What they call interactivity

What they call interactivity
: I’m now watching a panel on what they call hereabouts interactivity.

It’s not what I call interactivity.

They think it’s about creating pages with buttons for people to push. Flash! Wow! They look at this medium as the curator of a kids’ museum looks at an exhibit: Let’s give them buttons to push; let’s make things light up; that’ll make them happy; that’ll involve them. The moderator of the panel calls it “story-telling.” She calls it a means for the audience to “learn in a hands-on way.” She calls it “news experience.” They show us maps that click and let you do a simulation to fix the traffic problem in Seattle.

Pardon me, but that’s news as masturbation: the reader goes off in a corner and plays with himself.

I don’t call that interactivity.

Interactivity is people interacting with people.

In this new medium that the audience owns, it’s about — pardon me for repeating myself — the people finally having a voice. It’s about us in big media listening.

News is a conversation.

I’m debating whether to say all this and make an ass of myself or just sit here and grumble to you.


: The MSNBC person showed off big Flash things she called “interactives.” A new noun, to me.

She said, “We directly challenge the audiencde to think about an issue.”

Man, that’s condescending!

: The PBS person, to her credit, said that what’s missing is real two-way interactivity. Yea!

She showed off her interactives on — cliche alert — fair-trade coffee, asylum, and gentrification.

: What turns these people on is Sim news. It’s not real news. It’s simulated for your safety.

: This is horse-to-water journalism. They want to get you to drink. But what if we don’t want to?