Trollumnist

I’ve never come across the term trollumnist, but it’s pretty self-evident that there are quite a few trollumnists out there. So what is a trollumnist?

{Note, the word has been added to the Urban Dictionary}

Trollumnist (n.) — A writer or blogger who “trolls” in a multichannel, multimedia environment, trying to bait readers into a reaction that editors want to generate. Comes from the term trolling or the noun trolls.

Here is what trolling is all about:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Here is where the term first came to my attention:

As the newspaper business model heads south, though, we’ve been subjected to the rise of what we might christen the “trollumnist” — the writer who simply “trolls” in a multichannel, multimedia environment. And the erstwhile self-identification of papers like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian as quality outlets matters little in the attention economy: on the internet, no one knows you’re a broadsheet. Whereas a true columnist might make controversial arguments or challenge common sense, trollumnists merely provoke outrage in order to sell papers, draw links and capture increasingly scarce reader attention. The beauty of it all is that it doesn’t take much training to do it, and as media content goes, it’s cheap as chips. Any fool can offend people given a reasonably prominent platform.

{via david reid}

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

12 thoughts on “Trollumnist”

  1. Thanks for your definition of trollumnist!

    Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to publish it on urbandictionary.com.

    It should appear on this page in the next few days:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=trollumist

    Urban Dictionary

    —–

    trollumnist

    (n.) — A writer or blogger who “trolls” in a multichannel, multimedia environment, trying to bait readers into a reaction that editors want to generate.

    “You know, a true newspaper columnist might make controversial arguments or challenge common sense, but a trollumnist merely provokes outrage in order to sell papers, draw links and capture increasingly scarce reader attention. I’m sick of them!”

    — overheard at a watercooler in Sydney, Australia, November 1, 2009

  2. anyone know how to find the author of the piece who coined the word trollumnist to tell him or her he did a good thing and word is spreading? where does he work, what is his email?

  3. range, in another development, along sim lines but diff, a writer in the USA from USA TODAY newspaper, Chuck Raasch has coined and written about bloggers who blog about other people’s work as if it their own, and he calls them “NEWS KARAOKE artists”…..google the term and see for yourself…..i rather like it too, and like trollumnist, it’s a new word for these times….

    EP

  4. re “Raasch, Chuck”

    news karaoke artist

    (n.) – Someone who posts on blogs and social networks just to spin
    other people’s more substantial and professional news reports and
    ideas.

    “You know, the blogosphere is now full of so many people who set
    themselves up as a news karaoke artist, when in fact all they are
    doing is spinning someone else’s commentary. Singing someone else’s
    song. I hate what the Internet is becoming!”

    — overheard at a watercooler in Arlington, Virginia on November 1, 2009

  5. i asked Chuck to confirm he coined and its meaning he wrote

    “Yes i did coin the term, I have used it previously, and it means essentially what I wrote in the piece: People who take others’ original reporting, the original score, and do their own variations of it through spin, analysis, commentary, etc.”

    COOL!

  6. Jason Wilson coined the term

    Biography
    Jason Wilson is a Lecturer in Digital Communications.

    His research interests included digital game cultures, citizen
    journalism and the online public sphere, mobile media and new media
    history.

    He has previously held academic appointments at the University of
    Bedfordshire (UK) and in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland
    University of Technology.

    Along with his record as a researcher, Jason has experience as a new
    media practitioner. He was the project manager and chief editor of
    YouDecide2007, a citizen journalism service run during the 2007
    Federal Election. He was also E-Democracy Director at online

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