From Breaking to Broken


The act of the old world embracing the newest of new media isn't just about blogs anymore. In the past month, CNN, Fast Company and even General Motors embraced Web 2.0 with a big, warm hug, inviting the people to upload video, create blogs, relay anecdotes and perhaps wreak mayhem on the nice, controlled corporate-owned sites of yore.

GM launched the GMnext Wiki, devoted to letting registrants tell their personal stories about the company using anything from the growing online toolbox: video, photos, text - you get the drill. Of course, that's been done before - by a guy named Michael Moore. And aside from the danger of someone else hunting for Roger, it's pretty standard stuff.

Over at CNN, the news media brand launched (get it?), which officially sanctions what many people have been doing for the past few years: uploading anything and everything to the Web. Unlike previous citizen-journalism initiatives at CNN, is, as its home page says, "Unedited. Unfiltered. News." Well, not all of it is what Edward R. Murrow would consider news - it makes obvious how broadly "news" can be defined when left in the hands of mere citizens. One video shows a Heinz ketchup bottle attacking a bottle of mustard and calling it a "butt munch." What would Anderson Cooper say?

Maybe things will go a little more smoothly over at, where visitors are now invited to register and participate in what Edward Sussman, president of parent company Mansueto Ventures digital unit, describes as "the first major Web site to blend journalism with an online community to create something better than either by itself."

As Barack Obama's presidential bid gained momentum in late February, visitors were asked to vote or comment on the following quote from Noam Cohen of The New York Times: "Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC." (22 agreed, 10 disagreed.) Within weeks of the early February launch, member blogs had sprung up on topics ranging from being a salesperson on the Saskatchewan prairie to what it's like to be a reader, user and contributor to Fast Company's site. (Isn't this getting a little too meta for comfort?)

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