Flickr’s immediacy, Plame and the blogosphere

All jokes about flickrstalking aside, I was still surprised the first time I learned what someone close to me was up to via Flickr, rather than just using it as a photo-retrospective service.

For example (though not the first example), just the other day I looked at Flickr and thought “Oh, J. is doing her panel discussion now!”. This wouldn’t be that surprising if I weren’t a) married to J. and b) in pretty constant contact by phone, email, and AIM even when one of us is out of town…

The moment when an info-service shifts to being a “first notifier” is an interesting one. For me, the web made that shift for journalistic news one morning when (for the first time that I remember) I learned about a Big News Story from the web rather than by TV or newspapers. (The story was the death of Princess Diana, and it was at the top of my (Excite? Yahoo?) page when I went looking for stock quotes.)

On that note, score one for the political blogosphere, in that I’ve been following the Plame affair avidly for more than two years, with a blog as the first notifier. It was Kevin Drum (once CalPundit, now the Political Animal at Washington Monthly) who pointed me to it, and he’s been my main source of updates. Although the scandal has been bubbling along all this time, and obviously receiving the full-time attention of a certain Federal prosecutor, you really didn’t find much mention of it in the mainstream press until recently when journalists started going to jail. Two friends of mine, both hard-core political news junkies but not blog readers, had no idea what I was talking about a year or so ago when I mentioned it. I don’t know if political blogs had any causal role in the scandal’s path to the Libby indictment, but they sure were the best place to look for the latest on it.

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