Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Avoid becoming a digital islander

How did we come to think like that?

That google constitutes the sum of global and personalised knowledge, so if it's not on the web, chances are it never happened.

It's a specious argument and some clever people seem to be falling for it. Our work and training as digital journalists must circumvent this, otherwise it reduces narrative and knowledge to populist notes.

So the challenge for the emerging convergers cum journalists is to acknowledge this and provide context to what they do and chances at this junction is that it may exist offline.

Even if you take the renaissance as your starting point, chances are there is an antecedent. This introduces the prospect of curating. Certainly too if you want to appeal to different factions.

If you take the 80s, a virile period from the heady 60s, much of what we see today has its seeds then. As a Doctorate researcher, you learn to unlearn this sense of  hubris and rebuild rhetorical arguments based on recalcitrant facts.

Recalcitrant because this knowledge may not exist superficially. It is your job to find it, and once you have to carve an argument that validates or disproves your point.

Similarly, if the extent to which we critique our work is based on whims and a superficiality of journalistic norms; " I don't like that because...." it adds little to advance knowledge.

One of the sessions, I'm delivering to a business publisher delves into criticism and cognitivism

Why do people come to your website seems a superficial question? But it begs a deeper cognitive consciousness. What do they want? How can they be rewarded? What is the exemplar?

And how does that question cohere with external  factors, what one might refer to as the social zeitgeist - the propellant of human action. We're in an digi-assimilation era, attempting to bridge different schematic worlds: analogue and digital, wealth and equality, despair and greater despair, ethnics and natives.

The zero sum digital journalists understand and forms links, the analogue turned multiplatform journalist acting on the technology, understands little within the changes in philosophy.

The technology may enable us to share assets, but socially, the era that envelopes us must warrant different human behaviour.

These issues are pertinent across discipline, Online design and writing, and video making and videojournalism, two fields I'm enamoured by, but are fighting rear end battles to truly emerge from the noughties into the 21st century.

They resurrect themes of being from Heidegger and Hume, desires and reason, shaped for a new generation. My mantra. we need to dig a little deeper.