Jonathan Prince on 16 Feb 2001 08:26:04 -0000

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<nettime> C-SPAN & The failure of the BIG portals

My morning pleasure is watching/listening to C-SPAN
(the cable channel that shows the US Congress live and other press 
conference stuff in DC - just some info for non-USAers)

The morning show is Washington Journal ( which has guest reporters, 
politicians and others who take 2-3 hours of Call-Ins from Americans 
who care about politics.

It certainly isn't a good focus group of 'average' Americans, but 
ones who give a shit about something - left or right or 'center.'  So 
it is fun to see what people think and know about outside the DC 
beltway. Often their observations are much much more astute than any 
of the experts on the show.

One of the topics this morning was 'What Is Your Favorite Website For 
News'.  And while some mentioned there was little mention 
of the BIG portals, I don't think anyone even mentioned more 
than once.

Instead people mentioned small sites that may have a mere tens of 
thousands of users instead of millions.  Some representing a 
ethno/religious/racial bent rather than purely political - but almost 
all mentioned were slanted towards the views of the user.

People called passionately about sites like 
and even more obscure sites like and

Watch the archived video:
   [ push the slider thingy on your RealPlayer to about
     34 minutes to skip to the News Website segment ]

Being an arm-chair cyber-anthropologist, I'd say that politically 
interested people want news combined with an online community of 
similar views.  Not a new observation, I know.

Others sites mentioned were:

unfortunately no one called to mention  :-)

Enjoy the links

   - jonathan

Jonathan Prince  - it's bad for you - he's bad for everyone - stupid wars are bad
'When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you
knew exactly who they were. It was us versus them, and
it was clear who them was. Today, we are not so sure who
the they are, but we know they're there.' - GW Bush

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