Snarky Behavior

My Two Pennies: Mark Cuban

May 21, 2007 · 1 Comment

Mark Cuban loves New Media, except when it means camera phones at a strip club.

So I’m not going to link to him because I’d rather not get track-backed from his blog, but Mark Cuban continues to be my personal idol.

Cuban’s story is pretty well documented: he was a nerdy but ambitious frat guy who got involved in the tech-boom at the right time, sold internet broadcasting technologies to Yahoo! and cashed out before the dot.com market crash.

As owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban has become somewhat of a household name for his outspoken criticisms of David Stern and the NBA. One might say he is the Alexander Hamilton to Stern’s Thomas Jefferson, using the internet and New Media to publish his own version of the Federalist Papers on his widely read website, “BlogMaverick.”

Even though he can be obnoxious and overbearing, I respect Cuban’s passion, vision and transparency. And he does an excellent job of floating out conversation starters:

One of the biggest all time product branding blunders in any business is newspaper columnists and reporters calling what they write on the web a blog. When you have a reporter in the field offering online updates and you call it a blog, you define them as peers of the many unwashed masses who post on a blog, myself included. Suzy and Don on myspace have a blog, and so does your intrepid reporter. Its not too late to come up with a name to brand what professionals call their timely infield updates. Its the only way you are going to differentiate your news organization from user generated content.

I’ve had this conversation before: why on earth would a writer/editor working for an established news organization (Washington Post, I’m looking at you here) try to pass of what they write as “blogs”?

Blogs are inherently the opinion expressed of the individual who produces them.

I’m sorry… If you write “dude” in your column and post it on the net, it doesn’t make you a blogger. I’m not an idiot: I know you are still beholden to the same commercial interests, even if you have pathetically relaxed editorial standards.

It all just seems like an excuse to hire cheaper, less credentialed writers to populate news reporting.

The one thing that established news outlets have going for them is their credibility. Look at how successful the Post was in their investigative reporting of Walter Reed. There’s no blogger out there that could’ve broken that story: blogs are inherently reactionary or instigatory, not investigatory.

Why the Post would actively seek to weaken their own credibility by half-heartedly entering the online fray of “blogging”is beyond me.

(Note: I will give credit for the implementation of online chats. News organizations should do everything they can to maintain a stranglehold on “credible” figures and sources reaching the masses. And I’m not inherently against reporters having their own instant update pages: but there should be a clearly defined label of demarcation indicating the gradation of professionalism between your typical stream-of-consciousness bullshit web-log and web-published journalism.)

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1 response so far ↓

  • Rohit // May 23, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Reply

    “[B]logs are inherently reactionary or instigatory, not investigatory.”

    Right on! Blogs are the epitome of the woefully common, hopelessly uneducated, possibly illiterate American dumping his or her own half-baked, idiotic, and nonsensical viewpoints, which were once reserved for his or her equally moronic friends, onto a medium for all the world to see. Hardly any good has come from the rise of blogging, and worst of all, it has given enormous relevancy to a group of individuals that hitherto did not matter, and in actuality, still don’t, except for their inexplicable pull with frightened media executives not wanting to miss the boat on yet another “Internet” wave (à la “mp3s”).

    I want legitimate news from professionals whose livelihood depends on it, not morons whose lives are so empty that they have nothing better to do than pontificate rabidly on concepts that are for all intents and purposes completely foreign to them.

    Elitism here isn’t a bad thing (when is it ever actually?), especially when considering the alternatives. Provisions must be made to keep the dirty, unwashed masses at bay.

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