Collaborative Editing

To me, when I look at the power of things like StockTwits, Wikipedia, Or Abnormal Returns. even Leafly. ..and our little site. I can’t help but be a bit giddy with anticipation about the innovation we are the verge of realizing.

This Twitter thing is NOT a fad. It’s a movement, an evolution in communication. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not some idealistic futurist. Frankly, I think we are about 32 bad days from Mad Max. But tomorrow, I can also watch David Hasselhoff rocking Hooked On A Feeling till my ears bleed. And my (absolutely unexplainable) non-life threatening NEED is satiated. So, I guess I feel like we should give innovation the respect it deserves, despite it’s shortcomings.

So, here we are.

The internet: the platform, the forum, and the medium for us to all collaborate and discuss. It’s changing everything. yes. Everything. Of course, robots are the ones to watch too. Robot cars, Robot Surgeons and Astronauts. Heck, a robot vaccuums my house, and does a damn good job. And of course, Ro(bot)s trade our markets so fast that we can’t even blink to see the moments that make millions.

And our next level of technological awakening is all based on a network of collaboration. But it’s moving way too fast some days.

Companies like THE GAP will spend months of meetings and $5 million dollars for a logo;  only to change it back 4 days later. Because of the instant feedback.

Of course, they also received about $15 million dollars worth of “free” press for the snafu.

I suppose that’s the cool thing about being a juggernaut and fumbling around. Oh…to know the feeling. But it is a brave new world.  Remember New Coke? I do. It sucked.  Think about all those awkward moments. The meetings.  Resources launched. carbon burned.  hot air spent. investor money scorched. And how many, I told ya so’s along the way? Not enough obviously, it took them seven years.

Today, we can index it. everything. in seconds. ok, days. It just a matter of making the connections.

‘Collaborative’ works in new ways we don’t fully understand.

To me, the beauty of collaborative for news is immense.  And scary.  Think about our little algorithm.  It’s nothing more lines of code and a math equation. No editor, most times, automated news. Pretty cool. I wake up and see last night’s conversation played out in the news feed. I just clean up for the things “only humans” can infer (for now). Alan (as we call the algorithm) still can’t create non-linear links like the human mind.  And algorithm-based news would be absolutely terrifying if we were mindless sheep ready to be manipulated into inflated confidence or fear merely from what the feed produced.

Of course, that’s the ‘trust factor’ a news source earns over time and what a healthy democracy challenges.

Writers, News Junkies & Editors search for The Stories, we search for relevance.

An algorithm alone in the forest is useless. We need writers, always will. We need editors not to spell check, but fact check –to be smarter.– Today’s linkfests are the new celebrity endorsement. And News Junkies, the parasites of the system, while usually painful to look at in full sunlight, do inject eye popping headlines into the news cycle.

Personally, I think the internet is the salvation of great journalism. Writing is absolutely NOT dead. I’d say the opposite. The bar has been raised.  The gauntlet dropped. Two years ago I didn’t know anything about the likes of one of the quickest minds around in Josh Brown or the Eclectic genius of Meb Faber. A writer named Felix?! That’s his real name?! And even I have an instant audience, with typos.

And speaking of typos– how about Joe Weisenthal? The man does not sleep, he’s a news consumption animal. Most do not have the discipline or even a distant cousin of DNA necessary to pull of what he does. He’s a news vampire.  Of course, it’s not sustainable, but he’s sacrificing for us.  And for all of this access? how much would you pay?

We get all of it for Free?!

The world’s great minds are more accessible than ever.

Of course, I suppose I’m all cliquish. But I do find that it’s easier to curate a conversation when you know who the players are, and what they bring to the table.

Seeing news in a new way.

It’s all keyword based working with Alan.

Think about it. You watch the news. You read bloomberg and marketwatch. Maybe even your RSS reader. When I login, I see ‘China’ referenced 25 times. And when I drill down further into China, I see a list of the next most relevant words associated with “China” and new links, often paired with likely matches of other sites discussing the same topic(s). My writing probably isn’t doing it justice. It’s a completely novel experience. And really cool. That’s why I get so excited about what we are doing in our labs. The end result is what you see in The Wall Street Sheet.

So, when I think about what the next 20 years are going to bring… imagine.  Today, we are the index funds of news.  That concept didn’t even remotely exist in the human experience 20 years ago. And we’re just getting started…