This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How Ted Nelson Changed the Journalism Business

Stocks in this article: AOLTSTIBM

This means any publisher, or authority figure, who thinks they can stand above this medium soon learns better. In the mid-1990s, at the Atlanta Press Club, I heard Cox Enterprises Chair James Cox Kennedy predict he'd win the Web by simply "repurposing" existing content. I had to hide my laughter behind a pillar.

If you think journalism means writers, editors or publishers can dictate to the market, any market, then the Internet has been a horror show. If you think a journalism job is a sinecure, that it confers status, that being a talking head makes you better than anyone around you, the Internet has been your comeuppance.

This medium levels the playing field. It destroys hierarchies. It rejects authority. At its very heart is the idea you can fly away from this page at the touch of your hand, or turn a nobody into somebody by "word of mouse."

Want to make money online? Build community. Nurture linking, nurture the people who link to you, build a community around a shared industry, place or lifestyle. Don't just talk, listen.

That's why sites like The Huffington Post , now part of AOL (AOL), and Seeking Alpha are doing so well, sometimes even at the expense of companies we love like TheStreet.Com (TST).

When you put barriers in front of comments or access, as so many print newspapers do, you lose. So the number of jobs goes up, just their locations change. Notice the affiliations claimed by the talking heads you see on TV. Most are now working at Web sites that encourage community.

This remains hard for old-style print journalists to get their arms around. They assume that because we're filling Web pages with words we should be the final authority, that if we make a mistake it's an unpardonable sin. But we all make mistakes, and the beauty of this medium is how easily mistakes can be corrected, how many fact-checkers there are, and how grateful we -- the writers -- need to be to them.

To you.

You're not just readers. You're not just users. You have the power here. Even 35 years on, it drives publishers and editors crazy. But if you can understand that the crazy commenters are just hurting their own causes and that the others are offering you free wisdom, it's wonderful.

Let me summarize. This is not a column. This is a blog post. A column is the final word about something. A blog post is the start of discussion, an invitation for you to engage, with me, with the story, with one another, providing a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

So when someone asks me who taught me journalism, I just say Ted Nelson, and smile.

At the time of publication, the author had no investments in companies mentioned in this article. .

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,679.19 +217.87 1.32%
S&P 500 1,953.07 +25.96 1.35%
NASDAQ 4,455.9560 +73.1090 1.67%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs