Knee-jerk of the week

19 December 2006

Dan Gillmor is either a stranger to the art of the magazine cover-line or didn't think too hard when providing his commentary on Time magazine's cover about the sudden realisation that a lot of people can now put their stuff online and that, apparently, gangs of machine-gun touting record company executives no longer force consumers to buy Michael Jackson CDs.

Amid the congratulations for writing about blogging - something that Gillmor likes a lot - he comes out with a sentence that makes you wonder whether he has ever considered what is in the mind of someone who reads a magazine or, indeed, anything:

But there’s a tiny bit of reality in the fact that the cover didn’t say “Us” instead of “You” — in part because it was a vestige of the magazine’s traditional, royal thinking wherein they told us everything they thought we needed to know (and what to think about it). Our role: We bought it or didn’t.

It didn't say "Us", I have no doubt, because it would have been the most confusing cover-line ever committed to print. Anyone scanning the magazine racks would have wondered why Time staff in a fit of hubris voted themselves their people of the year. And we'd have Gillmor bitching about the "them and us" philosophy of that. Luckily for them, the editors at Time do at least consider what is in the mind of someone who is working out what they'd like to read at the airport. "You" was the obvious choice for that cover - which, in itself, was a bit obvious. But, ignoring that makes it easier to bang on about the ideology of what Gillmor now calls "citizen media".

So, it still seems strange, as Venture Voice points out, that the citizen media ideologues still need daddy's approval:

However, what does it say that a silly magazine award (published by the "M.S.M." no less) can still set the blogosphere a flutter?