Waxy for President!

Okay, not President, but Editor in Chief. Wired News (the online arm, not the print magazine) is looking to hire a new EiC. I think they should hire Andy Baio. He's already been dictating large swaths of their editorial judgement by his consistently excellent research skills, his innate grasp of the zeitgeist among the digerati, and his impeccable ethics.

I've joked a lot about the fact that Wired News seems to be the most visible of an increasing number of journalistic outlets that troll Andy's site, MetaFilter, Kottke.org, and a couple other blogs for story ideas. What's changed in the past few months is that, instead of grabbing the ideas wholesale and leaving them uncredited, they'll go to bloggers for quotes when writing the story. In addition, many of the older writers have started keeping blogs, and many of the newer writers started by being bloggers. That's increased the respect for the weblog medium's role in creating news trends.

If a significant online news effort launched today with the mandate to respect stories developed by blogs, include the bloggers' input in finished stories, and to be friendly towards linking and syndication in their publishing efforts, they'd make a huge splash. Wired News has effectively done this, but their early efforts at cherry picking from blogs made them look, frankly, a bit opportunistic.

There's now a chance to remedy this perception and to really embrace the medium that's redefined their operation. (They certainly wouldn't have a standards-compliant redesign if not for weblogs having popularized web standards. In October 2002, the only common sites that used XHTML and CSS for their entire design other than Zeldman, A List Apart, and the Web Standards Project were sites built with Movable Type.) Blogs remade Wired News, so WN should complete the transformation by hiring a blogger to be Editor in Chief.

And if you're gonna hire a blogger, hire the best. I don't know if Andy's looking for a job (or if he's looking to take the step down from alpha geek to mere journalist) but I know he's a good guy, so I think he should at least be offered the gig.

Anyone else want to register their vote?

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