which I'm not familiar: "monoculture" (according to my OED it means "the cultivation and exploitation of a single crop"). But journalism isn't a monoculture. Even a single good newspaper -- like the New York Times or the Financial Times -- actually contains many cultures within it. In the FT, for example, Lucy Kellaway's corporate irreverance coexists with Richard Waters' Web 2.0 exuberance coexists with Martin Wolf's globalism coexists with Martin Lukes' PR narcissism. And those are just four writers on the paper. The same is true of the NY Times where columnists David Brooks, Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman, Stanley Fish, Nick Kristoff and (my heart throb) Maureen Dowd combine to form a richly multicultural op-ed page.

 Anyway, below are my highlights of the Dan versus La Strumpetta face-off:

  • Dan Gillmor Says:


    Again, there is nothing wrong with traditional media. I love it. But monocultures, journalistic or otherwise, not healthy in the long run.


    You, too, misrepresent my very plain words. I specifically said that the ecosystem I favor includes both traditional and citizen journalism. Where does that imply that traditional is bad? It is not sufficient, but that is not the same thing.

    This is not about anyone’s ego. I’d just prefer to  get our facts straight before we have opinions about them.

  • Amanda Chapel Says:


    You can’t have it both ways. There are two distinctly different systems at odds here. It’s: flat vs. hierarchy; open source vs. proprietary; copyright vs. free. Again, your quote, “… a shift whose impact we’re just beginning to feel, much less understand.” Right. A shift… from one system to the next.

    As such, for Andrew and others to assume your advocacy is a value judgment is totally understandable and most of all accurate.

    Now, if your argument is the new info ecosystem is some “blend,” that’s not legitimate. You cannot have an economic system where half of it is not economic. You can’t have a boat with holes in it! You can’t have a store where you charge at the front door and customers take whatever they want out the backdoor for free. In short order, there will be NO paying customers. And without paying customers, you can’t make anything to sell or give away.

    Anyway, I hope that clears up the confusion. I hope you also better understand what it is you’re advocating.


    - Amanda