Have you ever heard of “hatereading?” I hadn’t either, but I sure knew what it was the minute I read the definition.
It is outlined in a long but deeply interesting blog post by Caroline O’Donovan for the Nieman Journalism Lab. O’Donovan reveals the interesting tale of Rusty Foster, a webizen who turned his snarky blog of links into gold by selling it to Newsweek.
It’s interesting on its face. The truth is that we seem to be drawn to two kinds of speech on the Internet. There is that stuff with which we wholeheartedly agree (political posts that conform to our point of view and cat videos, apparently). But we also love to read stuff that sets us off … hence the term hatereading.
I also wanted to make another comment about the Rusty Fosters of the world. You can’t call what they do journalism, but you have to credit them with innovative thinking. We could use more of that. …
Edmund Phelps, the Columbia University economist who has a Nobel Prize under his belt, was saying something like that on the radio this week. He said something that almost made me pull over to the side of the road. It was that profound. He said that most of us view the work we do as just that – work. He says that we are missing an essential truth of all this time we spend doing what we do: It is a unique opportunity to be creative and use our imaginations.
Now, that concept won’t really surprise journalists. I know that one of the reasons I went into journalism to begin with was that it was a paying outlet for my creative energies. But I don’t always view the business side of it that way, as a creative outlet.
Rusty Foster did. Perhaps we all should.