Monday, April 24, 2006

Methinks the Grey Lady doth protest too much...

Grant McCracken, trend-watcher extraordinaire, senses that bloggers are beginning to make "old media" squirm. He tracks a pro forma list of stages...

Stage 1. Benign neglect. (...the incumbent...treats the new challenger...with a certain high handed indifference)

Stage 2. Lordly disdain

Stage 3. Irritation plus Obfuscation
( they begin to see the writing on the wall. If Wikipedia can rise to become a creditable challenge for the Encyclopedia Britannica, surely the NYT and the vulnerable too.)

Stage 4. Panic! Attack! Panic Attack!
(In Stage 4, the alarm is now running full time. You can hear it coming from the old media world as if from a neglected warehouse. It's time to roll out the "barbarians at the gate" argument.)

It may not be global warming, but sea level seems to be rising. A lot of low-lying areas are about to get flooded. Badly. Bloggers are forcing pros to raise the professional bar -- against their will, it seems.

Van Wallach at Kesher Talk mentions a case in point. I am reminded of Virginia Postrel's stasist/dynamist taxonomy. Trembling is not always a sign of excitement. Sometimes it's a symptom of age.

No comments: