A Note to Jeff Jarvis of Buzz Machine

I tried to leave a comment on this excellent post from Jeff Jarvis on Buzz Machine. For some reason I got an error message the first time I posted, and then got a duplicate comment warning when I tried again.

Jeff had taken issue with Brian Williams’ approach to interactivity on the NBC Nightly News broadcast. Here’ my comment for Jeff:

I agree completely with your comments. I’m glad NBC is offering its content as a podcast (at least placing its wares in a place that’s more convenient for me, so I can watch on the bus in the morning), but when I saw this mailbag segment Friday I, too, struggled with dyspepsia.

Reading kudos from viewers, utopian “We are the World” suggestions and one lame complaint about choice of tie color and pattern isn’t media glasnost.

At least Bill O’Reilly, whatever you think of him, usually reads a sampling of hate mail and plaudits, to show that “if everyone is mad at you, you must be doing something right.” That’s not great either, but at least it’s a step above this.

Have you checked out Brian Williams’ blog? I haven’t yet (will probably head over there now), but I wonder if that’s interactive to the point that it lets people leave comments.

If it is, maybe you could post a link to your post on his blog.

The big networks aren’t going to turn the keys over to what still is an audience of 8-9 million for their over-the-air program that still commands tens of thousands of dollars per second for ad revenue.

I know you’re saying it formerly was an audience and it used to be content, but if there is going to be real interactivity it’s going to come in a related blog, not in the broadcast.

So maybe I overstated a bit when I started by saying “I agree completely.” I do agree this kind of “pick a few notes from the mailbag” is a waste, but I don’t think we’ll see what you’re advocating in the broadcast program.

The good news is people like us have ways of talking back (as you did). Five years ago we wouldn’t have had a chance.

Are you going to post this on YouTube? I’m wondering why you use embedded QuickTime instead of YouTube. It would seem the BuzzMachine could get even more buzz if people could include your video in their blogs.

This comment has gotten a lot longer than I had intended…so I’m going to post on my blog, too. ;-)

Thanks for all you do.

Maybe this will work in Jeff’s blog as a trackback.

Meanwhile, Jeff, if you’re seeing this, I did just go over to Brian Williams’ blog, and he does have a place for comments. Maybe you could leave a comment there with a link to your post.

I don’t know whether it will get past comment moderation. They post this disclaimer:

All comments must be approved before appearing in the thread; time and space constraints prevent all comments from appearing. We will only approve comments that are directly related to this post, use appropriate language and are not attacking the comments of others.

It’s worth a shot, don’t you think? I can see that they would have heartburn about putting criticism of their program on their high-priced broadcast platform, but if they are interested at all in any kind of real conversation, it would seem a comment from you, and a link to what you said on your blog, would be a minimum level of engagement.

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