In 2002, blogging evangelist Dave Winer made a long bet with New York Times executive Martin Nisenholtz: "In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times' Web site."

Today, Associated Press editors and news directors chose the top 10 news stories of the year, which makes it possible to determine who won the bet.

AP's No. 5: Chinese exports

The Times ranks 20th for the Nov. 30 article China Agrees to Remove Certain Export Subsidies. The weblog BloggingStocks ranks 19th for the Dec. 5 entry Chinese exports take off. Winner: Blogs.

AP's No. 4: oil prices

The Times ranks 15th for the Oct. 17 story Record Price of Oil Raises New Fears. The weblog BloggingStocks ranks 42nd for the Dec. 11 entry Is the Price of Oil 'Artificially' High? Winner: Times.

AP's No. 3: Iraq War

The Times ranks 20th for its special section on the war. The weblog Iraq War Today ranks 17th. Winner: Blogs.

AP's No. 2: mortgage crisis

The Times ranks first for the Sept. 2 story Can the Mortgage Crisis Swallow a Town? The user-generated weblog Digg ranks 19th for Monday's entry Top 5 Reasons Why the Mortgage Crisis = Global Warming, which links to a Dec. 17 blog entry on Solve Climate. Winner: Times.

AP's No. 1: Virginia Tech killings

The Times ranks 30th for an April 18 weblog entry, Updates on Virginia Tech, from The Lede: Notes on the News. The user-generated weblog Newsvine ranks ninth for today's weblog entry, Top News Story: Virginia Tech Killings, which is about AP's top 10 stories of 2007. Winner: Blogs.

So Winer wins the bet 3-2, but his premise of blog triumphalism is challenged by the fact that on all five stories, a major U.S. media outlet ranks above the leading weblog in Google search. Also, the results for the top story of the year reflect poorly on both sides.

In the five years since the bet was made, a clear winner did emerge, but it was neither blogs nor the Times.

Wikipedia, which was only one year old in 2002, ranks higher today on four of the five news stories: 12th for Chinese exports, fifth for oil prices, first for the Iraq war, fourth for the mortgage crisis and first for the Virginia Tech killings.

Winer predicted a news environment "changed so thoroughly that informed people will look to amateurs they trust for the information they want." Nisenholtz expected the professional media to remain the authoritative source for "unbiased, accurate, and coherent" information.

Instead, our most trusted source on the biggest news stories of 2007 is a horde of nameless, faceless amateurs who are not required to prove expertise in the subjects they cover.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Rogers,

Here's what I get from the conclusion of your post:

A Wiki trumps both blogs and media outlets

Wiki's are closer to on-line libraries while blogs and media portals are like Daily newspapers... the news rolls off the front page and into oblivion. So, unless there's been an amzingly popluar news event with a limit number of sources then the wiki will quickly rise to the top of a search since the Wiki has more permanence and is discovered and referenced more often than a blog or new portal.

Your comment on the authority of the writers for wikipedia is a cheap shot in my opinion. I think a Wiki can be polished and perfected by use and discussion. IMHO the content is useful and I go back often.

Dave Winer was predicting that individuals would out perform professional journalists for audience but what seems to have happened is that a lot of blogs started to look and act like columnists from the dailies. And some blogs began to look like news syndicates.

What develops readership/audience is still the quality and utility of the information. People seek the news that gives them the best value for the effort of finding it.


 

Truthiness

Rafe Colburn: Perhaps the requirement to cite sources trumps the requirement to provide credentials.


 

Would people with credentials spend hours documenting their knowledge for public benefit? Some do but many think there knowledge needs to be compensated for the sharing. Being a knowledge worker teaches most of us to use our knowledge judiciously for personal benefit: quid pro quo.

Just trying to get something beyond the usual Wikipedia bashing started here.


 

So it's Wiki 1, Blogs 2, NYT 3?

Sounds about right, though NYT ought to be more like 117th.


 

There's a big difference between SEO value & quality of content & reporting, no offense.I also think that it is somewhat short-sighted to not think that "old media" won't embrace the technologies of "new media".


 

oh, bollocks. Dave Winer is a self-aggrandizing, mediocre techie in love with the sound of his own voice. The NYT is created by professionals. Only the heads-up-arses blogosphere would think there's any comparision.


 

"Only the heads-up-arses blogosphere would think there's any comparision."

Of course, that wasn't the comparison being made, but who's counting.


 

This is quite remarkable when you think about it, because a single blog is like a columnist for the NY Times. So the NY Times, with a large number of writers, articles, and columns, ranks below the best single authors on selected topics.

My interpretation is that because of the large number of blog authors, some one will likely have a better story than the best story in the NY Times.

Wikipedia, with its multiple-author, vetted-checked-revised model, is better than either in terms of authority, and tends to get a lot of incoming links from people who cite it for background or reference. Typically, some number of individual writers will be much better than a wikipedia article, but the wikipedia article will get more links in total, so gets a higher ranking in google.


 

Rogers,

You're post is the second link on TechMeme. Gawker has used you as a primary source for a post one this thread.

You're beginning to smell like a real A-List source. Try not to get addicted to the "flow" that will result. It changes a person.


 

I wonder wether the above is a story about Google's algorithm.


 

Quick! Post something about Twitter!


 

"... our most trusted source on the biggest news stories of 2007 is a horde of nameless, faceless amateurs who are not required to prove expertise in the subjects they cover."

That's pretty much the definition of "journalist."

(Incidently, I speak from a position of authority, having hired many a nameless, faceless amateur who was not required to prove their expertise in the subjects they covered for many many years as a newspaper publisher.)


 

Interesting story, thanks.

However, according to the link below, Google boosted wikipedia by artificially inflating its rank. Run the search next year and perhaps knol will trump them all.

www.theregister.co.uk

"....Two years ago, the advertising giant's search engine was fighting a losing battle against spam. A perfect storm of ruthlessly effective SEO and wittering blogtards meant that Google's search engine was being swamped by noise - or "Goobage", as some call it....

...Then Google had a brainwave. Realizing that few searchers explore beyond the top three results, it decided to give a powerful boost to Wikipedia. Nevermind the 6 billion junk pages - Google need only ensure users clicked on the two million Wikipedia entries. As a consequence, Wikipedia entries rose to the top of the rankings. During 2006, Wikipedia entries eclipsed all others, and typically feature in the top three SERPs, or the top search result..."


 

Long Bet Winner: Weblogs vs. The New York Times

Die Wette aus dem Jahr 2002, dass 2007 bei den 5 Top-Newsbegriffen von 2007 Blogs bei Google "weiter oben" sind, gewinnen... 3:2 die Blogs ... und am meisten die Wikipedia. (Ich frag ich grad, wer die wohl gepusht hat, die Times oder die Blogger... na ja


 

You're beginning to smell like a real A-List source. Try not to get addicted to the "flow" that will result. It changes a person.

You have no idea. A-list bloggers get their own drinking fountains!


 

Blog didn't "win" on China exports. The news of the year was lead in toys, not Chinese cars.


 

You boys want to rethink this?

Long Bet Winner: Weblogs vs. The New York Times | Workbench In 2002, blogging evangelist Dave Winer made a long bet with New York Times executive Martin Nisenholtz: "In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top...


 

#1 Wikis

#2 Blogs

#3 Newspapers

That sounds about right for SEO and net natives but I think most people still look at newspapers for authority. And you can't deny they have the budget to research and break stories. Unless you are VCed blog (which in my mind takes you out of the "blog" category), breaking stories is almost impossible. It's still too costly.

BTW : There's an interesting thread over at MeFi about the faceless cabal that runs Wikipedia.


 

Title should be "Wikipedia more effectively SEO'd for Google Algorithm than NYTimes.com or popular Blog platforms."


 

Linkpost | 12.21.2007

Apple Kills Think Secret Publisher Nick Ciarelli Talks -- But he won't talk about the core of the case. Can an airline exec run Red Hat? You'd be surprised -- Make sure your kernel is in its upright...


 

"Your comment on the authority of the writers for wikipedia is a cheap shot in my opinion. I think a Wiki can be polished and perfected by use and discussion."

...and then, the content can be smudged and marred beyong recognition. Nothing is static on Wikipedia; not the rules, not the content, and certainly not the quality.

Here, I'll even "cite" Wikipedia for you:

en.wikipedia.org

There's articles that have "lost" featured article status, because of endless continuing tinkering and poking by people gaining mana and levelling up on Wikipedia.

"Usual Wikipedia Bashing", as far as I'm concerned, classifies the same as "Usual discussion of Wikipedia in any depth."


 

The problem with your last sentence (and part of the reason for the decline in MSM): "Instead, our most trusted source on the biggest news stories of 2007 is a horde of nameless, faceless amateurs who are not required to prove expertise in the subjects they cover."

Since when have journalists proven their expertise in the subjects they cover? I know that my dissatisfaction with journalism in my chosen profession is derives from their inability to report on the topics with any kind of competence. Usually their "journalism" is just a story hand fed to them by a PR agency.

At least the nameless and the faceless may have real experience in the topic at hand and/or less of an agenda to promote...


 

Isn't a significant amount of blogging driven though by stories published by the Times? Regardless of who is winning the battle for SEO and the most hits, the Times still is clearly more influential.


 

I wonder where YouTube.com would rank.


 

Winer predicted a news environment "changed so thoroughly that informed
>people will look to amateurs they trust for the information they want."
>Nisenholtz expected the professional media to remain the authoritative
>source for "unbiased, accurate, and coherent" information.

Interesting proposition, but doing a web search proves neither of those does it? It just shows the things that the search alogorithm decide are important, not what "informed people ... look to..." or whether the result is "unbiased, accurate, and coherent".


 

I would say blogs won out over the NYT. If the bet was that 'joe public' or the general internet user would win out on the top 5 stories then he would definitely be correct.

In my mind (& forgive me if I am wrong), isn't Wikipedia in effect just like a blog but one that has been contributed to by more people as opposed to one blogger?
With blogs & wikis, users can contribute to the article by way of actual content or with comments.

A wiki is software that allows users to create, edit, and link web pages easily. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.

A blog (web log) "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs


 

The web's most interesting stories on Fri 21st Dec 2007

These are the web's most talked about URLs on Fri 21st Dec 2007. The current winner is ..


 

Nice update Rogers. I'd shout "Hurrah for democracy!" were it not for the fact that Associated Press editors and news directors still choose the top 10 news stories of the year...


 

SearchCap: The Day In Search, December 21, 2007

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web....


 

Did you do anything to ensure that you're comparing the search phrases that people actually use when searching for these news items?

If not, your tabulation is suspect.


 

Did you do anything to ensure that you're comparing the search phrases that people actually use when searching for these news items?

I used the same top five phrases chosen by AP for their stories of the year vote.


 

nameless, faceless amateurs who are not required to prove expertise in the subjects they cover.

That sounds too much like marriage.

Are wikis permitted to marry?


 

What James Lewin means is that you should attempt to use the most high volume search phrase people are using to find these stories. Example:

freekeywords.wordtracker.com

According to Wordtracker, more people are searching for 'virginia tech shooting', not 'virginia tech killings'.

The bet states 'In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007' - I'm skeptical the AP chosen phrases best define that.


 

Pardon a rude observation, but the only reason I even read your entry is that it was linked from the New York Times' site.

When this upheaval sorts out, I think the blogosphere will end up as a valued adjunct to a larger "infosphere" that values both traditional news outlets and so-called amateur publications.


 

The bet states 'In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007' - I'm skeptical the AP chosen phrases best define that.

Perhaps, but any effort on my part to determine the "best" search phrases for the top 5 stories would skew results. Since AP designated titles, I used them.

Pardon a rude observation, but the only reason I even read your entry is that it was linked from the New York Times' site.

Those ruthless bastards!


 

Predicting the future of Media

Interesting post from Dave Winer about a bet made 5 years ago re the future of media, in 2002:

In 2007 we will ask an objective third party to tell us what were the top five stories of the year, each reduced to a single word or phrase. Then we will loo


 

GNC-2007-12-21 #327

Special Edition of the Geek News Central Podcast recorded during the 24hr Podcast. All the regular great coverage plus the live components which were a lot of fun. Sponsors: Special Promotion code 20% off on 1 Year Shared Hosting Plans...


 

Wait, hold on a second, that last one doesn't count. You've got to exclude the effect of the story about the story....


 

I don't know about that. I'm wondering just how much weblog content there would be without any real news stories to blog about. I think we'd be pretty much left with this type of content, and I for one, would stop blogging.

www.blogthings.com


 

Blogs, Journalism, and Wikipedia

Bryan Alexander highlights a bet made in 2002: would blogs or New York Times have better search result returns in 2007? The winner isn't very clear, though some have given blogs a slight edge. Dave Winer, who was betting on...


 

* wow gold
* wow power leveling
* world of warcraft Gold


 

* world of warcraft Power leveling
* Runescape Power leveling


 

* Guild Wars Gold
* MapleStory Mesos
* SilkRoad Gold


 

Long Bets has arrived at an official decision which can be seen here:
blog.longnow.org


 

Blogs beat The New York Times; Dave Winer wins 2002 bet

The Long Now Foundation created the Long Bets project as a fun way to encourage long-term thinking. Bet #2 was between blog pioneer Dave Winer and the New York Times Digital CEO, Martin Nisenholtz:


 

I have found two interesting sources and would like to give the benefit of my experience to you.
I am tuning my pc by the best software for free, with the file search engine Fileshunt.com and Filesfinds.com May be you have your own experience and could give some useful sites too. Because this two social sites help me much.


 

If you love music and this Christmas you are looking to buy an mp3 playeror get a new mp3 players.if your old one has been broken.you just want to buy mp3 playerthere are plenty products for you to choose from.