The Race to be Wrong — Is it Right??

reddit, its (r)editors and “old-fashioned” media channels all took negative hits during the recent tragic Boston bombing and its frantic aftermath.

Interestingly enough, if you cut through the digibabble and pontificating punditry, the issue is actually the same – the need we have to provide the scoop – to be the first – to have the 15 minutes or 15mgs of fame as the source of information that everyone wants but no one yet knows.

Some would say that the CNN and other broadcast news problem is the need to fill 24 hours of airtime with meaningful content – while the digital issue is how to verify the source when torrents of information assault the system.

Stay with me here – cut through the crap and there is no difference. In both instances we have a need to communicate, a need to share, a need to be first, a need to own what no one else has.

In both instances – unverified information from sketchy sources caused bad, wrong, invalid and in some instances hurtful information to be shared. In both instances we distributed “onwards misinformation” – WOM – digital and analog perpetuated the problem and in the end – an old guy who noticed blood on his boat cracked the case.

Bottom line – the power of digital communication and digital sharing is akin to wearing Iron Man’s power suit. It takes our human need and behavior…exponentially increases it, and at its best opens up new and exciting opportunities for problem solving – in fact, that is the true promise of reddit – and it works.

The mistake is to think that the reddit blow up in any way denigrates what they can do or that the mindless chatter we saw on CNN and other broadcast channels in any way denigrates what they do. (Jon Stewart’s take on this is a must see.)

And finally, read up on Dewey-Truman – you know my view – connecting the dots backwards propels us forwards….

At the end of the day…no one person or channel or anything has a total and complete lock on veracity…listen:

“No one can be right all of the time, but it helps to be right most of the time.”
Robert Half

And there you have it. We need to stop making excuses.  Lose the digibabble and figure out how to better vet our incredibly expanded and expanding range of sources. If we don’t? Dewey-Truman will haunt us – exponentially….

What do you think?



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