Thursday, June 12, 2003

An interesting piece at Fox News' site, of all places, highlights some of the potential for "horizontality" that is being highlighted by the weblogs movement. "Horizontality" is another way of saying that content doesn't have to come from well-established distribution channels to be authoriative and respected, but also implies that top-down distribution of many things - such as authority and power - fall into question equally in this environment. The horizontality factor is always present in human relations, but with Web-enabled content technologies there are now ways in which individuals and groups can act with instituional authority on a wide range of issues. Content providers, though, remain fairly inert in the face of this challenge. A colleague relayed to me recently a conversation he had with a major publisher, in which the senior executive described his trade thusly: "We build books." In the face of such thinking from content authorities, it's no wonder that horizontality has it appeal.
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