Like many good rants, David Johnson's complaint about lack of community in public broadcasting online efforts has a point, though like many writers he focuses on the web efforts of our national organizations rather than those of local stations where there are a few (though, alas, only a few) efforts to build online communities. Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media, for example, has been using gather.com and helped launch it. Johnson writes:
... But at least NPR has a strategy and has carved a very nice niche for itself in the newsscape. I miss audio theater, variety and music, but I stand on my seat and applaud them for bringing another alternative to the increasing homogenous information diet. I have no idea what PBS is doing online except for producing the most confusing jumble of microsites and out-of-date program guide I have ever seen. Some of the problems are due to the decentralized structure: Most nationally televised content is produced by a handful of PBS stations who naturally are responsible for digital presence. Still, content sharing, nodal structures and collaboration are the earmarks of the Web, and if PBS stations can’t play together, that’s just not right. The very concept of public broadcasting should be a natural fit with the open source philosophy. ...
Link: Lost Remote.
Updated Sunday evening:
Just noticed that gather.com, mentioned above, has received additional investor funding. See Rafat Ali's story, Hearst, McGrawHill Invest in Gather.com; Total Raise $10 Million. Link: paidContent.org. Also see Pete Cashmore's story on it, Gather.com Gathers More Cash. Link: Mashable! --Dennis