I just wrote for my column about the Networked Journalism Summit that I see sites seeking a new paradigm of interactivity built more on quality and reputation than on quantity of comments. Well, here’s one attempt: The Economist is running the first of three Oxford-style debates online with a pro and a con giving their best shots and the audience voting for the winner. I’m reminded of the ill-fated LA Times wikitorial, which made the mistake of thinking that the public would collaborate on a single editorial about Iraq — ha! I suggested then that they should have turned this into an Oxford debate with a resolution and two sides giving their best and most persuasive arguments. At the time, Jimmy Wales tries to fork the wikitorial — his term — but it was too late. Collaboration had died with civility. We’ll see whether the Economist and restore both.
by Jeff Jarvis