Can the LA Times write a decent story about bloggers and blogging?
September 13, 2002 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Can the LA Times write a decent story about bloggers and blogging? They certainly didn't in their latest piece. Plus they took an interesting angle of writing about bloggers, but ignoring every single LA-based blogger despite the fact that LA just might be home to the largest community of bloggers on the planet. But LA shouldn't feel shunned, the Times didnt mention the Instapundit, Ev, or Metafilter either.
posted by tsarfan (47 comments total)
Tony Pierce covered this masterfully yesterday.

heres some other ways to write a shitty peice of dreck that exposes you as the dinosaur that you are:

+ call Slashdot a blog.

+ use the word "blog-o-sphere" a half dozen times in the first few paragraphs and not give credit to The Daily Pundit who coined the phrase "blogopshere", but use him in the article anyway.

+ by all means reference that tech guru William Saffire's column about the word "Blog" in the NYT

+ talk about the class at Berkeley that will be all about Blogging

+ dont talk about the inventor of the Blogger, Ev, who has a great blog

+ ignore the Blogfather Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit who got 200,000 hits yesterday

+ and when you put it online, make sure not to link to anyone

LA Times, you will go down.

posted by gen at 10:53 AM on September 13, 2002

I saw a clip of this on the elevator advertising screen (yes, I live in hell) today at work. It said something like, Blogs, a form of interactive newsletter, number between 200,000 and 500,000.

All I could think was, interactive newsletter? Where the hell did they get that? You don't load up Instapundit and see Proceeds from the bakesale were $203. Wacky.

Anyway, you fell right into their trap, linking to their blogbait.
posted by toothless joe at 11:01 AM on September 13, 2002

I agree with everything Tony said except this piece:
use the word "blog-o-sphere" a half dozen times in the first few paragraphs and not give credit to The Daily Pundit who coined the phrase "blogopshere"

If I use the term "Blogistan" do I have to link to Cory Doctorow? If I use the term "blog" do I have to link to Peter Merholz? Does that not seem silly that you're forced to credit words of all things?

In 1999 people used to email me asking if they could use the term "permalink" since MetaFilter was one of the first places to feature the word in its current use. I used to tell them to go ahead and don't worry about credit because I wasn't sure if I was the one to coin it, I wasn't sure if I was the first to use it, and more to the point, I didn't care. It's just a word, a concept, and an idea. They're free, use all you want, I'll always make more.

I know DailyPundit lays claim to the phrase and takes pride in it, but honestly, do people have a responsibility to always credit him when they utter the phrase? I can understand that it would be nice if they did (i.e. "looking across the entire blog universe, or as calls it, the "blogosphere"...), but to cry foul when they don't seems strange.
posted by mathowie at 11:03 AM on September 13, 2002

I often find my self wondering why journalists write articles about concepts that they seem to understand only vaguely. Why bother to write about it at all, if you're too lazy to do proper research?

Then I shrug my shoulders, remembering that everything in the news has the corners rounded off and a coating of gelatin put on it to make it more easily go down the throats of the newsreading public, who are obviously regarded as complete idiots by the press.
posted by GriffX at 11:19 AM on September 13, 2002

um, gen? tsar fan IS tony pierce.
posted by henriettachicken at 11:26 AM on September 13, 2002

While the term doesn't necessarily need be linked to DailyPundit all the freakin' time, it's a new word to a huge honking percentage of people reading the article and an origin would have been nice. And DP was one of the few bloggers mentioned in the article, so why not make that connection?

And I like that ten minutes after Tony made this post, a comment linked right back to yesterday's diatribe. Read Tony, people. Read him now. Read him forever.
posted by thebigpoop at 11:26 AM on September 13, 2002

Watch it, Matt. Some people get really worked up when Bill Quick doesn't get his alleged due.
posted by jjg at 11:30 AM on September 13, 2002

Blogging articles good or bad seem to draw attention. Why bother trying to write a good one?

The lawyer induced caution towards words reminds me of the the game Max Payne that trademarked "Bullet Time" and "Shoot Dodge." Id should follow up and trademark "Fragged" and "rocket jump."
posted by john at 11:32 AM on September 13, 2002

Also being discussed at Blogroots, mainly dealing with the much more sensible objection that they ignored LA-centric bloggers, as opposed to Bill's Quixotic fixation.
posted by dhartung at 11:38 AM on September 13, 2002

shitty peice[sic] of dreck that exposes you as the dinosaur that you are: [...] LA Times, you will go down.

Writing like a professional wrestler, and failing to correct an error a third-grader would be chastized for, don't constitute covering the issue masterfully.

mathowie: I was struck by the same complaint, and it reminded me of Dave's complaints about not being mentioned when books or articles surface regarding blogging, content aggregating, etc. With the blogosphere's limited economy, apparently the only real currency is props.
posted by todds at 11:38 AM on September 13, 2002

heres some other ways to write a shitty peice of dreck that exposes you as the dinosaur that you are:

Well, it's outed a bunch of primadonnas as the primadonnas they are. Which is, I suppose, some kind of journalistic service. Let's play 'In It For The Ego': because with that attitude, all of the lofty pronunciations about taking on journalists at their own job will be undermined by whinging about not getting their lollipops from the nasty reporter.
posted by riviera at 11:40 AM on September 13, 2002

...mainly dealing with the much more sensible objection that they ignored LA-centric bloggers, as opposed to Bill's Quixotic fixation

Since the main points had already been covered elsewhere, and the subject of tony's personal blog post came out, I felt the one beef I had with his comments was worth mentioning, and again, only because everything else had been covered and was spot on. It's a very minor thing, and I don't mean to make a big deal about it, it's just that it continues to come up and I'm starting to think people are parroting the point without thinking it through.
posted by mathowie at 11:47 AM on September 13, 2002

At last count, was recording 1384 bloggers in the NYC metropolitan area.

Couldn't find a count at, but it sure didn't look like there were anywhere near a thousand blogs listed as LA-based.

"largest community of bloggers on the planet"??

posted by at 11:47 AM on September 13, 2002

I don't recall journalists ever getting things right back when we called it 'journalling' or 'online diaries' or 'personal narratives' either. Heck, WE couldn't get it straight because no one could agree on what to call whatever it was we were doing or where it was going. Many took offense to any attempt to canonize descriptors at all, or any media attention whatsoever. And there were people who put their personal thoughts on the Internet but were then appaulled to find people actually reading their stuff, and if a reporter from some newspaper noticed? Oh all hell might break loose. Crazy times.

So I'm not surprised at all to see newspapers & periodical publications getting their facts messed up today in regards to blogging. It's taken them far too long to even acknowledge the existence of blogging. We're actually competition for them, just as grassroots mp3 swapping became inadvertent competition for the music industry.

Expecting conventional mass media to even mention us is naive and overly optimistic. I'm waiting for the day when they start accusing bloggers of everything from child abuse to senior citizens beating on poor defenseless biker gangs.

We're the enemy of 20th century journalistic thinking. It's only a matter of time before the behemoths of the news industry pick up the gauntlet which we have unceremoniously thrown down at their feet.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2002

The LA blog scene, from what I've seen (I live here), has always been quite small. Only recently with advent of the warblogging "pundits" has it become more active, and even then...not nearly on par with SF or NY.
posted by perplexed at 11:54 AM on September 13, 2002

What? An article about blogging that DIDN'T mention Instapundit? Has hell frozen over??? (Note: sarcastic attempt to say it's about freakin' time ... there ARE other blogs out there, after all...)

I don't think LA is the largest community of bloggers either, considering the number of bloggers in NYC & San Francisco.
posted by christine_bpc at 12:01 PM on September 13, 2002

I have noticed a seemingly larger percentage of warbloggers or political bloggers here in LA. I was also suprised at how many blogs were focused solely on Valley seccession.

BTW, I host and there are 165 blogs in the list right now. I imagine there would be more if my site was as well put together and easy to navigate as Part of the reason I put the site together is to seek out LA bloggers and by my estimate, I don't believe that LA deserves the title of "largest community of bloggers on the planet".
posted by jonah at 12:08 PM on September 13, 2002

Also, it should be noted that the LA Times article was in the Southern California Living section. I think that this fact is part of the reason for the displeasure in the large omission of actual LA Bloggers.
posted by jonah at 12:10 PM on September 13, 2002

Glenn Reynolds and Dave Winer and the rest of the tired and boring egoist dickheads can all kiss my pale white ass. Don't read 'em; never have, never will. I'd be happy to pay to get rid of all of the mainstream "weblogs are/n't the future of journalism" stories to stop all of this self important nonsense.

(When someone actually uses the term "blogfather" without a hint of irony, than I know that the nails are finally being hammered into the weblog publicity coffin. It's about time.)

I've got the only weblog in my town. Oh God! I'll never be able to compete with New York and Los Angeles! If only you could see the tears streaming down my face! [snort]

Long live the mostly unread 99.99%.

Get out there and read a weblog you've never head of today. I dare ya!
posted by mark13 at 12:12 PM on September 13, 2002

I meant "heard" of course. Damn typos!
posted by mark13 at 12:15 PM on September 13, 2002

*gulp* What timing. Today I'm supposed to be working on an article for The Seattle Weekly about lessons I've learned in my two years of blogging.

Suddenly I'm sort of frightened.
posted by arielmeadow at 12:18 PM on September 13, 2002

" largest community of bloggers on the planet. "

What planet? United States? The Brazilian community is huge. :)
posted by papalotl at 12:30 PM on September 13, 2002

some quick points: 1. yes, i, tsarfan, am tony pierce, i never wanted to make this about my rebuttal that i put in my blog about the la times article about blogs and the last thing that i expected was for the first comment to reference me.

2. it's not that i think that it's important to give credit to Bill Quick any time you want to write "blogosphere" in a story about bloggers, but i think it is telling the way they chose to creatively hyphenate it in a story that actually does mention Quick (it tells me that they might just know about his claim, and prefer not to give him credit)

3. i think people who bitch about spelling and/or grammar in blogs are retards. i write plenty to complain about, if you don't agree with my arguments, attack those-- lord knows they are attackable.

4. i think people who complain about spelling in blogs and then misspell a link, put the smile right back on my face that they so wished to wipe off, so ha!

5. i don't think it's required to mention Glenn or Ev in features about bloggers, but i think if your approach is a sorta Intro into Blogging 101, then you're doing your newbie readers a disservice by not mentioning at least one of these fellow.

6. i know nyc has more bloggers, and, as jonah said, is so amazing on many levels, but if someone from LA doesn't try to stick it to someone in NY, then the terrorists have won.

7. with that, i think that with welch, layne, rabbit blog, little green footballs, the volokh brothers, the sullivan siblings, kaus, moxie, linse, and myself (if i may be so bold), LA just might have more heavy-hitters than any other metropolis... debatable?

8. if i had to write the FPP again, perhaps i would have included something along the lines of "do papers like the LAT cover emerging trends like blogs so poorly because they cant see them - or don't want to see them - as real competition?" am i the only one who sees a day when content will be downloaded to a PDA where a blog could have just as much of a chance to be read on a bus or a train as a daily paper?
posted by tsarfan at 12:43 PM on September 13, 2002

IHNTA, IJLS "scriping". With a long I. It seems appropriate.
posted by dhartung at 1:01 PM on September 13, 2002

Hmmn...250,000 to 500,000 bogs? By doing a quick calculation using the web information to noise ratio, that means that somewhere at least a dozen or so people are actually saying something intelligent.

Which means that I too will have to say something intelligent some day.

Which is more than I can say for the traditional news. The only question is whether the mass media being complete microcephalic morons is a recent innovation, or that it has always been that way. I suspect the latter, and just that all the dreck has been filtered out over time. If you dig, you can find ample evidence for the reporters, even way back in the "Golden Age" before the advent of talking hairdos, getting it completely wrong. Even getting it wrong on purpose. See the complete screw job done on Iva Toguri for a little taste of that.

Besides, isn't all reporting on the net a pure case of the fox guarding the chickens and/or the French and Russians judging figure skating? Of course. The media hasn't yet gotten over attempts to turn the net into yet another broadcast medium, and the foul taste of pointcast and the demise of streaming media still sticks in their craw. People want an interactive text-based media (like blogging) rather than going for postage stamps with Parkinson's video, if for no other reason than people already have a television. As long as they keep pushing that stuff, want the net to conform to being yet another media to be controlled by them, of course the subtext is always going to treat the net with suspicion like a perverted cousin.

And of course they will get it wrong. As the old italian expression goes "That which you can't have, abuse".
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 1:12 PM on September 13, 2002

ArielMeadow: "Suddenly I'm sort of frightened."

Just git yer facts raght an' we won't haveta lynch ya.

TsarFan: "but if someone from LA doesn't try to stick it to someone in NY, then the terrorists have won."

Ugh! If I hear that phrase ONE MORE TIME I'm gonna LET the darn terrorists win just to spite everybody! STOP SAYIN' THAT. Even in jest. It's annoying and stupid. The terrorists didn't win. They ain't gonna win. Even if they blew up the entire planet they still wouldn't win. So shut up about letting the terrorists win. You can let a terrorist win any more than you can drown a fish. Terrorists are born losers.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:14 PM on September 13, 2002


Long live the mostly unread 99.99%.

Thanks, that would be me.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 1:14 PM on September 13, 2002

When I read comments like these, with bloggers crowing they're going to be Big Media's worst nightmare, I can only shake my head in wonderment. This community really is self-absorbed, isn't it?

Ever talk to someone outside the online world about blogging? It's instructive. "So, you write something every day? About what? Oh. OK. And there are links? Hmm. Sure, I'll drop by sometime." And if they do, and if you're a talented writer, you might get a new reader out of it. But just as often your friend might click around the blogosphere (REGISTERED TRADEMARK) a bit and conclude that all bloggers are interested in is the sounds of their own voices, as well as who coined a particular neologism.

I'm not talking shit here; I have a bloggish personal site. But when I see people kowtow to this or that blogger, and I go to that site to find either a self-regarding writer stirring his own personal plate or noodles or link after link with one or two sentences boiling down to "Jesus Jones has the 411 on Palestinian propaganda -- check it out," I wonder: What, in here, could possibly worry the L.A. Times, or any other newspaper worth a damn?

Sure, Instapundit is a reliable signpost to libertarian/conservative commentary. Little Green Footballs serves all your anti-Palestinian needs. The blogs of Tony Pierce/Matt Welch/Ken Layne et al will provide you with many wonderful photographs of their many wonderful parties, some funny commentary on this and that, but not much else. I like all these sites, but what would I pay to visit them? Not a dime. If they all went away tomorrow, I'd miss them for maybe a day.

A good news blog serves as a nice clearinghouse for whatever subject it's oriented toward -- technology, media, whatever. A personal site can be interesting if the writer makes it so, or if you find yourself drawn in by watching the lives of others. I'm intrigued by, with its idea of freelance criticism of books, movies, music, etc., but if it doesn't deliver useful or well-presented information, it's not going to fly far, nor endanger Roger Ebert and Michiko Kakutani.

But until a blogger is willing to get up and go down to the police station every day, to check the blotter and report the stories and write it all up; or cover the school board and interview the people involved and follow the beat; or shlep down to the courthouse day after day and keep up with the docket and sit in on the good trials; until all these things happen, the local newspaper won't be "going down" anytime soon.

I think, and I could very well be wrong, that in the absence of another major terrorist attack or huge national story, we're heading for a shakeout in news/personal blogs. Many will remain. I maintain my own partly as a way to keep up with family and friends; I think a family blog would be a great way for a scattered or extended clan to stay in touch with one another. They'll continue to serve communities of interest. They'll evolve as a means of personal expression/performance art. Big Media should be interested in them, but mainly in how they can steal their best features -- the personal tone, the interactivity, the links -- and turn them to their own evil ends. Many already are.

A semi-blogger and professional writer I e-mailed with recently had a great analogy -- blogging as CB radio. It's fun, it's trendy, it's interesting, but once it's played out only a relative handful will continue with i
posted by nance at 1:17 PM on September 13, 2002

"3. i think people who bitch about spelling and/or grammar in blogs are retards. "

That's ok. I can't be bothered to read people who can't be bothered with spelling and grammer. So we're even. Plus, calling people "retard" is retarded.
posted by haqspan at 1:25 PM on September 13, 2002


I don't think I was referring to blogging as the "Big Media's worst nightmare", so your comments are not directed at me. But since this is the net, I'm going to answer anyway.

Anyone who thinks their blog is going to put the fear into the Snogwash County Maine Herald-Dispatch online, much less the New York times, should be given a fly-by by Marlin Perkins and Bob and have a air-dart full of Thorazine bulls-eyed right into their meter-wide blogging behind, and then shipped off to the megomanical ward.

Even the big-timer net-star Matt Drudge (not a blogger, if only because mainly bloogers are more reflective and better fact checkers) is something of a joke (Uh, did I need that qualifier "something"? Probably not).

Then again, most media pundits are something of a joke, especially if you read The Daily Howler.

I think the mass media gets it wrong not because they are fearful of being supplanted by bloggers, but because blogging is part of the net and the inability of media and corporations to wrestle the net into something manageable is a constant source of irritation for them. It's the fact that they take none of this seriously, rather than their taking it too seriously, that causes their errors.

Besides, when you are used to controling the dissemination of information, you get sloppy, because before anyone can point out your mistakes, they once had to go through your paper or through your television or radio station.

That's why I pointed out a quasi-blog like The Daily Howler, who constantly takes pundits to task for stuff they would have gotten away with in the past, and it's that sort of vocal criticism, in principle, that must give the pundits pause.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 1:33 PM on September 13, 2002

I didn't mean to insinuate I believe the blogging community will ever truly compete with newspapers and other news media. What I meant to say was as blogging continues to gain popularity and acknowledgement in the mainstream, and it will either in its present form or another, the big corporate media will eventually begin to suspect blogging is a threat, and will seek to shoot blogging down before it gets too big for its britches.

Don't believe me? It's what the RIAA did to Napster. Mp3 fileswapping has never been proven to affect the bottom line of the big record companies in the least. In fact at the height of mp3 fileswapping popularity I saw reports that it was actually encouraging people to buy music again. However, the growing interest in music wasn't limited to just the latest top forty lists. There was as much if not more interest in independent artists and smaller labels, and over a period of time yes that was going to affect the RIAA negatively, because thanks to services like Napster, the audience was becoming more informed. So the RIAA shot down Napster before it got too big to be brought to its knees. Like a lion going after the weakest fawn in the pack, before it becomes a buck and can fend for itself.

There will be a media blitz in years to come, to segregate 'respectable corporate journalism' from us lowlifes who dare open our mouths and say whatever we feel like. How dare we? We're giving journalists a bad name and blah blah blah. We will eventually be held accountable for all the limits on free speech without having any of the perks of successful publishing. If one blog gets more successful than others, the media will report negative things about that blog, in hopes of getting other bloggists to despise the leader of the pack. Divide and conquer. Instead of reporting on positive things that the blogging community is doing, the mass media will accuse bloggists of being child molesters or proponents of porn and drug use or mean young people who beat up on stray cats. Whatever it takes to alienate the blogging community from the rest of the world.

Eventually journalists will feel a need to separate themselves from the riff-raff, and we nonjournalists will once again be out in the cold. Nothing new to us. It's where we been from the start. *shrug*
posted by ZachsMind at 1:42 PM on September 13, 2002


"super information highway bystanders"

I like that. Someday, I'm going to steal it.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 1:43 PM on September 13, 2002

i think people who bitch about spelling and/or grammar in blogs are retards

I think that people who don't take a minute to check their spelling and proofread what they have written can't have spent much more time thinking about what it is that they actually wanted to say, and will pose no threat to traditional media for a long, long time.
posted by drobot at 1:44 PM on September 13, 2002


Fair enough. (I think it was Tony Pierce who said the L.A. Times "will go down," not that it matters. This is something you hear a lot.)

I work in Evil Big Media, and I don't think the inability of a workable profit model for the web is "a constant source of irritation." It is, however, a head-scratcher (at least in the print-media end). You're right -- most of the people in EBM are a few weeks, months or years behind the curve, and the higher you go, the less creative you are. They can't wring big bucks from their web presence, but they know they have to be there, so they're just squatting and hoping something will come along sooner or later to make the cash cow start mooing. They know there's *something* to blogging, but they're not sure what, or how they can use it. (The errors in stories about it just come from bad reporting, and reporters are about as low on the EBM ladder as you can go without opening the janitor's closet.)

Blogging is fascinating. Why does Instapundit get a zillion hits a day? Why does Matt Drudge, for that matter, who provides even less content? I suspect it has something to do with one-stop shopping, which is why I called the former a signpost. Daily Howler and others do provide useful fact-checking functions, but face it: Bloggers get as much information wrong as anyone, and contrary to what they all say, it's *not* all "corrected immediately." Ask anyone who's read Andrew Sulliva
posted by nance at 1:50 PM on September 13, 2002

And ZachsMind, I don't think the Napster analogy holds. File-swapping on the net is trading in exactly the same product the record industry is selling, minus the packaging and liner notes. But what is blogging? One person's take on one person's interests. I don't think even Maureen Dowd's most slavering fans pick up the New York Times to read her column and throw the rest away. (You've got a crossword puzzle and a bunch of other stuff there!) Newspapers and news broadcasts are aimed, by and large, at general audiences. Of course no one's going to like all of it, and may go out and start a blog to speak against it. But unless they're willing to do the whole job, they're just a person standing outside the building on a soapbox
posted by nance at 1:55 PM on September 13, 2002

tsarfan: If you're going to frame your blog entry as an open letter to the LA Times, then post a link to the referenced article to MetaFilter, it's a little disingenuous to pretend your already-cited post isn't going to be cited again, and critiqued. But you seem to care more about name-calling than editing, which is why people are willing to pay for the Times' writing, and not yours.
posted by todds at 1:59 PM on September 13, 2002


I'm a web master for Big Gub'mint and always had to go by the "640" rule, being that the higher up you go in the chain, the more likely it is that the dinosaur viewing the page will have their monitor set at 640 x 480.

But the point is not quite that these people in media are "behind the curve" as much as they have tried for years, what with things like Pointcast and streaming media, to define the curve and make the net into something like, well, newspaper or television.

I don't know if it is so much that they want to use blogging as, to them, the whole thing seems unprofitable, uncontrollable and therefore, inexplicable.

I have a real simple explanation for Matt Drudge: He is an online supermarket tabloid and/or political pornography for dittoheads.

Personally, I don't care how many "hits" a person gets. It misses the point. I don't even care how many hits I get. I have had web sites of my own off and on and my most recent incarnation (of which there is nothing but the blog at this moment) is just by me, for me, and if anyone wants to look at it, read what I write, be confused by my graphic art/politics/lack of religion, cool.

I don't live and die by hits. I have a job, therefore I can buy webspace, therefore I don't have to cater to anyone. That's the joy of the net: Low cost self-publishing. Anyone can do it. In fact, it seems everyone *can* do it. Even if they shouldn't.

I wish I remember who said it, but "The invention of the printing press made control of information difficult. The net made it impossible". Sure, most of what gets published is pictures of people's cat, but it is the idea of cheap self publishing, that can potentially have a huge readership -if that's your bag, baby- is still the most appealing thing about the net, and blogging, and the most cause in some people's minds for suspicion.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 2:03 PM on September 13, 2002

"I don't know if it is so much that they want to use blogging as, to them, the whole thing seems unprofitable, uncontrollable and therefore, inexplicable."

I think that's exactly right. You know: They pay editorial writers handsome salaries, and here's somebody willing to do it for nothing but the personal satisfaction! Does not compute! What the--?!
posted by nance at 2:12 PM on September 13, 2002

i think that with welch, layne, rabbit blog, little green footballs, the volokh brothers, the sullivan siblings, kaus, moxie, linse, and myself (if i may be so bold), LA just might have more heavy-hitters than any other metropolis...

Oh God. I can't. Someone else take this...
posted by mirla at 2:39 PM on September 13, 2002


what the heck are you talking about? anyone can see i wrote the blog entry yesterday and i posted this metafilter thread today.

furthermore, you have no idea how much people are willing to pay for the writing that i do on my blog or off my blog.

but since you bring it up, the readers of my blog gave me enough in donations last month alone to fly me to aruba this month.

does that mean im a good writer? hardly. but it does mean that people are willing to pay to read what i have to say, voluntarily, which is quite a feat, im sure you must admit.

either way, i don't see the relevance of linking this thread to yesterday's post.

call me disingenuous or a name-caller or whatever, but im not a revisionist, which is what i'd be if i changed yesterday's post to appease your unclear whim.

p.s. mirla, i agree with you, you can't. :)
posted by tsarfan at 3:13 PM on September 13, 2002

I remember the arguing about which town had the best, which guy had the best, how they'd take over the media. Sysops thought the BBS would last forever. But don't compare blogs to CBs, but to early newspaper publishing.

I was in the paper 'bidness for a long while and I don't believe blogs will drive newspapers into the ground. They're doing that to themselves.

However, the small-town weekly is a dinosaur. They're mostly the work of a committed individual anyway. Going online cuts your cost and improves distribution. You just have to convince the mom-and-pop shops to advertise.

As for the original point of the post...the LA Times writer was lazy. No one expects a reporter to cover all the angles, but Renee Tawa seems to specialize in "Gee, gosh, look at this funny group" stories -- fluffy, quickly investigated, and tossed off.

Finally, just who in the world expects a diary (like most blogs are) to read like a master's thesis?
posted by ?! at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2002

i think that with welch, layne, rabbit blog, little green footballs, the volokh brothers, the sullivan siblings, kaus, moxie, linse, and myself (if i may be so bold), LA just might have more heavy-hitters than any other metropolis...

Try san fran, jackass.

LA, capitol of frothing hatebloggers - I'll give you that. ;)
posted by D at 5:00 PM on September 13, 2002

?!: Are you kidding? Why would the small-town weekly be a dinosaur? You ever heard of the concept of legal advertising? Also, you're assuming that everyone in a small town has Internet service and that those with it all have fast service. Ain't so. The county seat papers will not die soon. The Net may eventually put them out of business, sure, but probably not in our lifetimes.
posted by raysmj at 8:37 PM on September 13, 2002

"more heavy-hitters than any other..."

i'll give you this.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:17 PM on September 13, 2002

The future is Boston Blogs anyway. (says an ex-LA Blogger)
posted by owillis at 12:14 AM on September 14, 2002

raysmj: I'm not kidding. I'm not saying all of the county weekly papers will die at once or tomorrow. However, their days are numbered.

A few years ago my weekly was one of seven in the county. Now there are two. I agree the last to fold will be the weekly in the remote area. However, I do believe easier Net access will come to those areas and the weekly editor will move the paper to the net. I'm not sure of your age, but I believe I will read "The Death of Weekly Newspaper" articles before my own death.
posted by ?! at 8:35 AM on September 14, 2002

Ba ha ha ha ha!!!!

Tony, say it out loud, "I am a conceited L.A. blogger with mammoth delusions of grandeur."

And for the record, baby (particularly after visiting your website :-D) - I CAN, but doubt this deserves my, or anyone else's, energy.
posted by mirla at 5:56 PM on September 14, 2002

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