The NYT Style Guide for New Technologies

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Title: X is the new Y

I. Opening anecdote (2-3 pars.)

II. Definition (2-3 pars.)
A. Oversimplification
B. Overgeneralization

III. Examples (3 sets of 2 pars. each)
A. Narrow claim (1 sent./par.)
B. Anecdotal support/quote (1-2 sent.)
C. Repeat

IV. Reservations (4-5 pars.)
A. X may encourage looseness (of prose, morals, etc.) according to "critics"
B. Anecdotal rebuttal, usually indirect
C. Repeat if necessary

V. Conclusion (1 sent., normally platitudinal)

Think I'm joking? Try this NYT article on "web blogs." And no, that's not my typo--their headline reads "Web Blogs." I swear, there are times where I feel like I'm reading the same article over and over from them.

Will both appears in the article and discusses it over at Weblogg-Ed. He's dead on, but my favorite part of the article, I think, had to be the "educational consultant" who implies that teachers see blogs as a way of making their own lives easier. Heaven forbid that it might have anything to do with sound writing pedagogy.

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cgbrooke (Collin vs. Blog) takes aim at the NY Times coverage of blogs (The NYT Style Guide for New Technologies) Read More


And the "reservations" almost always include: This is too hard to use. But sooner or later we will make it easy!

Great analysis. I think this style of article is not unique to NYT, typical of a lot of popular evaluations of technology. And the articles don't have to cover "new" (to someone) technologies, either. There was a dangers-and-benefits style piece about mobile phones in CNN in January...

They did finally change the title, btw. Heh.

Will noted this, and it struck me too. Why didn't they include any of the URLs, except to mention EBN? They include links all the time in the online pieces. Very odd.

I read the times everyday, and often wonder who's editing what over there. And, what's up with the photo on this one? That woman scares me.

I have had troubles with the "computer-in-front-of-me" classroom. Eventualy, I "gave in" and had them project manage their own Senior projects. Then just let them go ... using class time as work time, but requiring evidence of their progress.

Know what you mean, Douglas. There's a great article by Charlie Moran called "You Can't Go Home Again," about his attempt to move back into a f2f classroom after teaching exclusively in computer classrooms (we call em "clusters" here) for several years. Really made me think about how I used clusters myself...

In the context of the article, though, I had less trouble with subbing blogs in for discussion, given how young some of those classes were. Honestly, anything that gets kids writing that early in their educations is a boon as far I'm concerned...

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