Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Long Time Coming

Something supremely cool is about to happen. Tomorrow, a new media website called Open Source Media (OSM for short) will launch. Normally when you say "media website," there's a temptation to zone out for a second. (There's a reason why only journalists and bloggers read Editor and Publisher - Ed.) No worries here: This site is going to attempt to blend standard journalism with blog commentary. In other words, what I currently have to go to about 14 different websites to see can now be found in one. Nice.

Roger L. Simon (whose blog isn't in the Blogroll, but always very good) and Charles Johnson co-founded the venture, and although both are conservatives, OSM will feature bloggers from every part of the political spectrum. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, The Nation editor David Corn, and roughly 70 other Web journalists have agreed to participate. OSM itself will link to blog postings, carry news feeds from the wires, and form blog-like discussion panels on major news events.

Given that the top bloggers are some of the best commentators out there, I have a really good feeling about how this will turn out. A few years from now, we may view tomorrow as a turning point for journalism. At the moment, only the most interested readers browse more than a couple of blogs per day; there just isn't enough time for most of us to read more than that. Also, some of the less Internet-savvy users still haven't caught on to blogs. And if you use a 56K modem, you're most likely thanking your god of choice right now, because many large blogs (especially Instapundit) rely too heavily on links for casual readers with slow connections. I've always tried to keep gratuitous links out of my blog as much as possible for that reason.

I'll put a link to Open Source Media in my template permanently as soon as it launches. I'm not sure exactly what URL they'll use, but I just tried www.opensourcemedia.com and got an administrator page. So I guess that would be as good a guess as any.

UPDATE (11/16/05): The website just launched at 10:00 this morning! But it's not at the .com I noted above (although I'm now kind of curious as to what the previous address could be). Point your browser directly to www.osm.org. It's somewhat sparse at the moment, but I like where it's heading.

ANOTHER UPDATE (11/17/05): According to OSM, opensourcemedia.com is owned by them, but they aren't using that because they "do not consider Open Source Media to be [a] protectable name by anyone...which is why it's not our name." So apparently, even though OSM stands for Open Source Media, the name itself has no significance beyond three letters. Riiiight. This is why I really hate copyright laws sometimes.

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