A great op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal today from Glenn Reynolds (of Instapundit fame) on the ways in which blogging may someday supplant the newspaper. As Reynolds notes, “newspapers” constructed out of the work of independent, decentralized, unedited, undirected bloggers gives us the news with certain filters removed. This is one of those pieces that makes the future legible.
Reynolds’ essay reminded me of a piece in the New York Times a couple of days ago. It is now possible to get unauthorized tours of the Museum of Modern Art. The Times says these reflect,
a recent podcasting trend called “sound seeing,” in which people record narrations of their travels – walking on the beach, wandering through the French Quarter – and upload them onto the Internet for others to enjoy. In that spirit, the creators of the unauthorized guides to the Modern have also invited anyone interested to submit his or her own tour for inclusion on the project’s Web site, mod.blogs.com/art_mobs.
This is a splendid act of disintermediation. Museums have been pretty bad custodians of their collections. With exclusive control of the museum space, it was their way or the highway. Podcasts give us a way to break this stranglehold. (I do not mean we should not listen to their wisdom, only that they should have been given “sole source” authority.)
Newspaper and museums, these are two of the gate keepers of contemporary culture. Their diminution must help a hundred flowers bloom.
Kennedy, Randy. 2005. With Irreverence and an iPod, Recreating the Museum Tour. New York Times. May 28, 2005. (Sorry, don’t have this reference.)
Reynolds, Glenn. 2005. We the (media) People. Wall Street Journal. May 31, 2005 here