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What journalists who blog think “blogging” is
June 14, 2010 6:44 AM   Subscribe

What journalists who blog think “blogging” is. Lizzie Skurnick (pseudonymous author of the literary blog the Old Hag) almost got called up to the Show – the New York Times actually asked her to write. But under their terms. And that’s the problem:
[T]he media who, after constantly treating me as an amusing quantity who, despite the zillions of print articles I have written, is still a blogger, while they, who are now blogging, because they crashed their whole goddamn field, are somehow not bloggers except for how maybe they are running blogs, want to tell me what to do.... You link wrong. You’re not funny.... You think posts are something you “pitch.” [...] You think other bloggers should respond to other bloggers, preferably in chin-stroking ways like “I appreciate your thoughts, Gwendolyn, yet I….” You want headlines maximized for SEO.... Worse, you seem to take blogging as some amusing shift you’ve been asked to do that is entirely within your powers. You are a fancy important journalist! You are an actual writer. OK, maybe you are. But you are sure as hell not a blogger any more than that dude with the novel in the drawer is a novelist.
(Via)
posted by joeclark (101 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
*Stands to applaud*
posted by hermitosis at 6:50 AM on June 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Please...she proved with that first "sentence" you quoted that she can't write in english. Jesus.
posted by spicynuts at 6:51 AM on June 14, 2010 [31 favorites]


Oh, come, now, Spicy.
posted by joeclark at 6:52 AM on June 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's the Internet. It's easy. It's not as if there is knowledge or skill specific to web design and internet communication. Now, lay out that front page exactly like I said! I have a journalism degree! I made a web page in 1997! I don't need your "Rails" or your "PHPs" or whatever!

~ i'm not bitter ~
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:54 AM on June 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


I was thinking about this just last night. Anyone who doesn't think the media doesn't have massive, disproportionate power should look at the bad rep bloggers have and just where that idea comes from, due to being constantly. reiterated. in. every. corporate. media. outlet. there. is.
posted by DU at 6:54 AM on June 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


the bad rep bloggers have

Clearly, this is something I would have to read newspapers to understand.
posted by chavenet at 6:58 AM on June 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Please...she proved with that first "sentence" you quoted that she can't write in english.

she can probably write - but she's proved beyond a doubt that she doesn't bother to edit what she writes on her blog - which, whatever else she may think of the nyt's "bloggers", i'm sure they manage to do
posted by pyramid termite at 7:02 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, Pyramid, I have reason to believe that Times blogs are published without an editing step.

Even conscientious blog authors make copy errors. I thought tolerance for imperfection was part of the deal.
posted by joeclark at 7:03 AM on June 14, 2010


Back in the 90s, I moderated some message boards for the Gray Lady's "electronic media" division - as it was then known. (Including the board on Middle East issues. You can imagine how much fun that was.) It was the red-headed stepchild of the organization, which is how I managed to get the job in the first place.

It's comforting to see that they remain as clueless about the digital age now as they were then.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:05 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh this is delightful to read.

imperfection is definitely part of the deal, a blog post is often the first prototype of a nascent thought or idea stream. but you can't create the next version if you start playing around with the dots

thank you for this FPP
posted by infini at 7:06 AM on June 14, 2010


"Do any of you feel like I’m the indie band member lamenting the co-opting of blogging by mass media, which was as inevitable as the crash of print itself?"

It's hilarious that she included that sentence in the article, because that is EXACTLY the comparison I was making in my head. Her answer to that question is 'no', which I don't buy at all, but I wish she had left it rhetorical. There is a place for people like that in every emerging medium/genre/form. We need them to jump up and down and wave their arms screaming "HEY, HEY, LOOK THIS IS HAPPENING, THEY'RE MAKING US THE MAN. AT LEAST THINK ABOUT IT! SIGN-UPS FOR THE RESISTANCE ARE ON THE CLIPBOARD ON THE FOLDING TABLE OVER THERE BY THE THE VENDING MACHINE! THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TWEETED, RIGHT GUYS?!".

Co-option and integration aren't all bad, but it should never happen thoughtlessly.
posted by Chipmazing at 7:06 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought tolerance for imperfection was part of the deal.

I don't remember signing up for that deal. If you want to be taken seriously, as opposed to just having a blog to grind an axe on, learn how to consistently write like an intelligent human being. It's one thing to drop science on MeFi while eating lunch at your desk, it's another to claim you're the vanguard of the new journalism.
posted by spicynuts at 7:07 AM on June 14, 2010 [17 favorites]


This is called "getting paid".
posted by Artw at 7:14 AM on June 14, 2010


Confusing superficiality with seriousness is how we got in this problem.
posted by DU at 7:14 AM on June 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


She had some interesting points to make, but to be perfectly honest her writing style (and her unforgivable abusive overuse of commas) made it extremely difficult for me to actually continue reading the post.

The writing isn't helping her case. It's one thing to author an article that is well-written and complain that you aren't getting offered any money to write. But to provide a tortuous, rambling post like that, and then argue that the NYT should be happy to pay you to put similar things under their aegis? If you want to blog for the NYT, I assume there's an expectation that you will make an effort to adhere to the editorial standards set by the company. If you want to have total control, keep running your own blog. If you aren't getting paid for it anyway, screw the NYT and at least have the satisfaction of knowing any attention your little site gets is one less pair of eyeballs looking at the blog section of the Times.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:15 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would like to point out that spicynuts is entirely correct.
posted by Geezum Crowe at 7:15 AM on June 14, 2010


The idea that the NYT is "the Show" (like MLB) is funny.
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:18 AM on June 14, 2010


i for one meant typos
posted by infini at 7:18 AM on June 14, 2010


I think the bad-rep-for-bloggers thing comes from the fact that there have always been gatekeepers in public media and, suddenly, they're gone. If you wanted to distribute something, way back in the early days of print, you needed money, connections to some dude with a printing press, and proof you'd have enough of an audience to recoup the difference between how much money you're offering up and how much the printing would cost (yes, yes, this happens after living authors are acknowledged as worthy of reading in print-form.)

Move forward a few centuries, to the golden age of the newspaper. Unless you wanted to spend your career as a journalist writing about Farmer Brown's latest blue-ribbon winning pig for the Podunk Herald, you had to move your ass out to New York, prove your skill and worth to C. F. Kane's people, master the techniques yellow journalism, etc. etc. You got past the gatekeepers and suddenly became the only outlet of news, totally under the thumb of Kane. This system, regardless of costs to get the news out, extends to radio and television journalism as well.

Suddenly, there's the Internet, fast-forward past Geocities to the modern day of Wordpress and Blogger where anyone with access to a public library can start a designed-for-readability blog (which is why we're fast-forwarding past Geocities) without having to drop any money or have any technical skill in the process. Roughly total anonymity if desired, roughly total lack of responsibility for their words if desired.

So, yeah, the movement of news into this egalitarian/populist field must be terrifying for the Old Gray Lady. The entire gatekeeper system which has existed since the days of the Town Crier is falling into shambles. So, they start dipping their toes into this new system and it is just a wreck. First, they don't respect the medium because it's their own personal Sword of Damocles. Second, their very nature is antithesis to the idea of blogging. No house style, no hard rules, no personal accountability. Plus, the NYT doesn't have to fight a single other blog like they had to fight the New York Sun; they have to fight the entire damn blogosphere, which is a hydra with an infinite amount of heads.

So what comes out of them? Horrible pastiches of what blogging naturally evolved to be. A complete misunderstanding of where they stand in the new social order. Attempting to control the content of a medium which developed as a reaction to the system which kept the old media in business. They're making a bunch of paper-mache heads and sticking them on their shoulders to pretend they're a hydra. Except no one is fooled. And instead of trying to assure there will be something moderated, something with standards (a revolution of "citizen journalism"? Yeah. Bullshit,) they're hastening their own demise.
posted by griphus at 7:26 AM on June 14, 2010 [11 favorites]


Please...she proved with that first "sentence" you quoted that she can't write in english.

She has a style. I don't care for it and I think it gets in the way of her points, but I suspect it's self-consciously rambling rather than just randomly ungrammatical. It's very hard to get away with that (every day is not Bloomsday) and I don't think she manages it, but I also don't think its fair to read it without understanding the form.

Having said that, given her style, it's unsurprising that the Times isn't actually interested in her and she's not actually interested in the Times.
posted by The Bellman at 7:26 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


One of my least favorite things about MetaFilter is that any post about a writer, living or dead, will be plagued by comments pointing out evidence that the writer in question is a terrible writer and totally unworthy of any attention whatsoever.

I like to think of writers (especially living, working writers) as people going through the same struggles that all of us go through in our work. Earning the title "writer" does not grant you magical immunity from making mistakes in your work, nor does it guarantee the quality of what you produce. All it does is announce your goal and direct others to your output if they are so inclined, and in the case of most posts about writers, a great many are inclined.

It doesn't bug me when people read others' work (or even my own) and think "Meh, I could do better." In my own head I can be as petty and insecure as I want, which is why I hope never to lose it. But MetaFilter doesn't exist inside your head, it's out in public for all to see, and personally I don't like the what the perpetuation of "Meh, I could do better" as a predictable response to all things written, regardless of how many mefites are writers, or even "writers," does for (or says about) our community.

Old Hag's post contains many brave observations. It's exciting as a blogger to begin to be recognized as a real writer, even *gasp* a journalist. But you quickly realize that the people in charge of things over on the journalistic or publishing side have no idea why people read blogs, or how to get more people to read theirs.

I quit being a staff-blogger for a well-known entity when my editor sent around a list of fifteen social networking sites, many of which I had never heard of, with a note saying (roughly): "From now on, every time an article of yours is posted you are to notify your editor by email when the link has been posted to every one of these sites." This was their big plan for generating traffic -- to have their "writers" spend an extra hour or so on every post, blasting their shit out there to an increasingly unconcerned audience made up mostly of other "writers" doing the same thing, vainly hoping they'd get a few hundred more eyeballs, a few more clicks, anything to report back to their accounting department as proof that it was worth keeping us on.

That's when I realized the people I had been breaking my neck trying to impress were making it all up, they had no idea what they were doing. At the bottom of that email, the editor welcomed our suggestions of ways to generate more traffic. I very badly wanted to write back: "The only way to find a real audience is to provide consistently good and/or original content over a stable period of time. And even then, who knows?"

But instead I just dropped out and went back to work on my own, and honestly have had the most productive and creatively satisfying year of my life since then.
posted by hermitosis at 7:27 AM on June 14, 2010 [47 favorites]


Given the level of self importance I'm vaguely amazed to not find LiveJournal involved.
posted by Artw at 7:29 AM on June 14, 2010


which, whatever else she may think of the nyt's "bloggers", i'm sure they manage to do

The NYT doesn''t bother to edit their dead tree edition. Why would they take the time to edit a blog?
posted by blucevalo at 7:34 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's when I realized the people I had been breaking my neck trying to impress were making it all up, they had no idea what they were doing.

I've always been afraid of this. There's actually a movement now, of individuals previously involved in Pyramid Schemes -- the ones in the middle, who make enough scratch off other people's ignorance to live, but not Majorly Profit -- becoming Social Networking Consultants.

Given the level of self importance I'm vaguely amazed to not find LiveJournal involved.

Well, it wasn't about furry conventions or Harry Potter slashfic, was it?
posted by griphus at 7:35 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


But you are sure as hell not a blogger any more than that dude with the novel in the drawer is a novelist.

Maybe I'm weird, but I think anyone who posts to a blog can call themselves a "blogger," and anyone who writes a novel, published or not, can call themselves a "novelist." I dunno, this whole ~I'm a REAL blogger~ thing just grated. Blogs differ in style and content, but it doesn't mean blogs run by a major media outlet are any less bloggy. If you don't like how the NYT blogs, okay. If you want to say something about how the media looks down on bloggers, okay. But this "you are not a blogger" argument is just specious and pointless.
posted by Nattie at 7:36 AM on June 14, 2010 [12 favorites]


Imagine what the other guys must be like?
posted by infini at 7:36 AM on June 14, 2010


So wait. She was offered a job, and her prospective employers had the temerity to tell her how they wanted the job done?
posted by gjc at 7:37 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


So wait. She was offered a job, and her prospective employers had the temerity to tell her how they wanted the job done?

Sorry, but that's merely how real jobs work. Presumably the reason they hired her in the first place was because of the success she'd achieved while working independently.
posted by hermitosis at 7:41 AM on June 14, 2010


Firstly, she can write, and write well. And complaining about commas and typos in a post that is a rambling braindump seems to be somewhat missing the point.

Secondly, I never knew The Minor Fall, The Major Lift was still writing anywhere. In fact I never even knew The Awl existed. Keen to check it out.

Thirdly, that article makes me feel old. Mainly because I used to read all of those writers way back when and haven't read any of them for years. And also because discussing blogging on Metafilter always make it feel like 2002.
posted by Hartster at 7:42 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


And if I could favourite individual sections of comments, and if I could favourite them thrice, I would do so for this:

"One of my least favorite things about MetaFilter is that any post about a writer, living or dead, will be plagued by comments pointing out evidence that the writer in question is a terrible writer and totally unworthy of any attention whatsoever."
posted by Hartster at 7:46 AM on June 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


So wait. She was offered a job, and her prospective employers had the temerity to tell her how they wanted the job done?

Shitty Analogy Time: You're an independent mercenary with incredible sniping skills. The Freedonian Army, who fight with clubs and maces, recruits you to fight with them as they're losing horribly against Sylvania, who have guns. Except instead of letting you act as a sniper, they expect you to run into battle alongside the other Freedonian soldiers, beating the Sylvanians with the butt of your gun.

They offered her a job based on her success in a new medium, the standards of which were developed from and revolve around the failures of her prospective employers.
posted by griphus at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


I've never professionally blogged. In fact, I've dissuaded organizations I've worked for from starting blogs when I knew full well that they had no content to speak of. But through more than a decade of online journaling/diarylanding/and now personal blogging, I've always thought it pretty important to have a conversation, not a monologue. So this really resonates with me: "blogging is a dinner party, and not the kind where the boss gives a big speech at the podium and then everyone mills around feeling important and handing each other their cards. This is print, you mothers. Blogging is ideally we’ll all get drunk, someone will get in a fight, two people will commence an affair, and the roast will sit too long in the juices but that dessert somebody brought will be really good. Stop handing me your card."

Something I've noticed as I've become more active in online writer's/agent communities over the past year is how many fledgling writers start blogging. Many, many seem to make "writing advice" or "query advice" or even just contests to win ARCs the centerpiece of their blogs, I assume as a way to drive traffic. There are a few stand-outs among these blogs (YAhighway.com, of which metafilter's own changeling is a member, is one which actively seems to generate conversation). The result is that there's a lot of the same content/advice reiterated and regurgitated, without much new value really added.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:53 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh Freedonia oh don't you cry for me 'Cause I'm coming 'round the mountain with a banjo on my knee...
posted by Omon Ra at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


It doesn't bug me when people read others' work (or even my own) and think "Meh, I could do better." In my own head I can be as petty and insecure as I want, which is why I hope never to lose it. But MetaFilter doesn't exist inside your head, it's out in public for all to see, and personally I don't like the what the perpetuation of "Meh, I could do better" as a predictable response to all things written, regardless of how many mefites are writers, or even "writers," does for (or says about) our community.

I agree with you in principle, but it seems to me that I can acknowledge that she writes well and has some excellent points to make, but at the same time be irritated by her writing style.

And no, I'm not saying that I could do better.

Underlining, though: she has some very excellent points. The NYT in particular seems to have fallen upon blogging as a key element in a formula to save its hide, when as Old Hag points out, it doesn't really know what the eff it's doing, period. The most laughable element in all of this is that the blogs that the NYT thinks it has nurtured into some form of brilliant excellence (when in reality they are just a slightly more free-form variation of the content that they call "articles" or "pieces") will all eventually end up behind the pay firewall that it's throwing up in November or whenever it is. Making the blogs even more pointless.
posted by blucevalo at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2010


One of my least favorite things about MetaFilter is that any post about a writer, living or dead, will be plagued by comments pointing out evidence that the writer in question is a terrible writer and totally unworthy of any attention whatsoever.

On the other hand, writers who are any good are students of language, and professional writers usually work run-on sentences out of their system by middle school. If she wants to be a Blogger as opposed to a Writer, that's fine, but I don't think she gets to trash real writers—writers who choose to slave over every construction, because attention to detail matters when trying to communicate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


So wait. She was offered a job, and her prospective employers had the temerity to tell her how they wanted the job done?

Think of it as a designer who is ostensibly hired to design, but is really hired to telepathically channel the crap in the client's head.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2010


Oh Freedonia oh don't you cry for me 'Cause I'm coming 'round the mountain with a banjo on my knee...

Just saw that again last night. What a joy that movie is.
posted by blucevalo at 7:57 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's fashionable to criticize people like this - people who earnestly believe that they are a standard-bearer of better writing, design, art, or whatever they're doing. And it's cheap and easy and safe to anonymously declare that they write/design/draw like suck, and that your untrained eye could do better. Frequently, you have no idea what you're talking about, and you really couldn't have done as well if you tried.

But sometimes it's appropriate. Shit, if this caliber of writing gets offers, I better get to self-promoting. NYT, call me! I'll write for half-price and with half the commas!
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:58 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


the writer in question is a terrible writer and totally unworthy of any attention whatsoever

True, but most are.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:58 AM on June 14, 2010


Yeah. Anyone can blog and call themselves a blogger if they want to. The idea that there is some kind of "standard" for bloggers is as silly as the idea that bloggers are destroying society or whatever it is these journalists thought.
posted by delmoi at 7:58 AM on June 14, 2010


So what comes out of them? Horrible pastiches of what blogging naturally evolved to be. A complete misunderstanding of where they stand in the new social order.


What social order? It's all about page views and search ranks, and monetization, isn't it? Who cares about their place in the social order? The way the score is kept is in dollars, right?

Perhaps a rather condescending attitude, on the NYT's part, an attempt to project that they're smarter and more serious than us, will garner more of that than Lizzie Skurnick's good opinion. Perhaps not. But by all means let them try.
posted by tyllwin at 7:59 AM on June 14, 2010


I was thinking about this just last night. Anyone who doesn't think the media doesn't have massive, disproportionate power should look at the bad rep bloggers have and just where that idea comes from, due to being constantly. reiterated. in. every. corporate. media. outlet. there. is.

For those of us who work with professional journalists and amateur bloggers and the range of those who straddle both worlds, there are additional factors we have to consider when we or our clients are interviewed.

For example, amateur bloggers are not required to stick to codes of conduct and disclosure. (The latter is changing in the US, but most have been slow to adopt.) They generally do not experience any sort of oversight on what they publish to the web, nor do they have to account for anything to an outlet's legal department. The extra leeway that affords them can have positive and negative aspects. Perez Hilton is an excellent example of the latter.

On the other hand, corporate media outlets provide a sense of accountability and a limited sort of appeals process if one is misrepresented in print without actually being libeled. Their editors and journalists usually operate under more stringent guidelines, but are also subject to the whims of their advertisers.
posted by zarq at 8:05 AM on June 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, writers who are any good are students of language, and professional writers usually work run-on sentences out of their system by middle school. If she wants to be a Blogger as opposed to a Writer, that's fine, but I don't think she gets to trash real writers—writers who choose to slave over every construction, because attention to detail matters when trying to communicate.

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with a run on sentence. Some people have trouble following them, but if you're not writing for an audience with an 8th grade education, who cares?
posted by empath at 8:09 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


are also subject to the whims of their advertisers.

give me death or give me freedonia?
posted by infini at 8:14 AM on June 14, 2010


On a somewhat related note, Lizzie Skurnick used to write this really, really great feature for Jezebel called Fine Lines, where she would re-read Young Adult novels of the 70s and 80s and analyze them from the perspective of an adult 30 years later. It was a ridiculously fun feature, and I was so disappointed when she stopped. If you're of around the same age and read a lot of YA lit as a kid, I highly recommend going back and reading the archives.

And oh, look! She wrote a book, too! Well, now I know what's going next on my library reserve list.
posted by lunasol at 8:17 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


writers who choose to slave over every construction

*laughs*

Have you read any newspaper bloggers?
posted by mediareport at 8:21 AM on June 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


If she wants to be a Blogger as opposed to a Writer, that's fine, but I don't think she gets to trash real writers—writers who choose to slave over every construction, because attention to detail matters when trying to communicate.

Slaving over construction in no way implies treating Strunk and White like holy writ.
posted by griphus at 8:22 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


...Although I will add that her dismissive take on "calling sources for comments" was unfortunate.
posted by mediareport at 8:23 AM on June 14, 2010


I think the bad-rep-for-bloggers thing comes from the fact that there have always been gatekeepers in public media and, suddenly, they're gone. If you wanted to distribute something, way back in the early days of print, you needed money, connections to some dude with a printing press, and proof you'd have enough of an audience to recoup the difference between how much money you're offering up and how much the printing would cost

Well, if you go back that far, literacy was the main gatekeeper for written works in general. I think the issue is less that bloggers are using technology to get into a field that didn't exist before and more that casual types of communication are being posted online in a way that somewhat resembles traditional publishing and journalism. I would argue that the gatekeeper aspect of news distribution was only necessary due to the logistical restraints of printing and distributing up-to-date text, and that gatekeeper-less dissemination of information has always existed and is really the more natural state if logistical barriers don't exist.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:33 AM on June 14, 2010


I'm really not sure I see the point of her post. To me, personally speaking, her writing style is exhausting, difficult to follow, and indicative of a serious inability to organize her thoughts. To me, again personally speaking, many of the experiments that the NYT is undertaking in more essayistic blogging (see, for example, Happy Days) are exhilarating and fascinating. She doesn't want to write for them; I don't want her to write for them; if her approach to blogging is really the "right" one, her wandering rants will presumably prosper online. Everyone's happy, and there's no need to make a big noise. Which leads me to suspect that her post is a lot more about Skulnick wanting to draw attention to herself and her blog — something that's presumably part of her notion of the "right" way to blog.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 8:42 AM on June 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


The entire gatekeeper system which has existed since the days of the Town Crier is falling into shambles.

Oh, please. A blog doesn't destroy the "gatekeeper" system any more than a laser printer does (and there was similar breathlessness about the new distributed grass-roots media when DTP first rolled around, too).

Editing isn't gatekeeping, it's convenience. There's absolutely nothing in a newspaper that couldn't be found out by a dedicated enough person with enough time and energy. All the newspaper does is expend those energies and that time on your behalf, and targets the effort at subjects it thinks its readers will be interested in.

If the complaint is that they're not targeting the things you are interested in, well, go and investigate them yourself, or arrange for someone to investigate them for you. If the problem then isn't that you don't know about it but that it's not widely enough disseminated, then start a site, make it popular and disseminate it that way.

Only thing is: if your site gets popular enough to have the power to change things, pretty soon there will be people calling you a "gatekeeper" and criticising you for not putting enough effort into the things they care about.

The whole idea that there's an alternative method of mass distribution of news that can have the power to do good without the drawbacks of finite time, resource and attention is incoherent.
posted by bonaldi at 8:42 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


One of my least favorite things about MetaFilter is that any post about a writer, living or dead, will be plagued by comments pointing out evidence that the writer in question is a terrible writer and totally unworthy of any attention whatsoever.

all i know is that there are zillions of pages written by downright ordinary boring people with no pretensions of being a "writer" who manage to sound more coherant than she does in that post

she can and should do better
posted by pyramid termite at 8:45 AM on June 14, 2010


A blog doesn't destroy the "gatekeeper" system any more than a laser printer does...

No, but the blogosphere deals it a hell of a blow. Laser printers need ink, paper. I could never be able to afford to print and distribute separate instances of my blog posts for every hit I get. At least not without worrying about how to monetize the damn thing which would require either a) a significant investment of time on my blog that has nothing to do with actual writing or b) hiring someone to do this for me.
posted by griphus at 8:51 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of my least favorite things about MetaFilter is that any post about a writer, living or dead, will be plagued by comments pointing out evidence that the writer in question is a terrible writer and totally unworthy of any attention whatsoever.

jealousy and envy is bound to set in if mefi is the biggest platform that an ambitious though unlucky writer has.
posted by the aloha at 9:02 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't like the what the perpetuation of "Meh, I could do better" as a predictable response to all things written, regardless of how many mefites are writers, or even "writers," does for (or says about) our community.

It's not, "Meh, I could do better" (which I don't see anyone saying). It's, "Meh, out of all the writing that's around right now, this writing isn't nearly good enough to be worth my time reading." By the same token, I'll criticize a mediocre performance of Mendelssohn's violin concerto even though my violin playing isn't nearly as good as the performance I'm criticizing.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:03 AM on June 14, 2010


Have you read any newspaper bloggers?

No, but then I don't think what most bloggers do amounts to journalism, even if a newspaper pays the blogger for it.

Our Internets seem to have devolved into a post-Bush op-ed culture, where opinions are communicated (sloppily) as fact. So that's a problem in itself.

That said, there is, indeed, nothing wrong with a run-on sentence—except when the writer is trying to communicate effectively, in which case run-on sentences only showcase the writer's ignorance and/or sloppy thought processes.

One important role of the journalist is to communicate information clearly. We already get our mainstream journalism through a corporate filter that tells untruths by omission, distortion or outright lying. The absolute last thing we need are newspapers that are, for better or worse, papers of record paying for and reprinting the words of bloggers who stubbornly and deliberately write like shit. The populace is already dumbed down enough.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:08 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


This was a lovely little article, and the following passage is BY FAR my favorite part:

if you are one of a class of people who explicitly sought a robust public venue and a robust public career, it won’t occur to you that those linking to you and discussing you are actually doing it because blogging is a wonderful place to have a catty, fun, illuminating conversation about culture available on the internet across state lines.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:11 AM on June 14, 2010


It's a lot to plow through, and some of it's entertaining and some of it's not so much, but this is the money paragraph IMO:
I thus spent my 20s in a variety of jobs that seemed okay to present to others at parties. I worked in regular publishing. I worked in teen publishing. I got a Masters in poetry. I taught a lot, at a pretty good school, in various departments. I published a number of novels in series for teenagers. I published a lot of poems that I didn’t entirely dislike, and even a book of poems I am okay with. I had a good shield of a resume which nonetheless, at the age of 30, hadn’t kept me from being fired already from about 4 jobs and leaving 4 more, because at any job I always either fell under the protection of a boss who decided I was smart and did the work well and it didn’t matter that I didn’t care, or the bulls-eye of a boss who saw entirely through the fact that I didn’t care and wished to skewer me on it.
And then she bitches about the NYT at length, while making it clear that she wouldn't have had a problem with them if they'd offered her the gig with terms that acknowledged her Special Snowflakeness. Right.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:11 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Please...she proved with that first "sentence" you quoted that she can't write in english. Jesus.

Misuse of ellipses. No need for scare quotes around "sentence." The word "English" should be capitalized. Not sure of the meaning of your sentence, because of the awkward construction -- esp. the pairing of words "in English." Did you mean that she's not a native speaker, or merely incompetent with the written form of English?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:13 AM on June 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Misuse of ellipses. No need for scare quotes around "sentence." The word "English" should be capitalized. Not sure of the meaning of your sentence, because of the awkward construction -- esp. the pairing of words "in English." Did you mean that she's not a native speaker, or merely incompetent with the written form of English?

Pwned.
posted by pecknpah at 9:18 AM on June 14, 2010


Maybe I'm weird, but I think anyone who posts to a blog can call themselves a "blogger," and anyone who writes a novel, published or not, can call themselves a "novelist."

I feel the same way about journalists. The moment you do journalism, you're a journalist. And it's not about how many commas you use. You want to see some people who are incredibly bad at written English, look at radio and television journalists -- many of them have forgotten how to punctuate and never capitalize. Journalism is not about the exquisiteness of English, it's about finding and reporting facts.

Sure, I'd rather stuff be proofed, and fact checked. I wish that everywhere, though, not merely in blogs. A lot of you seem to be overestimating the value of the journalism and the quality of the writing that goes on in most old media environments. If anything, the fact that 70 percent of what you read is comprehensible is because of a diminishing body of professional editors and line editors, which bloggers cannot afford.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:21 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm having a hard time not reading this situation as "blogger resents being told how to blog, then proceeds to expound upon how bloggers should blog."

Also, I'd like to point out that there is a way for bloggers to remain independent and free of corporate influence. It's called not taking jobs as corporate bloggers. There are actually one or two of us out there who have come up against this kind of opportunity, recognized the inevitable compromises, and then actually not gotten ourselves into a situation that we knew we would end up bitching about at interminable length on our blogs.

Sure, the consequence of passing up these opportunities (usually) is minimal fame and fortune, but as Bernstein said in Citizen Kane, it's no trick to make a lot of money -- if what you want to do is make a lot of money. If you want the prestige and perks of blogging for big media, don't complain when they actually want something in return.

Normally my knee jerks in favor of aggrieved bloggers, but reading her entry just made me crabby. It comes across (to me) as a self-important rant with more than a touch of ego primping: "hey, look, the fucking New York Times came to my door, and I told them to piss off!"
posted by Pants McCracky at 9:22 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm having a hard time not reading this situation as "blogger resents being told how to blog, then proceeds to expound upon how bloggers should blog."

That is what it is. What's the problem with it? Her criticisms of how old media approach blogging has a lot of merit.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:24 AM on June 14, 2010


"It was Laura, who that month chose to do an author’s page I was checking to see if she’d mentioned me that instead mentioned two people named Maud and TMFTML, who you young folks now perforce now know as Alex."

Parse error: How do I parse the bold section here?

"Still, it was curious to be lifted up and expected to be offer thanks around when I wasn’t making the calls to them, after all."

Yeah, this doesn't make sense, either. These are just two examples.

I don't care about Strunk & White, but I *do* care about making sense. Writing is a form of communication. Communication has protocols. If A cannot understand B, then they cannot communicate.
posted by Eideteker at 9:25 AM on June 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Spicy, I have put a lot of effort over the last decade into improving copy quality on my own sites and others’. In many cases I have better type and copy than established newspapers. I often send in corrections to blogs I read, whether solicited or not or welcome or not. And like other people, I have issued a bounty for corrections to my own work. Plus I have really excellent code quality and semantics.

But: The reality is that personal online publishing almost never has the second set of eyes necessary to catch copy errors or simple bad writing. Even if it did, that second set of eyes might not belong to someone who actually knows the difference. Nor can writers in general be expected to have advanced knowledge of HTML and semantics.

Hence I made a true statement: Tolerance for imperfection is part of the deal of blogging.
posted by joeclark at 9:38 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sample sentences:

"Still, it was curious to be lifted up and expected to be offer thanks around when I wasn’t making the calls to them, after all."

"Did it matter that the same media plucking us for our purposes insisted on depicted us as clubby and insiderish ourselves?"

"Put, in short, a very newslike, media spin on us, people who, with nothing to lose, were deeply and truly and (I thought!) privately, as unspinningly, in short, as possible, just fucking around?"

I agree with what she's trying to say, but at the same time this is not a defensible "style." It's just bad writing. I hope she writes better when someone's paying for it, and it blows my mind that she didn't bother to write better when she's explicitly speaking for herself about her craft of writing.
posted by rusty at 9:42 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, but the blogosphere deals it a hell of a blow.
Not really: the issue isn't cost of distribution, it's dissemination of news.

If your blog gets to be the size and power of something not unlike a newspaper, then you basically become a gatekeeper. If you don't achieve that size or power, you don't have any of the advantages of a "gatekeeper", and haven't broken it in the slightest.
posted by bonaldi at 9:44 AM on June 14, 2010


Of the journalists I worked with while interning at the "Podunk Herald" (btw, real nice attitude towards small town journalism) ... what I noticed is that they perceived weblogs as a threat rather than a compliment to the medium, and hence they attitude had been to trivialize and diminish bloggers work. Most adequate journalists are now blogging or using twitter and a personal vanity/portfolio site. All of them I know use facebook.

So now the bloggers feel threatened by journalists entering their own arena? If TNC was my competition, I would be worried, too.

I have to admit to reading twitter to say this, but I find it amusing to read someone's twitter feed and see it go from "Hi this is my first tweet how do i do this?" to deciding they are a twitter-expert/pundit/Voice of The Feed in about a ~40 posts.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 10:01 AM on June 14, 2010


I think it is interesting that, for decades, the artifact/delivery of content has become the clue to its importance or validity. And now the internet and blogging has taken those distinctions away, forcing us to rely on actually evaluating and critiquing the content and its implications to determine whether it is relevant, true, important or valid. But many people have lost the ability to consider content in an interpretive way, or evaluate it thoughtfully. The need for media literacy has increased.

The first time I saw this was when the internet was accessible to elementary and high school students. Suddenly, we had to have conversations about what was a reliable source of information for writing a paper. Many students assumed that if it was on AOL, it was true. Just as they had assumed something in a book or a newspaper was to be accepted as fact. That wasn't always the case either, by the way, but it was easier to defend the source to a teacher because, hey! Someone had published it! In a book!

Then, I noticed this hierarchy of sorts, not always explicitly stated, in content delivery which gave the consumer cues as to how seriously to take the content. One person's hierarchy might be slightly different than another person, but there was a time when you could safely say that an academic journal was expected to have more "serious" and "important" content than a comic book. That newspapers and books were more "serious" and "important" than television shows, and so on. Again, not always the case, but the content delivery vehicle and its characteristics provided generalizable cues to the consumer. Now? It's the Wild West out there. Fox News, This American Life, the New York Times, Politico, TMZ...delivering the same content across a variety of channels, etc. The old cues no longer work exclusively, you actually have to exercise some thought and cross-checking of your own to be able to judge the content accurately (well, you always did, but the channel sometimes allowed people to think that they could skip that part), but there are still many consumers who have no/low media literacy skills or who are still operating under the same principles of "the channel is the validity".

I think. I haven't really tested this theory out, and really need lunch right now before I pass out from hunger. But I sense there is an element of "Well, I am OBVIOUSLY more skilled as a writer than you are because my writing can be seen IN A NEWSPAPER! Not just a "blog" **sniff of disdain**"
posted by jeanmari at 10:06 AM on June 14, 2010


...delivering the same content across a variety of channels...

Meaning that Fox News can deliver its content on the Fox News Channel, in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, and on its website all at the same time. I didn't mean to suggest that This American Life and Fox News are publishing the same content.
posted by jeanmari at 10:09 AM on June 14, 2010


Misuse of ellipses. No need for scare quotes around "sentence." The word "English" should be capitalized. Not sure of the meaning of your sentence, because of the awkward construction -- esp. the pairing of words "in English." Did you mean that she's not a native speaker, or merely incompetent with the written form of English?

My defense is that I have never claimed to be a 'blogger' or a 'journalistic blogger' or to have been snubbed by the NYT or to have turned down an offer from NYT and then gone on to write about it in a blog that I purport to call journalism in a completely crap use of English grammar and so as a plain stupid one off comment on a web forum like this here web forum I am not being hypocritical or in any way coming off like a spoiled pile of sour grapes it's more the fact of the content of her argument is immediately diminished and belittled by the FORM of her argument and really I'm sorry but I don't care what medium you are using if you are trying to make a living by making reasoned or rational arguments then the FORM of your argument is important so that people actually understand what you are trying to say rather than perhaps getting lost in a run on sentence and misconstruing your meaning please let me know when you'd like me to stop i could go on all day like this because not using a period or commas is only confusing to us nearly dead 40-ish types whose brains are adled by Bro-icing all day long is there where the period goes when I'm done?
posted by spicynuts at 10:17 AM on June 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


"learn how to consistently write like an intelligent human being. "

Intelligent human beings write in a lot of different ways.

A high IQ doesn't come with a style guide and a freaky obsession for correctly punctuating sub-clauses.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:25 AM on June 14, 2010


Intelligent human beings write in a lot of STYLES. What they generally all have in common is adherence to a standard legibility and grammar that is immediately recognizable to others who may want to participate in the intellectual debate. When you write a sentence like the one posted in the 'more inside', and you can't be bothered to read it yourself to see that it makes zero sense without intense study, you pretty much are written off in my book. Honestly, try to read that sentence out loud to someone. See if their eyes glaze over. Grammar allows one to focus on meaning without having to parse syntax.
posted by spicynuts at 10:30 AM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seriously, I'm not making a grammar-nazi complaint. I'm making a 'please write in a way that doesn't require 5 minutes of re-reading to try to figure out what the object and subject are'. If you'd prefer to have all of your information presented to you in the way in which she writes, well, I guess you are free. I am also free to not take you seriously if you can't be bothered to consider your audience when writing.
posted by spicynuts at 10:32 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Intelligent human beings write in a lot of different ways.

There's a reason that BBC doesn't hire mutterers for its radio programming, and it has much less to do with any mutterer's given intelligence than his or her inability to communicate effectively.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:34 AM on June 14, 2010


I don't mind if they don't hire her. I get that writing clearly is a net good.

It is wrong to say that intelligence = a certain style (or even quality) of writing.

I don't have a learning disability (well, depending how you classify ADHD) but a lot of people do including my father and possibly my grandmother. (I guess you can get some of my perspective here.)

That's one of many things that influences writing, besides intelligence.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:45 AM on June 14, 2010


Also, damn, I love sentences like this:

It was a thing done by those at absurd crossroads, at bottoms, undisputed outsiders, and outsiders in uninteresting ways with uninteresting jobs, if jobs at all.


and this just pokes my happy button, despite (or because of?) it's wacky grammar

When I began blogging, in August of 2003, I will speak confidently only for myself but toss this general idea as a rock into a pool with rings extending outward to other rings of rocks conceivably tossed in this pool, if others wish to join me as rocks, and say, in that day, blogging was truly a losing proposition.

posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:51 AM on June 14, 2010



It is wrong to say that intelligence = a certain style (or even quality) of writing.


Well we are going to have to disagree then because this woman is making an argument that she and her ilk are a new vanguard of professional journalism. Once you go from making intelligent points among your friends or co-workers or family, in which forum any communication style is fine, to distributing your thoughts before a world audience that you are attempting to persuade or influence, then yes, your style of COMMUNICATION must be held to a higher standard. If you are trying to make a stand that your job is to communicate, then intelligence does in fact equal a certain quality of writing.

I am not arguing that she is unintelligent. You seem to be taking that point personally. I am arguing that her argument is diminished by being communicated in a poor manner. I seem to remember a whole lot of LULZ around here for 8 years about GW Bush's style of communicating. Let's at least be consistent.
posted by spicynuts at 11:02 AM on June 14, 2010


Also, damn, I love sentences like this:

It was a thing done by those at absurd crossroads, at bottoms, undisputed outsiders, and outsiders in uninteresting ways with uninteresting jobs, if jobs at all.

and this just pokes my happy button, despite (or because of?) it's wacky grammar


Yeah ok you and I are never going to agree. Good lord, that last paragraph is like some kind of Exquisite Corpse journalism.
posted by spicynuts at 11:06 AM on June 14, 2010


Just remember this. All agents defect, and all resisters sell out. That's the sad truth, Lizzie. And a blogger? A blogger lives the sad truth like anyone else. The only difference is, she files a report on it.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on June 14, 2010


There's a reason that BBC doesn't hire mutterers for its radio programming, and it has much less to do with any mutterer's given intelligence than his or her inability to communicate effectively.

The BBC used to refuse to hire people with regional accents, because they felt they wouldn't be taken seriously. It has since reversed that decision, and the use of language, and the variety of expression, on the station has been vastly expanded as a result.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:25 AM on June 14, 2010


I am not arguing that she is unintelligent. You seem to be taking that point personally.

You said "If you want to be taken seriously [...] learn how to consistently write like an intelligent human being."

Whether or not she is an intelligent person, you implied that there is a certain way that intelligent human beings write. I am saying that intelligent human beings write in many different ways, some write not at all. I have many privileges and advantages and I can bust out clear, concise, liberal-arts-major-from-the-east-coast prose but it's important to realize that not everyone can.

I don't think you meant to insult people with learning disabilities. Just know that even if you just mean to make a snappy criticism of this one particular blogger, you end up criticizing people who weren't able to get an education because women don't need to go to school; people who are from a cultural background where we don't speak Newspaper English; people who preferred to take math classes...

Next time try "learn how to consistently write with clarity" or "learn how to make more sense" or "buy a style guide, for fuck's sake" and you won't cast such a wide net.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2010


Those of us who are trashing this person for her bad grammar and unwriterly manner seem to be basing it all on one blog post. She's got various paragraphs of book reviews that are arranged all around the post on the same page, so you don't even have to click through to her archives to see that she's a terrific, clever writer with a lot to say. Perhaps she's not saying what you want her to say the way you think it should be said in this single post, but that doesn't mean that she's incapable of communication or somesuch. My perception is that she belted out this post in a free-for-all burst of indignation, and let it stand without edits, which of course is something that's never been done on the blue.

Pants McCracky: It comes across (to me) as a self-important rant with more than a touch of ego primping: "hey, look, the fucking New York Times came to my door, and I told them to piss off!"

It comes across somewhat that way to me too. But I'd be willing to bet that there are few bloggers who would not launch into a similar rant if given the opportunity. I don't see a lot of blogs whose writers have tons of respect for the Times, no matter its position at the top of the old media heap. Same goes for the blue, which collectively rises in renewed outrage every time a FPP about the Times appears.
posted by blucevalo at 11:36 AM on June 14, 2010


See, you can't rewrite, 'cause to rewrite is to deceive and lie, and you betray your own thoughts. To rethink the flow and the rhythm, the tumbling out of the words, is a betrayal, and it's a sin, spicynuts, it's a sin.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on June 14, 2010


Oh, hooray! A thread about journalists vs. bloggers! Hey, you know what would be really cool to discuss? MAC VS. PC! Because PCs run lots of programs, but Macs have this cool user interface...

Meanwhile, back in 2010, there were some worthwhile points there - mostly in the graf that the FPP cited - but they were buried in the most unwelcome mid-decade flashback.
posted by bicyclefish at 11:39 AM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want to be fair, [we]blogging is making a log of interesting links you found around the link. So if you want to say that NY Times bloggers (or other blog-journalists) are not blogging, well, neither is she. Y'all are journaling (journalists? hah!) or essayists at best. You're not losing anything by shedding the "blogger" label, except perhaps one of the ugliest neologisms to come out the World Wide Web.
posted by Eideteker at 11:39 AM on June 14, 2010


Oh man, now the debate will become about whether or not bloggers are living up to the earliest, and most out of date, definition of blogger.

The medium is no longer the message. Now it's who can control the definition of the medium.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:45 AM on June 14, 2010


We should all aspire to the ideal that is Jezebel circa 2008.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on June 14, 2010


I like this woman's writing.

She is a master of what I think of as the braided style, in which several (up to four in some extreme cases) themes are running through some sentences, and as one surfaces the others dive down, and the whole thing is orchestrated by parentheses, commas, dashes and semicolons.

The sentences people have quoted as examples of her errors also have this braided structure, only she has put fragments of two different competing versions of the same thought in the sentence without seeming to realize it.

For example:

"Still, it was curious to be lifted up and expected to be offer thanks around when I wasn’t making the calls to them, after all."
could be seen as
'Still, it was curious to be lifted up and expected to offer thanks around when I wasn’t making the calls to them, after all.'
and
'Still, it was curious to be lifted up and expected to be thankful when I wasn’t making the calls to them, after all.'

"Did it matter that the same media plucking us for our purposes insisted on depicted us as clubby and insiderish ourselves?"
might be seen as
'Did it matter that the same inbred media plucking us for their own purposes depicted us as clubby and insiderish ourselves?'
and
'Did it matter that the same media plucking us for what we had developed among ourselves insisted on depicting us as clubby and insiderish?'

This style can achieve great compression when properly deployed, and has the virtue of allowing a strong statement and strong objections to that statement to be made simultaneously.

And sometimes it has the beauty of a fugue.
posted by jamjam at 12:11 PM on June 14, 2010


To rethink the flow and the rhythm, the tumbling out of the words, is a betrayal, and it's a sin, spicynuts, it's a sin.

Yeah that's why there are 500 takes of every Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Charlie Mingus composition to be endlessly enjoyed, because re-writing is a sin. (I know you were being sarcastic)
posted by spicynuts at 12:13 PM on June 14, 2010


Next time try "learn how to consistently write with clarity" or "learn how to make more sense" or "buy a style guide, for fuck's sake" and you won't cast such a wide net.

No I think I will stand by my original sentiment, thank you. You clearly are bringing some kind of personal sensitivity to this.
posted by spicynuts at 12:15 PM on June 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


> Co-option and integration aren't all bad, but it should never happen thoughtlessly.
> posted by Chipmazing at 10:06 AM on June 14 [1 favorite +] [!]

but it always does.
posted by jfuller at 12:46 PM on June 14, 2010


It's a literary blog, so I'm guessing she was doing some kind of Finnegan's Wake riff, with some Tom Wolf exclamation points to keep it fun.
posted by Trochanter at 12:58 PM on June 14, 2010


Oh, and:

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?
posted by Trochanter at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2010


I did, once.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:02 PM on June 14, 2010


But you are sure as hell not a blogger any more than that dude with the novel in the drawer is a novelist.

What, blogger elitism now?

griphus: No, but the blogosphere deals it a hell of a blow.

It really depends. Technology and science blogs seem to be a bit ahead of the curve in looking at primary research, but bout 80% of the commentary on "a-list" political blogs uses a handful of news organizations as primary sources. And of course, most of blogosphere has absolutely nothing to do with journalism.

Blogs that claim to replace traditional journalism are still sucking at its tit for most of its content and clicks.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:01 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


It has since reversed that decision, and the use of language, and the variety of expression, on the station has been vastly expanded as a result.

I think there's a logical difference between muttering, which is unintelligible everywhere, and having a regional accent, which is perhaps more useful for clearly delivering local news on the radio.

On the other hand, if the analogy being made is that a blogger like Skurnick would better serve a dumbed-down readership in America, in that her poor writing for the NYT would be better targeted to her now NYT-widened readership, then maybe you're right.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:07 PM on June 14, 2010


The first rule of blogging is that you should never blog about blogging. Because it bores me to fucking tears.

Do blogs even really exist as an independent style, anymore? Twitter has taken over the brief-braindump-with-link market, and blogs have evolved into collections of long-form Click to read more... articles that mirror traditional magazines. And while I agree that traditional media has often done blogging poorly, individual journalists have often done Twitter brilliantly.
posted by Jimbob at 4:20 PM on June 14, 2010


The first rule of blogging is that you should never blog about blogging.

says the guy on the community weblog.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:12 PM on June 14, 2010


What can I say, Jimbob don't play by the rules, dude.
posted by Jimbob at 2:48 AM on June 15, 2010


There was a wild Colonial Boy,
Jimbobbo was his name,
Of poor but honest parents,
He was born in Castlemaine*.
He was mathowie's only hope
Jessamyn's pride and joy,
And dearly did the bloggers love
The Wild Colonial Boy.

* speculating here, due to lack of biographical information.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:48 PM on June 15, 2010


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