Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Do We Need Editors in New Media?


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I'm new here. Discovered you via good ole Steve Rubel. This is fascinating and thought provoking. I plan on sharing...

I just wonder - how much should we be editing? Is a conversation that has become abusive and heated, on a blog, something that should be left alone, or edited by a higher power (who is the higher power - the owner of the blog?) or should it be left alone to flow as a conversation would... even if there is name-calling and content very close to libel (again, who decides that?)

I appreciate the detailed response, Lynne. I have found the site overwhelming to date and hard to look at in my spare time, which is very little these days. That was also the reason why I left Facebook. Took much going on and not enough time to make sense of it on someone else's layout.

I am now hoping that LinkedIn doesn't merge individual profiles with the endless updates going on there or I will stop using that, too. Navigability and usability - in ease of use - help me a lot in deciding what is important. I suspect many of us are visual creatures. That's why blogs are so friendly in that respect - one or a couple content owners, the sidebar space and one main post.

The two searches I ran so far on the site did not yield what I was looking for. Google did, outside the site.

Editors are fast becoming some of my favorite people. In more than a couple of occasions per day instead of running a general search on a topic I look for what Scoble said, or what Godin wrote, etc. No time to do otherwise and I've come to trust those brands.

There are editors on Twitter, too. Same principle. What some people share and write tends to be more interesting to the type of content and topics I broach. Although I am noticing that a lot of commercial entities have started adding folks on Twitter and spamming them. If that takes over, goodbye Twitter for me in the same way I abandoned my old email account. I want less junk, not more.

Hello Valeria, because your questions is about editors in New Media and you've mentioned the newly upgraded, I wanted to comment on the topic. does have editors/digital curators. We have nine home pages -- one a main home page, and eight others that are category channels: Innovation, Technology, Management, Leadership, Careers, Design, Social Responsibility, Work/Life. Each one of those pages are updated every day (and in some cases many times a day) by editorial selection. Though the wisdom of the crowd is at play all over the site, much of what rises to those nine pages is carefully chosen by editorial review. This also includes the Fast Talk (provocative topical questions raised by editors or suggested by members) that you see throughout the site. And the big idea, that members respond to, is also written by editors (with occasional member suggestion).

The basis of all of those pages though are: 2 Fast Company features (either from the magazine or web), staff blogs, expert blogs, 2 fast talk comments, and one article comment. This same set up appears on all 9 of our home pages and each slot of content is designated by a header/label. So if you're only interested in reading features you can click on features, if you're only interested in reading expert blogs, you can click on expert blogs, and so on. There are numerous means of navigating the site -- by channels, by tags, by content types, by advanced search.

But to answer your question, yes I think editors are needed. I'm all for the wisdom of crowds and smart mobs, but as you suggest we need a guide to get through the clutter (to make sense of the noise). On the other hand though, I use Twitter a great deal, and in that case it's a lot about self editing. You use keywords and people to guide you to the information that you want to read. I believe that's they way a lot of search is beginning to work and a lot of websites.

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