Jeff Jarvis blogs about his Prostate Cancer

By Martin Recke

20/08/2009 | If there was one single star at next09, it clearly was Jeff Jarvis. He gave a tremendous keynote speech and had a brilliant panel discussion with Umair Haque (watch the video here). He gave tons of interviews which can be found all over the web and also in print.

Last week, he announced on his blog that he has prostate cancer. But not enough, he also left comments open (300 responses and counting) and wrote a Guardian column about this very act of transparency.

"I think we need to shift the discussion in this era of openness from the dangers to privacy to the benefits of publicness. It's not privacy that concerns me, but control. I must have the right and means to keep my disease secret if I choose. [...]

I believe this openness at the source will become a critical element in a new, linked ecosystem of news, as institutions and individuals will be expected to provide maximal information on the web. Such open intelligence also allows an unlimited number of watchdogs on those in power, helping to bring about a new, collaborative - and ultimately, I hope, more effective and efficient - system of journalism.

So for me, transparency is a necessary ethic of the age. That is why I used my medium, my blog, to share my prostate cancer. If I believe in the value of publicness, how could I not?"

We at the next conference really hope Jeff gets well soon and wish him all the best. It was really great to have him on stage at next09 last May, and we all would love to see Jeff again at next10.