Monday, August 17, 2009

to interrupt the "yes! great idea!" chorus to "kottu print" has put forward the idea of publishing some of the posts in sri lankan kottu blog aggregator (which he administer and own) as a section of sunday leader newspaper.

almost all responses to this idea published at the time of writing were in agreement and failed to make the obvious objections. bloggers who wrote them should ask themselves why they failed to object? don't leave all objections to authority to be made by a "pariah" (to the kottu cocoon) like me, who bc of other quarrels may be suspected of mixed motives.

i wrote a comment at about 11 am, with a small addition about an hour later. those as usual have not appeared (as owner of blog indi.padashow has a perfect right to not publish my comments and only publish yes comments if that is what he wants). by same logic i have a perfect right to taunt him for wanting only yes comments, as i did on twitter. lol
btw here are my personal twitter account and this blog's twitter account. for more information on them go here.

(update: blogger rehani in comment with time stamp 2009-08-17 12:13:18 ( few min after my witter taunt ) has made some of the points i made)

but since i think points i made there were valid (imo) and perhaps need general consumption i will make them here in a post (i will also publish the original unedited comments at the bottom as well, though they basically say the same.)

bad idea!

it is a bad idea to publish blog posts created for a new medium on old failing newspaper medium.

one of results will be curtailing of new modes of expression so that they fit in with the restrictions of old medium.

i am not just speaking of non availability of multi media formats that most blog posts incorporate, though that should also be noted.

publishing for a newspaper will involve editors, editorial policies, and style guides (don't know whether leader has them but most newspapers do) both explicit and implicit. blog posts that will be published will be included or excluded and edited according to those policies, whatever indi says now. blogs on the other hand allow bloggers to express their ideas, reflections, opinions, satire, whatever,... without restraint, using whatever style they want.

but so what? you might object; ppl who keep on writing in a manner deemed unsuitable by editors of newspaper will not lose anything .they will still have the blog while ppl who conform will have another medium of expression. (and let us not forget that lot of bloggers can be classed as failed or wanna be newspaper writers. they will welcome the opportunity.)

yes. but i am not objecting to this on behalf of any of those ppl, but as a reader and appreciator of blogs (from world over) in contrast to newspapars. when ppl conform to newspaper restrictions their writing will change, and their readers will lose. we should also note that as a medium, blogs have been immensely successful and newspapers are failing. mainly bc readers do not get what they want from newspapers.

it is a bit like comparing a free market economy with a planned regulated economy, favored by socialists. in one side there is free unrestricted competition, and readers will decide. what ppl want to read will last or will find niche markets/readers. on the other side, decision will be with editors who will favor what they think their newspaper readers want to read.

in other words, if this idea is successful (a big if), for a time (best it can hope for), and lot of bloggers try to conform (as they have a right to do) to inevitable explicit and implicit restrictions, in order to see themselves in print (and/or to get the money) the blog readers will lose. sri lankan blogosphere and ultimately sri lanka will be poorer for it.

we should encourage new medium to its full potential, instead of restricting it to limits of an old medium.


i have some further objections

i doubt whether anyone with any decent principles will want to get published in sunday leader newspaper. that is a paper that made its name through slander, blackmail, and all sort of other dirty stuff. it is also failing, with relatively few advertisements (bc of limited and falling circulation).

it is already possible to get bloggers to publish if anyone wants them in newspapers; ask them! if a newspapers want blog posts as articles they should contact the specific writers concerned and ask for the posts to be rewritten to fit that medium. simple. btw bloggers who agree to this should be paid the normal rate not some low rate.

the top 10 at kottu (one of the proposed selective criteria) can be easily manipulated.

this happened to one of my posts in feb 2007, ironically on the subject of kottu (which generated other posts in other blogs) when someone (for reasons unknown) sent my post to top of the list in a clearly artificial way. this was confirmed by log in my blog. (btw i informed all concerned through email as it was occurring).

while such manipulations were not repeated for my posts (yes my posts do sometimes end up in list still. but surprisingly that is probably bc some ppl read them in spite of their boring length it seems), all indications are that problem was not fixed (even though the fix is pretty simple). the kottu list can still be manipulated. in fact if there is an open permission, this can be demonstrated by sending any random post to the top of list.

so this selective criteria is a no-no.

how to implement this bad idea to least objections.
in case these ppl are determined to implement this bad idea, here are some steps that must be taken.

1/ the editor of some sort has to make a selection to avoid manipulation.

2/ bloggers must be asked for consent and allowed to reedit their own articles to conform to old media format.

3/ they should be published with disclaimer/description like the following

"these articles are blog posts of note that appeared on kottu aggregator in past week as selected by editor and published with consent and editing by original writers".

these step will mitigate some objections and will be truthful to boot (rather than pretending they are the popular posts or true reflection of sri lankan blogosphere etc).

but to repeat, this is a bad idea to begin with.

here are the original censored comments.
not a good idea

bad to publish blog posts created for a new medium on an old failing newspaper medium.
( quite apart from being published in one specific newspaper, which is short on ads=circulation, and which made a name through lies and blackmails and other such stuff. not a place to be seen for some ppl with principles ) .

one of results will be curtailing of new modes of expressions so that it fits in with the old restrictions of a failing medium ( i can see that some of the comments above already trending to such a policy )

if newspaper wants newpaper articles they should contact the specific writers concerned and ask for article rewritten to fit that medium (and make sure to pay the normal rate btw)

also the top ten posts at kottu can be easily manipulated . as happened to one of my posts,(in feb 2007, ironically on the subject of kottu, to points made in which indi here sort of replied ) when someone ( for reasons unknown ) sent it to top of the list in a clearly artificial way as was confirmed by log in my blog . (btw i informed all concerned through email etc ).

while such manipulations has not repeated to my posts later( tough posts do some times end up in list) , all indications are that this was not fixed ( even though the fix for this is pretty simple ) , and the kottu list can still be manipulated .

if there is an open permission, this can be demonstrated by sending any random post to the top .
to add a small point to what was already written (where? here is to hoping that comment will reappear !) , specifically requesting articles to be reedited takes care of some problems.
a disclaimer/description to the effect -"these articles are blog posts of note that appeared on kottu aggregator in past week as selected by editor and published with consent and editing by original writers"- or some such will cover most objections .and will be truthful to boot ( rather than pretending they are the popular posts or true reflection of sri lankan blogosphere etc .


Anonymous said...

Someone wants to publish blogs in newspapers? WHY?

drac said...

I beg to differ, fixing click manipulation is very difficult. It is the same problem as click fraud in online advertising, and it is by no means a solved problem.

But I'm curious - besides the fact that bloggers may not necessarily write with a print medium in mind, why else do you object to articles appearing in print? I personally think it's a bad idea for many different reasons but as far as content goes, it is a net win for both sides - the newspaper gets to fill a few more pages (at a cut rate, probably) and bloggers get some additional mainstream exposure (which they crave, again probably).

I'm not considering the objections to the Sunday Leader as a vehicle for publishing these posts, for discussion's sake.

sittingnut said...

i think ach is doing a better job of checking click manipulation than kottu which is not protected at all as far as i saw and see.

i have no objection to blog post /articles appearing in print. my objection is that bloggers writing with newspaper in mind will change how they write .
they will be giving up some of their freedom (of their own free will of course ) in restricting to old medium. sri lankan blog readers will be the main losers .

this effect will depend whether (big if)this is successful, and lot of bloggers aim to get their posts into newspaper rather than writing for whatever reason they started the blog . it can well become a sort of a competition and ppl who conform most to editorial polices and styles "winning".

bc sri lanka has limited number of bloggers as of now and if this becomes some sort of standard setter of what will be called "quality", it can be quite detrimental to how blogs develop here.

bc newspaper articles can never do most of things blogs do and aim for, imo blogs and bloggers need to aim for more than being a part of a newspaper articles competition, even if each blogger's other aims are trivial and purely personal.

sittingnut said...

to add -
as you say most bloggers probably will love the exposure. and they have a right to crave that and even get it, if possible .

but it would be bad thing for sri lankan blogs when they aim to be cheap newspaper articles, instead realizing their full potential in new medium, to try to get to their varied objectives freely .

Nibras said...

Let Indi go to hell :P
Your energy is precious. Don't waste it !

Anonymous said...

I'm with Nibras, although you and I don't agree on anything these days (apart from how tasty our Sri Lankan food is), Indi is a self-serving schmuck. His articles these days are almost schizophrenic. He deletes posts, and frankly I haven't bothered to read his site for yonks.

It is a shame though that because he pretends to be a "moderate" he gets a lot of the so called moderate Sinhalese Diaspora moderate views supporting him.

It would be better for us to trash things out and deal with the reality of our opposing views than have a snake in the grass like Indi getting all the attention. Morquendi (who still lists you Sittingnut as a member of his blog) has NEVER, EVER reconciled to Indi.

As neither you nor Morq will tolerate Indi, and I know you would know more about his machinations than anyone else, it is a clear indication that he is a fraud.

He was forced to load me up to Kottu but took me down within months.

As I said regardless of our very strong disagreements machan, I am still allowed to write on this blog and have my say. That is liberty.

Now - listen to Arbis, let's move on and tell me if you'd like to be sitting in a tent, with not much roof let in the concentration camps. It is just not on Sittingnut and I do hope you are doing everything you can to change the situations around.

The inhumanity that is being shown around this situation is something that will stick to the Sinhalese like mud. The news, and pictures, and facts are getting out. Probably from other Sinhalese people. So for God's sake show some compassion and waste your time on these people not an slimely opportunist like Indi.


Anonymous said...

err sorry ...

So for God's sake show some compassion and waste your time on these people not an slimely opportunist like Indi.

I meant to say instead ...


Thanks machan!


Anonymous said...

Hey sittingnut, something unrelated but interesting

CPA Executive Director receives death threats

This reminds to me what VIC posted some time back:

How much of hoax do you think this is?

I believe the following comments from DailyMirror sums up this "story" nicely:

I think this guy has taken his fist step to get Visa. It is better if he leave Sri Lnaka. I hope that one of his masters will surely take him, because he was a obedient servant and did what they want.
Posted By: TDDC

Why didn't you complain to the law enforcement authorities before you make a public statement to the world. We are not stupid to believe that, in the present world, any one who wants to kill someone would give him prior notice by post or telephone or any other manner that he will be killed. This Executive Director does not want to creat a file for asylum because all Western Countries and Australia are ready to give him full status in their countries for the service ED has done for them. He wants to show the world that he is not sleeping.

Posted By: WP

Paki is laying the first foundation stone. Next step is to ask UK, Canada, EU States, USA etc for urgent visa to leave Sri Lanka on grounds of death threats. Good for him, he was a slave to these westeners, did everything to their bidding and was a traitor to Sri Lanka, now let them look after him and his family. GOOD RIDDANCE OF BAD RUBBISH

Posted By: E.N.Gland