danbricklin.com/log

Reactions to the Researching Web Posting item
There have been a variety of reactions to my entry January 12, 2000 titled "A researched web posting takes much longer". I'm posting them here to have a permanent URL if others want to point to it.

Dan Gillmor linked to it in regards to fact checking in his eJournal for the San Jose Mercury.
Leonard Grossman, whose query sparked this whole thing, writes to me in email (posted with permission):

You raise interesting questions but they don't help the reader very much. Perhaps, some thought needs to be given to the level of checking that needs to be given to various types of material and to whether the same level applies to material to which you simply point than to something you endorse. And should you let your reader know which you are doing?

And perhaps there is a difference between asserting that "here is a an appalling article" and "here is an article relating the appalling conditions in ...," and   "That is an appalling movie."

Weblogs may be informal and rushed, and not much different than cocktail conversation, but once comments appear in a blog, they are frozen in time for all to read. And of course they may reach a vastly larger audience.  As you know, I objected more to Jorn's injudicious selection of pullquotes and uncritical approval of what he was quoting than I would have to his merely pointing to the article in a more neutral fashion.   

Lynette Millet linked to my article in her Medley log on January 12, 2000 (permanent address will be here, but if not there yet, look here). She discusses the issue and tells what she does. Her forum has had a lot of activity on the subject, too.

Joel Reed writes:

...I was struck this evening after reading the most recent posting to your log, the issue about researching. I agree with you almost in entirety. However I also believe, depending on the scope (CNN vs. "insert blog name") that some personal responsibility is required to accept any statement as "verified". I think in a society in which we have such diverse media outlets, from "Joe Average Weblog" to traditional sources such as CNN, greater critical thinking skills a must. I remember in school when doing reports or research, "good" sources almost always meant encyclopedia's, newspapers, books, etc. Nowadays with the internet you have an almost infinite amount of sources and you can't make blanket statements about "good" and "bad". For example, I could be researching the early years of Apple Computer. I could read about it in the encyclopedia and books or I could even go to Steve Wozniak's homepage. Does what Steve say mesh with what Britannica says? Whose right? Is either wrong? What kind of source am I looking for? First person? Unbiased thrid-party? Woz may know what he thought but can he be accurate about what Steve Jobs thought? The decision I think really has to be left up to the individual. Certainly there is a responsibility on the publishers side to attain some level of accuracy, but I think almost an equal portion has to be left to the reader to accept or reject. Sometimes I'm worried when I hear someone say "Oh I know it's true...I heard it on the Internet...".

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