NiemanLab’s Journo Ipsum generator: I love it and cringe at the same time
In a few paragraphs, you get randomly selected journo-buzzwords mashed up with every refresh/page load. Thanks to the randomizer, you get things like:
hyperhyperlocal plagiarism trolls TBD 5%”
Patch stupid commenters”
Jeff Jarvis prostate do what you do best”
election-night hologram media bias”
the medium is the message if the news is that important”
Aron Pilhofer Android”
if the news is that important, it’ll find me dead trees”
layoffs put the paper to bed”
It’s useful for dummy text, but also as a good lesson on how taking words out of context and randomly mashing them together is unintentionally hilarious.
While I love it, is a generator potentially a bad idea?
My gut tells me, this was a good idea on paper… but not such a good idea in practice… especially because it’s connected to journalism.
These are real people, companies and brands that are being randomly paired with words they most likely want to avoid.
I guess I’m sounding like a wet blanket… I know. But there’s a reason why we use Lorum ipsum: It’s to avoid awkward phrasing and taking random words out of context!
If it were me, I’d unplug the word generator/randomizer portion and just display a dozen or so paragraphs of Journo Ipsum text … I’d even edit some awkward ones out. You’ll still offer the awesomeness of the concept, without having the, for the lack of a better word, liability.
But hey… that’s just me. What do you think?
Also, join the unintentional hilarity of the randomizer by tweeting out your finds, using the #JournoIpsum hashtag!
Well, what I can say for sure is that I’m glad I’m not a big enough name to be in that randomly mashed up mix!