Co/Lab: ASU's project to make news "more robust and valuable for all participants"

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For all participants? Are the folks from Breitbart participating?

Good luck Mr. Gillmor. Changing human behavior and reshaping economic forces is a tough job.


It’s an interesting idea, but I think it’s probably doomed to failure.

Human beings, in general and left to their own, are simple stimulus response machines. Thus:

… is probably a fool’s errand.

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I think it depends on what taking aim means. Maybe it’s about convincing slow moving news outlets to be more agile. Harness the power of the split-second/sharing culture for themselves. Nobody understands the power and reach of that culture better than Facebook and they are a founding sponsor.

On the other hand, Facebook being a major sponsor of this initiative seems like a giant conflict of interest.

Long, hard road to travel to reach these goals.

From what I can tell? In news, if you say it, it’s true.

Why am I suddenly scared.

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We’ll be working mostly in and around the place where supply meets demand.

My gosh how disruptive! That’s the coolest phrase of the year! I am totally convinced it means something awesome.


Why would you be scared of a Facebook sponsored group trying to make the news more robust and valuable?

You might also be interested in my group that is trying to fix problems around gun-related violence. It’s sponsored by Smith & Wesson.

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It’s an interesting point, but I’m not sure it can be done. Important issues tend to be complex, and I don’t think the split-second stimulus response mechanism can be harnessed to understand them. Yes, the traditional news organizations can switch to click-bait headlines, for instance (and they largely have) to get people to click on the articles in a speed-news way, for example, but that doesn’t enhance understanding.

Fundamentally, I think the split-second culture is unable to understand complexities, and I fear, empowered with such technologies, that the human experiment may be more-or-less over. Our neurology – honed for split-second flight-or-flight decisions for survival – just isn’t up for the task at hand.

An article that’s never read doesn’t do anything to enhance understanding.

The headline is a pitch for the article. If you are trying to raise money for your business, you are going to always be tailoring your pitch to the audience. It’s time that newspapers start doing that as well and drop the archaic one-size-fits-all approach.

If you are going to publish on Facebook, then use Facebook. Tailor the headline and the article to fit the individual. If the NYT has a story about changes to health care in the US and that’s something you care about, then you should be offered a complete, detailed story. I’m not that interested in it, so offer me an Axios-style five sentence summary with a link I can click through to get the full story. Facebook knows my religion, my political preferences, my age, race, income, shopping habits, driving habits, and more and all that should be used to make a story that I want to read.

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