Friday, January 13, 2006

Moving up the journalism value chain

Having just studied Michael Porter's value chain idea a bit and the notion of "moving up the value chain", the question arises how journalistic writing can move up the value chain using the web. Jakob Nielson addresses this:

"On the Web, the inverted pyramid becomes even more important since we know from several user studies that users don't scroll...writers can link to old articles instead of having to summarize background information in every is possible to link to full background materials and to construct digests of links to multiple treatments of an issue."

This all assumes that reliable, relevant, and concise background information is available online like it usually is at Wikipedia. In fact, "pedia" in general could be broken out as a concept, defined as a topically indexed background providing online source. Nielson continues:

"...the Web is a linking medium and weknow from hypertext theory that writing for interlinked information spaces is different than writing linear flows of text. In fact, George Landow,a Professor of English literature, coined the phrases rhetoric of departure and rhetoric of arrival to indicate the need for both ends of the link to give users some understanding of where they can go as wellas why the arrival page is of relevance to them."

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