"It's the dirty little secret of punditry being exposed, that a lot of people can do it."
April 22, 2002 8:07 AM   Subscribe

"It's the dirty little secret of punditry being exposed, that a lot of people can do it." Howard Kurtz welcomes us "to the blogosphere, a rapidly expanding universe where legions of ordinary folks are launching Weblogs...." Why haven't I heard of this before? 8^)
posted by BGM (5 comments total)
In addition to the fun of watching mainstream media types whistling in the dark about the affect blogging will have on their professional futures, I also enjoy finding out what kind of blogs each of these articles presents as examples. The blogs selected often give insight into the agenda and personality of the article writer. I guess that's why I enjoy reading blogs, I get the mental stimulus of getting to know people without having to present myself for evaluation. Hmm, I guess that tells you something about me. Anyway, who do you think has done the best traditional media article about blogging? (Please link to it if possible).
posted by BGM at 8:21 AM on April 22, 2002

You know, I'm not disliking this article because it is warblog-centric, and it's not because it claimed that Matt Drudge was the godfather of blogging. I think this article is poor because it simply highlights sites that serve as opinion pages and pundit columns you might see in the newspaper. Maybe this is a "safe" subject for career newspaper pundits to cover, that anyone can do what they do on a blog, as long as you are commenting on articles written by professional journalists.

This article doesn't highlight people covering events themselves, or first-person accounts of events, perhaps because to some extent they replace traditional media stories or compliment them in a way traditional media could never duplicate. What's the bottom line in this article? Start a blog, and you might get a lot of traffic and eventually money from donations? Not exactly the most inspired or interesting reasons to get blogging.
posted by mathowie at 9:40 AM on April 22, 2002

The difference in quality is a difference of informed vs. un-informed opinion. Who wants to read opinions on-line that are mere extensions of local coffe-shop talk. The promise of the Web is that you supposedly have a wider circle of experience and expertise to draw from.

I am imagining something like Metafilter, covering news stories only - though not necessarily stories covered by traditional media. Each comment would have to be qualified with one of two sources:

1) I am near this event or have special knowledge.
(e.g. "I live in Israel and the explosion happened down the street!", "I was at the WTO protest", "I went to college with this guy")

2) I have some expert qualification on this matter
(e.g. "I am a trained pilot and so I know that steering on these planes...", "I am a criminal defense lawyer so I can tell you..." etc.)

Just a suggestion. One that would generate more signal, less noise. A quick review of random blogs will, inevitably, show mostly noise.
posted by vacapinta at 6:16 PM on April 23, 2002

Perhaps, vacapinta -- but in some people's opinion, the traditional media are increasingly, themselves, mostly noise. I think that the blog world -- especially in that bane of the Old Skool bloggers, interblog linking -- manages to do exactly the kind of qualification you propose. Yesterday I read comments on the interrogation problems at Guantanamo ... from a former military interrogator.

Personally, I don't find this article significantly more hobbled by its Six Popular Sites outlook than any of the other hundred blog articles that have come out.
posted by dhartung at 6:32 PM on April 23, 2002

you're right dhartung. But, I bet you had to do some searching to find that blog. Most people are lazy. When they click on random blogs they are apt to wade through a lot of either:

1) This is my life. Blah, Blah. I cant stop thinking of my ex-boyfriend. Blah, Blah.


2) Here's a lot of links to quirky places and/or news items perhaps with my own editorial opinion attached.

Hub sites today cant possibly cover all the topics of interest or have the time to find all the qualified sources. How does the authority of corsair rise above the muck of unqualified sources and make itself heard?

If I wanted some qualified opinions on Guantamo, where would I have started? Where do I start when I'm looking for the next item? I'm not talking about you and me, armed with Google-skills and a short-list of bloggers.

Whether distributed or centralized, there are no natural entry points into the blogging world, no blog-specific search engine (forget daypop) that searches an as-yet-to-be-created markup language like BlogML to find, quickly, the authoritative Hubs, in the blogging world, for a wide range of events and topics.

Very simply put, when I see an interblog link, I dont know the quality of that link. Most bloggers simply link to their friends or the small world of which they are aware of.

(I'm posting this drunk so I hope the above makes sense)
posted by vacapinta at 8:43 PM on April 23, 2002

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