GuruAnn Blog

Hume City Councillor, this site is authorised by Fran Wallace, 10 Gibbons St Sunbury

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Jouno's v's Bloggers

Interesting article in the sealed email today from from "Eddie Internet"

A Butterfly flaps its wings…

By Eddie Internet, a journo who didn't send us his name but whose observations we found intriguing:

I'm not sure anyone would describe Andrew Landeryou as a butterfly but his decision to use a blog to "spread the joy" as he states could be the "butterfly that flaps its wings in Africa causing the hurricane in Florida" – that old chestnut trotted out by chaos theory geeks everywhere.

A bit of background on blogs for Crikey readers. As I see it there are two things you need to know:

Blogs have been used to devastating effect in the US to take down bodgy journalists and lax fact checking – the biggest scalp the bloggers claimed was none other than Dan Rather in the now infamous "Dubbya National Guard Scam." He was by no means the first or the last…
This will get techie – but stay with me. Because of the ways that blogs are set up – they spread like wildfire – Andy Landy's Blog has been up for less than 24 hours but is already racing up the search engine rankings and has attracted commentary and links from dozens of fellow bloggers (did I mention there are over seven million of them – up from five million at the start of the year). Blogs use a protocol called RSS – you don't need to know what it stands for – but you do need to know that it allows information to spread faster than a Budget leak in Victoria.
Let's look at Landeryou's situation – on Friday he was holed up at the Melbourne Assesment Prison watching the 6 o'clock news and seeing very bad file footage and dodgy sketch artist drawings. He is as low as he can go, about to be made bankrupt and his companies put in liquidation.

In the pre-blog world his only option was to sit back and take very bitter medicine (from his point of view – I don't want to comment on the merits of the case – I'll leave that to my fellow journos.) Let's fast forward to today. Through the blog he has been able to get his side of the story out to the public – unedited by the traditional media. He has already pointed out some serious errors in reporting and interestingly – in less than 24 hours – has been a magnet for some pretty interesting (if unsubstantiated) information about the Melbourne University Student Union affair and his dealings with Solly Lew.

My fellow media workers and I are at a serious disadvantage to bloggers – we have deadlines and very little time to get our head around the facts. Bloggers like Landeryou are intimately involved in their subject and in some cases it is the sole focus of their lives. Our errors are quickly spotted and with the power of blogs, they are magnified by the power of social networking. With Landeryou's blog (is he creating the new playbook for playing the "accused" in the 21st century?) my colleagues are going to need to tread warily.

This is one development Crikey readers will want to watch with great interest.