Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Social News: Trading Accuracy for Immediacy

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News is a strange thing:

we want it
but can't use most of it

we want it fast
but forget it faster

we want more of it
but don't know why

we want it to be truthful
but don't want to pay the price of truth - in time, money or resources.

Personally, news has become make believe - a fiction inspired by life. Something to fill the last remaining moments of otherwise full lives.

Perhaps, when news no longer really matters it might not matter what's in the news.

A moral outrage brought on by an immoral appetite for new news.

Valeria - Thanks for taking the time to write this piece. The balance that has to be struck between immediacy and accuracy exists both for the publisher and the reader. I think the options that you list to remedy the situation a fine for treating the symptoms of the problem, but don't address the cause. There is no accountability on the Web (and increasingly less in the mainstream), for disseminating misinformation. I think it is clear that the demand for "real-time" information is here to stay, and in order to protect the consumer (and we are ALL consumers of information), we need to hold sources accountable for the accuracy of the content they produce, even if they are anonymous to us. The veracity of our statements should yield us as a credible or unreliable source within a given context. We are currently working on this problem today and will be bringing our solution on-line for beta testing early in 2010.

Misinformation is a problem that will only get worse until there is an incentive to be accurate in your reporting, blogs, tweets etc.

@Mary Ann- isn't it amazing how something so simple as usability gets forgotten? In my experience, content creators need to do a better job documenting the user requirements for Web developers. They seem to be talking another language!

@Kate - unless you're prepared to be first with researched news, it pays off doing a little leg work. We seem to live in the age of reactions, when responding would be a better choice.

@Kathy - the more I'm out here publishing, the more conscious I am of the responsibility to my readers and the community. Offering one's own critical thinking is a very good start.

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