Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Internet time

Author:Jacob Levy
Posted:10/29/1999; 10:05:53 AM
Topic:Internet time
Msg #:12514
Prev/Next:12513 / 12515

I sent a version of this to Dan Gillmor in response to his latest dispatch from the Far East:

Hey Dan

I see you're having a blast in the Far East, good for you! Enjoy. It's Friday here so I'm going to have some fun reacting to what you wrote. I don't think I'm saying anything new here, I probably read it somewhere at some time by someone else already, but it still wants to get out:

About Internet Time: I'm fed up with that concept, doesn't exist IMHO. I think what is happening is that things are still happening at about the same speed, theres just a lot more of it and you find out about it much sooner. And because you know, you now feel you have to react, and that information about what you do in reaction to the latest news gets out sooner, and your competitor reacts, and so on. It's more a difference in the behavior pattern than in the speed. In other words, it's all in your head, buddy! :) That's where the other saying that I loathe comes from, that you have to be paranoid to survive.

The quick reaction thing is really not about the Internet, about the information available, its more about being insecure. If people really trusted that what they were doing is right, they wouldn't worry so much and be anxious, aggressive drivers etc. My wife and I still spend about 3 hours in the veggie garden each weekend tending to our tomatoes and stuff. Hey, that's time enough for a Yahoo!-like company to go from idea to IPO.. So what. We still need to eat, we still need peace :).

I love the United Van Lines radio commercial about whether the world is getting smaller. Their answer is it's still the same size, it's just that they make it easier than ever before to move from one place to another. In other words, a different perspective, very self centered on their business, but a valid one nevertheless.

What about journalism? It's also still the same. Report on events, dig and research, publish and gather reactions. We just give you faster and richer tools to get the word out. With pictures and pizzaz, so to speak. The business may be changing but the core function is still the same old same old. You tell me what's happening, and sometimes I tell you what's happening so you can get the word out.

Another point about journalism: I loathe the package that is a newspaper today. Why do I have to read about all the rapes and murders if I want to really only find out about some news from Honduras? Skip to page 16 for the international section, you say. Yeah but the front page photo of that brutally murdered teenager still sticks in my mind's eye. With the "new media" I get to choose, filter and avoid. News exposure avoidance is a very big plus for me :).

As Dave wrote so aptly, "Yup, Dan's an electronic journalist now. The world is safe!".

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