Do people have the right to post content online if they don't have the resources to cover a topic at all levels from the merely observational to its crux-level mechanics?
I came across "Five Ways Wal-mart in China is Way Different" via Digg, which in and of itself is not remarkable. I read it, admired the self-reporting by the blog author who took the time to blog, and started to move on. However, I then came across a comment in the article's referencing Digg thread that was ranking pretty high in votes. It read in part as follows:
If you are going to write a bit about the differences between Walmart
in the two countries (and I think it's an interesting subject) how
about making just a little bit of effort. You could discuss the opening
hours, the airconditioning, and summarise the differences in each
department. If you were willing to go just a little bit further you
could talk to some employees and get an idea of their wages, any
benefits (lol as if), hours per week, and what about their job they
like and dislike.
If you really wanted to nail this thing, you'd
then get an appointment with someone in management who has worked both
countries and get some amusing but illustrative anecdotes.
My feeling as Dave the Web Guy is simply this. There are differences between the depth and quality of written pieces
posted online and we are all free to favor a variance in this landscape one way or another. But, if anyone is asking the entire authoring internet
populace to wait until they've polished up content like the
professional media houses do, then they don't "get" the internet.
is important that people post their unique perspective of the world to
the web if the web is to remain engaging and influential. This author's
piece is one perspective and it's a best-case snapshot for them. It's one where
they have enough of a valid viewpoint to be inside the store and
thoughtfully describe it to you and I, but, not enough to interact with
managers and the politics that would further cover what is surely, to the commentator's point, as interesting a viewpoint as any other. Someone else will
have that perspective, and maybe that someone else will eventually post
something. But I'd be hard pressed to criticize anyone for breathlessly
reporting on something most of us will never get a chance to experience
no matter how refrained it may be.
The Digg commentator's argument comes
dangerously close to "if you don't have the money, time, or influence
to incorporate hard-hitting contact, don't play". Frankly, that's
something that sounds a lot like the justification for network
television of past, maybe, but not today's web.