Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

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How popular are we?

OK, this is partial because of the business relationships involved. And I bet it's mainly a plug for the Long Bets Foundation (created to "raise the quality of our collective foresight by incorporating money and accountability into the process of debate" - hmmmm, do those two naturally go together?) but...

According to Wired, Dave Winer, CEO of, and Martin Nisenholtz, CEO of New York Times Digital, have registered a public $1,000 wager on whether weblogs or the New York Times Web site will be the more popular source of news by 2007.

They're estimating 100,000 blogs (how many *active* though?!)

A curious fact: Winer's company makes software for running blogs, which 'coincidentally' Nisenholtz' company recently licensed.

The actual bet is on whether blogs or the Times Web site gets more hits in a Google search five years from now.

Winer: "We're returning to what I call amateur journalism: created for the love of writing, without expectation of financial compensation. This process is fed by the changing economics of the publishing industry, which is employing fewer writers and editors."
Sometimes fewer, sometimes as many at lousy rates: I'm doing OK freelance but I wish I was doing better!

Nisenholtz expects readers to stick with sources of "unbiased, accurate and coherent" information. But then he wants to get the blogging community to do it on his site, which he counts as extending "our ability to act as a host for all sorts of opinions, and weblog technology might well be useful in doing so ...Incorporating weblogs and whatever else will enable our reporters and editors to present authoritative coverage of the most important events of the day, immediately and accurately."

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