In the last few months there’s been quite a bit of sycophantic behaviour around the tech/web/blog scene in Montréal, hyperbole in reporting and over exposure for some. This has been bugging me and I know I’m not the only one. A secondary problem I have with this is that I know the majority of the people involved in both “sides” of the matter, not the for and against, the writers and subjects or inviters and invitees so it makes it harder for me to comment on that without insulting someone I’d rather not insult. That being said, I have to write at least a little something or my head will explode. I decided to do so by simply giving a couple of pointers that I think bloggers, “blogger/ing journalists” and journalists (especially tech) should keep in mind.
Get some perspective
I know it’s fun when someone local does good but just because it’s the first time you’ve heard of something does not make it “the first”, it just means you finally got your head out of your ass because someone closer to you is doing it. Try to put it in perspective, we’re doing a lot of great stuff in Montréal but not a whole lot of it on the web is the first anything. There have also been a lot of things happening for years on the internet around the world, try to know what that is and learn about more than what has happened in the 10 minutes you’ve been interested.
Broaden your horizons
Might seem very close to the previous but it’s something different. Once you’ve gotten perspective, look around and talk too more people, there are more than 4-5 people who can explain the web, blogs, social software, web 2.0, etc. At the very least consider anglos when you’re franco and vice versa, don’t fall into stereotypes either and please try to connect through other chanels than what you’ve been using for 10 years, drop the rollodex and connect with someone new.
Don’t be lazy
If the first two were “stop talking out of your ass”, this last one is “don’t let others use your ass for talking”. You’ve now got general perspective and you’ve broadened your horizons? Put that to work for each case. Just because you received a press release or because someone you had coffee with once tells you about it does not make it so. People put spin on their stuff, try not to get dizzy. Grab “The Google” and do some basic research, is that really a first, is it really that big, does it work? Does he know what the fuck he’s talking about? Are there other sources?
Make an effort
Before I finish, I know I have to add a note here because some will assume I’m preaching for my own choir. I’m not. I can hear the “ooooh he’s bitter it wasn’t him”. No. I’m not looking to be called on more often, I’m asking for more diversity and thorouness in what is presented at large. There are some fantastic things and people around here, some of which I pointed out when I talked about the top bloggers and there are a lot more that we never hear about.
I’ve heard time and again (and said so myself) that “we always see the same faces on Québec tv shows”, some of it is due to the small size of the market but a lot of it is due to laziness and echochamber inbreeding. I know this “web situation” is nothing new and it happens in all media on all subjects but lets make an effort people, this is a new medium, could we try and do it just a wee bit better this time around?