Collecting the whodata.

Yay for social media.

In my last post on this blog, I mentioned several newsworthy topics making the rounds of Facebook, Twitter and such that, as yet, had not been considered newsworthy by more traditional (and still more widely attended) news organizations.  One of these was the NFL’s attempt to establish WHO DAT as a New Orleans Saints trademark.

That was a week ago.  Since then, local and national media have caught up.  Most recently, the “Who owns WHO DAT?” story made it to USA Today.  And, even more recently, to the Wall Street Journal.

So, once again, yay for social media.  That’s where the story began, and that’s where it continues to simmer and sizzle while simultaneously being distributed farther and wider by the likes of the Associated Press.

But, I have to note, not too many of these farther and wider distributions contain much information beyond what the social media mavens first revealed.

The Associated Press/USA Today story, for instance, has a couple of direct quotes from the parties involved, but is otherwise a straightforward retelling of what has already been told.  And, conspicuously missing from both the AP and WSJ articles are some important basics — like exactly what was in the original cease-and-desist letter that NFL lawyers sent Lauren Thom (aka, the new New Orleans cause célèbre, Fleurty Girl). You can read that letter where first I saw and linked it earlier:  here.

Local and prolific tweeters — count @kbeninato and @YatPundit among these — are quick to point to their blogging as ground zero of the WHO DAT story.  And these tweets and blogs remain the best source of the WAT DAT about the WHO DAT.  If you’re really interested in the here and now, for instance, why settle for stale Fleurty Girl sound bites?  Why not subscribe to her live Twitter feed?

And then, if you’re ready, you can think about this:

In parallel with how large corporations like the NFL have obscured the origin and ownership of WHO DAT, national news media — intentionally or not — can obscure the origin and ownership of INFORMATION.  That information — its meaning and value — can’t be owned and trademarked by existing news organizations any more than WHO DAT can be owned and trademarked by the NFL.  If it’s our culture, then it’s also our information:  WE DAT.

Just as the NFL is anxious to sustain profits, news organizations have proven equally anxious to sustain their status and reputations.  Nevertheless, it may well be that the Google-like role of news aggregator — a role demonized by the owner of the Wall Street Journal — is the only real role left mainstream media.

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