As I mentioned last night, Alan gave a speech at the Associate Press Managing Editors conference yesterday. He has posted the full text of his speech
at CommandPost. I think it's something all bloggers - and blog watchers - should read.
Mavens are information geeks … they live on information, love to surface new information, and love to share that information with others. These are the people who are always bringing you new restaurant recommendations, new books to read, new products to use.
Mavens and connectors have always been out there … the only problem was that their ability to connect and spread the message was primarily contained to those people with whom they lived or worked.
The Internet, and weblogs in particular, have “lit up” the otherwise latent power of mavens and connected them in a very real way. A weblog is nothing more than a megaphone for a maven … and the Internet serves to make mavens instantly connected to the rest of the world … and more important … to other mavens.
There’s a very important lesson here: bloggers should not be underestimated. They are not just average people … they are people who, long before blogs came along … had the ability to surface information and present it to others in a persuasive and compelling way. They are opinion leaders, and weblogs have only served to exponentially increase their reach and their power.
There’s a second lesson here: and it’s that weblogs, are also read by other mavens. And so there’s an accelerant effect for information flowing through the network. When something comes up in the blogosphere it’s talked about by a few thousand people who drive opinion for large networks of people around them … which is why the mainstream media ultimately has had to recognize issues raised by bloggers … they’re things people are talking about.
And there’s a third lesson: It’s that while the network kills brokers, it LOVES editors.
Mavens are editors … the people around them trust them to cull the information that’s out there and surface what’s worth attending to. I don’t bother to try every new restaurant in town … I rely on my local food maven to try them for me.
I think that in the newsroom of the future the role of the editor will change … from someone who works primarily as a gatekeeper of the facts with an interest in quality, to someone who “serves” the reader as a consumer based on an understanding of what readers will consider relevant
Read the rest.