Blogging? You'll Benefit from the New New Media

Part #3 investigating the New New Media

My article on the downfall of traditional news media, based on examples of how bloggers could refute two New York Times Sunday Business articles on November 12, caught the attention of an intriguing new journalistic organization

New Assignment.Net is a non-profit site that tries to spark innovation in journalism by showing that open collaboration over the Internet among reporters, editors and large groups of users can produce high-quality work that serves the public interest, holds up under scrutiny, and builds trust.

The email from editor David Cohn states - "We want to bring transparency to the media -- just as it seems you want to bring transparency to real estate coverage".

Mr. Cohn the journalist calls it coverage, I call it the transparency that is manifested by real time information and data supplied by institutions - i.e., MLS, title recording database - and all the associated applications - i.e., Zillow, Homethinking , Altos Research - that enhance that data PLUS the data interpretation and evaluation provided by local sources - primarily the Realtors, and of course, their blogs. The transparency we strive for in common is what was called "citizen journalism"... now rechristened "open source journalism" that "holds up under scrutiny and builds trust".

(note: I'm pleased to contribute content and ideas to's worthy cause)...'s Steve Fox turns me onto a powerful article written by Michael Hirschorn for this month's Atlantic that postulates why mainstream media must bow to open source journalism (just last week, Washington Post's top political writers jumped ship to an online startup) and how newspapers need to change - he says just "stop printing". (There's a lot more to the article... read it...)

So, are the newspapers expected to roll over and die? Local newspapers still have the advantage of community brand recognition and are aggressively pursuing technology solutions to make themselves relevant. Localized search and classifieds has become a big advertising niche - there's an Interactive Local Media conference this week in Philadelphia devoted to it. Last week, Yahoo partnered with 176 newspapers to share content, classifieds and technology. Two weeks ago, Reuters and Pluck partner to offer Pluck's blog syndication network
Blogburst's blog content to Reuter's media partners (which include newspapers).

HERE'S MY POINT - open source journalism is inevitable... and moving quickly  - every link in the above two paragraphs happened in the past two weeks. By extension, the public will embrace the inevitability of open source journalism... just as they have embraced iTunes and YouTube.

HERE'S YOUR BENEFIT - As a Real Estate Blogger, or Real Estate Open Source Journalist/Data Provider, you already have a leg up on the next generation of opportunities because the public sees your blog holding up to scrutiny and building trust. Here's an example of one opportunity:

Soon, local newspapers will develop the same social /transactional networks we (as the public) have become used to (like MySpace, LinkedIn, eBay) with the intention of revitalizing their primary revenue model - classified advertising - because it's proven social networks facilitate all types of trusted transactions, commercial and social, based on interpersonal transparency.  For example,
Active Rain may eventually form partnerships with local newspapers to pair AR's local bloggers to their consumer readership... it may not be AR, but just having an established blog facilitates a successful entry into any such network. The local newspapers' new business model - web traffic based advertising and fee revenue similar to Craig's List's listing fees.

To be continued...

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  • 11/27/2006 7:47 AM Drew Meyers wrote:
    Very insightful post...I'm looking forward to your next article in the series.
    Reply to this

  • 11/28/2006 6:01 AM geno petro wrote:
    Pat, I enjoyed this piece. And I have to say that from an advertising standpoint I cringed everytime I have to pay top dollar for an ad (buried between thousands of others with no specific search mechanism--its paper for crissakes!) in the Sunday Classified section of the Chicago Tribune(Open House, New Listings, etc) when I pay nothing for a similar Craigslist ad with more trackable results. 'Stop the Presses!'
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  • 11/28/2006 12:54 PM REBlogGirl wrote:
    Wow. What a post. Are we seeing the disintermediation of the journalist? As it stands I probably get 85% of my news and gossip (sorry I never got working on the Warner Bros lot out of my system) from blogs. The ones I read are well written, insightful and connect with me more powerful than the mainstream media, so I can attest to the draw this new journalistic media channel has. I have noticed that many traditonal journalists are now jumping on the blogging bandwagon.
    Reply to this
    1. 11/28/2006 8:50 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      We're seeing the overhaul of news and data delivery as we know it... journalism as a profession is transforming - you Mary are more authorative on real estate SEO than any tech journalist...  I'm becoming obsessed with the topic because transparency in any industry forces disintermediation, it unravels the hidden agendas (data-mongering) that keep fiefdoms in place, and it facilitates information flow directly from source to user. The "high concept" (I was in the film industry for a while too ) is journalist disintermediation is similar to real estate disintermediation - the more the consumer can learn from direct sources, the less necessary are the intermediaries.

      My last two comment posts tonight highlight how "insiders" understand how their industries work and "outsiders", journalists and other plain folk, don't have the knowledge, experience or perspective to provide insights:

      Title Guy explains the title insurance processes
      that went missing in a Forbes article on title insurance.
      A Bloomberg employee informs us that a seemingly outdated system of proprietary hardware and networking that Bloomberg has been selling to the Wall Street still rakes in $4-5bn... this is an amazing tip to hear in this open source age and it comes from an insider.

      Reply to this

  • 12/4/2006 2:42 PM Diane Cipa wrote:
    Well, Pat. I'm still a blogger newbie, but I've found it's a far more powerful medium than I expected. As a blog reader, there are just some hilarious bloggers out there who take mundane issues and throw some good chuckles in to boot. Add the timeliness of response to issues as they break and you can't beat it as a source.

    I haven't had a chance to read and absorb much of the technical stuff you have on your site. I'm still in la la old web site wonderland. We had been trying to launch our new site using and found our web host was absolutely incapable of understanding the "cname" instructions to move to squarespace.

    We dumped that idea and are now trying to get up and running directly on and having technical difficulty.

    All we're trying to do is get an up-to-date web site that's not static. I wouldn't have thought it would be this hard, but once that's up, we should be able to fully engage.
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    1. 12/4/2006 10:31 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      You're doing a fine job newbie Diane... I admit I am one too... the four month anniversary past yesterday... if you're looking for website / blog solutions, check with Mary at RSSPieces and Steve at Ubertor... both are very helpful.

      Reply to this
      1. 12/5/2006 6:15 AM Diane Cipa wrote:
        Wow. I can't believe you have only been blogging for four months!! You are doing a great job of it, Pat. I'll be drinking lots of quinko tea to light my brain up so I can understand all of this and try to catch up.
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