The blogosphere's abuzz on the ethics of the interview in our digital age. It all began when Wired Magazine's Fred Vogelstein requested a phone interview with Jason Calacanis and Dave Winer. Calacanis and Winer responded that to avoid prior experience of being misquoted, they'd prefer to do it by email or on their blogs. When Vogelstein insisted on starting by phone, all hell broke loose as Calacanis blogged the correspondence and the Wired team fired right back.
A more sober Calacanis now recognizes that "this whole... stand off has really developed into a very interesting debate on the future of news." Jeff Jarvis weighs in on the matter, calling for a whole new model to replace the now "obsolete" interview:
There’s a better way. Try combining the Calacanis and Winer methods: Perform the interview in writing, in public. As Winer says: “So if you want to work together, let’s find a new way to do it. I’m fed up with the old system. The way we start the reboot is to do all our work out in the open, real-time. Not via email, but in full view of everyone.”
While Scott Karp has a point that the old model isn't entirely broken (there's a certain beauty to the live, face-to-face discussion when done right), I tend to agree with Jarvis and Winer. Today's tools enable the center of gravity to move away from the journalist and toward the community - interviewer, interviewee and public. Given that, the journalist's role in many interviews should be redefined as informed participant, facilitator, and quality-control monitor. We'd all profit if this were the case.
For this very reason, we recently launched a series of online, real-time, reader-driven interviews with companies of interest to our readership. We provide the platform for a new type of discourse - check out our most recent interactive Q&As and let us know your thoughts on the Seeking Alpha approach to interview 2.0:
- Dick Costolo, Co-Founder and CEO of FeedBurner
- All Seeking Alpha Interactive Q&As
Note that some of our interactive Q&As are sponsored by the company that is interviewed, to expand awareness and understanding of their products or businesses. Interested in doing a Q&A on Seeking Alpha? Drop a line to contact-editorial [at] seekingalpha.com .