I love bloggers, they are very good people. But even the most kind hearted and best intentioned bloggers sometimes either misinterpret or misread information and the piece ends up very different from where it started its life. This somewhat macabre movement of information from one person to other with slight mutilations is very interesting to me. All of us have studied or read about it in one form or fashion.
Now here is the idea for the meme: Read through the following news paragraph and recreate a post on your blog from memory if you will. Encourage your readers to do the same with a link back to your post.
Now, imagine throwing video into that mix. By the time I got the headphones on and the video downloaded, Iâ€™d be on to designing some new feature (or, more likely, answering more email). Iâ€™d only get to hear three words at a time, which just doesnâ€™t seem very satisfying. I can sometimes have podcasts on the in the background, and those are easy to download and listen to at the gym. (I have a working shuffle! I can once again listen to things while I work out! And I can still do email at the same time.) But videos? I realize this is my own personal shortcoming, my short attention span that accelerates my multitasking tendencies, but why canâ€™t all videos come with transcripts, like closed captioning for those of us with attention deficits? (I realize also this wouldnâ€™t work so well with videos of cute jumping cats.)
I would love to read the third (or fourth and so on) reiteration of this paragraph.
Notwithstanding the results of this experiment, these human failings are just the reason us bloggers (and any media outlet for that matter) should pay very close attention to the originator of a thought or discussion and read the language and details quite closely before jumping to conclusions. We should be even more careful in reiterating these thoughts in our own words and make sure we link to the originator so their viewpoint is preserved and readers have the option of checking with them.
When the news or topic is hot, it is easy to fall into the trap of jumping on the bandwagon (first to market is a slippery slope, remember webvan?) but I think we owe it to ourselves and our readers to look closely.