Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Era of White Noise

Yesterday I went to a Social Media Week panel hosted by Barbarian Group on “Technologists as Publishers.” The whole thing was good, but what especially stuck out was a quote from Rob Harles from Bloomberg Paul Berry, CTO of the Huffington Post (at least I think he’s the one who made this point). Anyway, he said we’re in an era of white noise content. I think it’s a super interesting thought. When you look at something like Gawker’s redesign you get this combination of original reporting and enough other stuff (links, videos, pictures) to keep people satiated for a day.

The idea is made all the more amusing to me in the face of this quote from Nick Denton on what he calls “fake news”:

To follow the daily or hourly news cycle is the media equivalent of day-trading: it’s frenzied, pointless and usually unprofitable. I’d much rather read an item which just showed me the photos or documents. And if you’re going to write some text, take a position or explain something to me. Give me opinion or reference; just don’t pretend you’re providing news. That’s not news.

I guess the difference is one of label: Are you calling it news or filling?

February 9, 2011