Launches Weblogs
June 3, 2002 9:50 AM   Subscribe Launches Weblogs
Sign of the times? Sign of the apocalypse? Or both? Move over Kottke, here comes Chris Matthews...
posted by wendell (22 comments total)
I think eventually all news publications will do blogs. Network Computing's been doing one for a while, and it actually points to content from other sources.
posted by culberjo at 10:11 AM on June 3, 2002

I hope he does some generators and personality quizzes. It's important to know what his Wu name is, and what Friends character he's most like.
posted by iconomy at 10:17 AM on June 3, 2002

This is certainly some sort of milestone. Hey, they even spelled it correctly! (I thought for sure MSNBC would launch "web logs")
posted by mathowie at 10:17 AM on June 3, 2002

Those weblogs look too damn corporate. And Matthew's blog looks like a simple regurgitation of the pundit-speak on his show. (Republicans good at foreign policy, Democrats good at domestic policy) This of course makes absolutely no sense to me, but that's fine, since on TV you never have to explain why this is so.

It really just looks like a webpage that some intern threw together based on notes Matthews gave him. The West Bank post is good, so I guess this is a promising development- maybe it will force TV pundits to think a little bit, they can't steamroll people on the web like they can in a time-limited, live exchange (O'Reilly's typical tactic).
posted by insomnyuk at 10:22 AM on June 3, 2002

I have to say that Chris Matthews' blog is pretty good. Loaded with links, these seem to be true weblogs, pointing out sites on non-MSNBC servers with wanton abandon.

Given this blog has so many links in it, I wonder if Matthews is actually doing this much surfing or if they leave the linking to interns (add relevant here link re: palestine, skippy, thanks). I wonder how they can work this additional output into these commentator's schedules. These people are all doing 30 and 60 minute (or more) spots on MSNBC everyday, plus they've got to read all day to prepare and write opinion pieces. How would they find the time to keep this up? Could these perhaps be ghost written?
posted by mathowie at 10:31 AM on June 3, 2002

Not really a repost, but sort of: Here's the thread. But back then it was only two blogs started, more to come. Also it does not appear as if they will be archived - three weeks of life and pffft - gone are the posts.
posted by kokogiak at 10:32 AM on June 3, 2002

let's just hope that fold_and_mutilate starts breaking Chris Matthews' balls too
posted by matteo at 10:33 AM on June 3, 2002

As far as the ghost-writing, I know at least one (Alan Boyle's Cosmic Blog) is indeed done by Alan himself. The others... don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet they aren't ghost-written.
posted by kokogiak at 10:35 AM on June 3, 2002

The Juice is really pretty good, if you like celebrity/film gossip and news. He's got decent links, too.
posted by iconomy at 10:38 AM on June 3, 2002

Move over Descendants, here comes Papa Roach.

Fine and dandy and all, unless it somehow hastens weblogs into the popular consciousness, making them more of a commodity, and hence more expensive and prohibitive for the regular folk who want to blog about their everyday nonsense.
That would suck.
posted by dong_resin at 10:39 AM on June 3, 2002

I'd like it better if they had a "comment on this post" link for each item. The only way to talk back is to send him e-mail. But I guess they'd never allow unmoderated posting anyway.
posted by RylandDotNet at 10:44 AM on June 3, 2002

Move over Descendants, here comes Papa Roach.

That's a brilliant analogy, but who exactly represents the Descendants (Kottke?) and Papa Roach (William Shatner maybe)?
posted by insomnyuk at 10:52 AM on June 3, 2002

Acknowlegemnts to kokogiak for the earlier catch on the Cosmic Blog.

I was mostly reacting to the press release officially 'launching' the MSNBC Blogs, which contains some interestingly "Weblog Correct" (WC?) language...

We see blogs as both a new literary genre and the next generation of online communities: A focused, information-rich environment in which a writer -- famous, infamous or unknown -- engages in the daily act of thinking aloud, in the ever-expanding universe of the Web, added Joan Connell, executive producer for Opinions and Communities on "As our Weblogs evolve, count on to become a resource center and a platform from which bloggers can connect with one another and with the ideas that shape our world."

That, and I occasionally have to remind Crazy Uncle Joe that I'm still alive. And please DON'T ask what's happened to the relaunch of MY blog, 'cause it always makes me want to bang my head against the wall, then I lose conciousness and fall another day behind. (a self non-link)
posted by wendell at 10:59 AM on June 3, 2002

The best blog at MSNBC is Eric Alterman's. I think it is Anyway , it's really good commentary and links.
posted by nofundy at 11:08 AM on June 3, 2002

They all seem to be complaining tey're too busy to post daily tho...
posted by BentPenguin at 11:16 AM on June 3, 2002

Wendell - Yeah, the press release and the "WC" language definitely couch this in less experimental terms, and makes it look a little more calculated on MSNBC's part.
posted by kokogiak at 11:18 AM on June 3, 2002

Republicans are trusted more on fighting terrorism, keeping the military strong, on foreign affairs in general and upholding moral values.

Democrats are seen as better on issues like prescription drugs for seniors, patient’s bill of rights, the environment.

how incredibly insightful. in other news, does anyone else have trouble taking a news site with a banner ad for "the world's classiest online casino" seriously?

posted by mcsweetie at 12:01 PM on June 3, 2002

I think eventually all news publications will do blogs.

Eventually ALL of our news will come from blogs.
posted by HTuttle at 3:30 PM on June 3, 2002

Eventually all of our news will be blogs.

"and so Kottke was walking out of the shower..."
posted by nedrichards at 4:40 PM on June 3, 2002

How would they find the time to keep this up? Could these perhaps be ghost written?

They probably will not be sustained by those named in the byline. At the least they are edited, so is a blog that needs staff credits really a blog?

Since these daily webcolumnists don't actually concern themselves with design, posting or hosting and seem to have no interest in the mechanics of a weblog are they really part of the weblog community?

All that bandwidth and no comments system? Please, it's almost disingenuous. If you don't have comments because your lawyers told you not to, you're definitely not writing a blog.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper has been writing Pop Culture Junk Mail and Alt-log for years and did a blog for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. She moved to Seattle to work for MSNBC quite a while ago. I thought she would have been their first blogger. I noticed she hasn't mentioned any of the MSNBC webcolumns in PCJM yet.

It seems to me it's just a major media site putting new paint on an old storefront and jumping on the blogtrain. Had this come before the bloggers vs. journalists meme I may have been less critical, but I doubt it.
posted by yonderboy at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2002

I wouldn't expect these to develop into really personal efforts, as has happened with freelance journos who blog. It's certainly far from the first "pro" blog, and it's a very defensible kind of approach -- even without any discernible personality at all. Nor would I be surprised to find that they're produced with the help of interns -- after all, most professional columnists use "leg men" and file jockeys. I think the real question will be seeing which of these big-time pundits ends up continuing the experiment, and whether it changes them in any way. Eric Alterman caught some flak in the blogs for his diffident dismissal {somewhere, didn't turn it up} of them, but is now receiving kudos for his blogging style from some of the same critics.

A still more interesting possibility is that this is the first intersection of blogs and big-time TV (if you can call dinner-time cable that). Will Matthews become enamored of certain bloggers, invite them on his show, either because of their propensity for being quotable, or being on the forefront of a developing story? Hmmm. Maybe O-dub will get his chance.
posted by dhartung at 5:41 PM on June 3, 2002

In July, MSNBC is moving to a no-news, all-commentary format. The weblogs seems to fit with this shift, so maybe we'll be seeing blogs from Alan Keyes and Phil Donahue, too.
posted by oddovid at 7:32 AM on June 4, 2002

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