Who Let the Blogs Out?
April 25, 2001 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Who Let the Blogs Out? I would just like to say, for the record, that my juggernautal legal team is currently assembling their case against Yahoo for copyright infringement.
posted by Succa (23 comments total)
Wow. Can I nominate this one for best blog news story ever? It's certainly close. Covers Blogger and Manila equally (though lists no specific Userland blogs) -- even references Pitas and Diaryland; hits the a-list and a few lesser-known but very worthy lights; touches on links.net and NCSA What's New; even discusses how blog-like methods are infiltrating normal journalism, with asides to Drudge and Inside. Points for heading sections as if part of a blog.

Two major nits: Slashdot may be a community, but it's been at least two years since it could be called tightly-knit; and if it's "absurd" to say that blogs will supersede journalism, first find a blogger who said that, then answer why your article and the examples you cite are indeed superseding former modes of content.

Also: I thought the Scoop Index was abandoned long ago.

Anybody else think worse of it?
posted by dhartung at 9:00 PM on April 25, 2001

Oh, and yes, this is old news but it's the first online copy of the article I've seen so far.

I really wonder how much traffic these blogs get from articles such as this one. Are people generally open-minded about trying new things online, or do they just skim over these articles and say "hmph, well, there's another web phenomenon I don't know anything about" and then continue on with their lives?

Might be nice to see an article with a little sauce to it. The one in the New Yorker was decent, I thought. Any other non-middle-of-the-road blog articles around?
posted by Succa at 9:02 PM on April 25, 2001

I don't think "web phenomenon" is a term I would use to describe blogs. Blogs aren't so insignifigant. In fact, I would say they have been around the internet for far longer than the term blog has been around. Blogs aren't really anything greater than the old early 90's homepages that people basically refered to as online journals/diaries. Without such websites, the internet would have been dull, and quite possibly may not have ever reached the point it has today. Perhaps I'm giving ''blogs" too much credit?
posted by howa2396 at 9:13 PM on April 25, 2001

Let's just be thankful we speak a language wherein the pun "Who Let The Blogs Out" works.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:17 PM on April 25, 2001

Anybody else think worse of it?

posted by aaron at 9:22 PM on April 25, 2001

kind of amusing that the person who wrote the article, heidi pollock, has phostar.com linked next to her name on the last page. what the!
posted by kv at 9:40 PM on April 25, 2001

I agree with you dhartung.

It's almost at the point were one could write a weblog news article generator.

Link to weblog tools, comment on weblog tools, link to a-list weblogs, include snappy a-lister quotes, list a few of your favorite blogs, list anything else you happen to find in your bookmarks that is weblogish and print.

Soon there will be so many articles that the a-listers will write a-lister quote generators. I'll write a snarky weblog article comment generator that end up only being read by everyone's AI internet surfing scripts because you are busy trying to get the latest Center of the World inspired chat subject to perform certain sugestive acts.
posted by john at 10:26 PM on April 25, 2001

I was actually working on a weblog article for an online magazine in February, but I decided to drop it for much the reasons succa and john pointed out.
posted by lia at 2:42 AM on April 26, 2001

Lousy article. Why? Cause it doesn't mention any of the great British - or other language - blogs. Plus it says: A disproportionate number of them are in Dutch, for which I have no explanation. Is it so hard to ASK us?
posted by prolific at 3:12 AM on April 26, 2001

Well, you know, it's terribly time consuming to click on mailto links or fill out contact forms, especially when they lead to (gasp) foreigners -- one never knows what one might catch. ;)

Heidi Pollock's homepage is http://www.phostar.com/~heidi/, if anyone wants to take a look (found via Fireland, some months back).
posted by lia at 3:50 AM on April 26, 2001

I don't know anything about blogs or blogging but I know what I like.
posted by Postroad at 4:28 AM on April 26, 2001

Lousy article. Why? Cause it doesn't mention any of the great British - or other language - blogs.
Ummm...maybe because the overwhelming majority of ZDNet readers are American and English-speaking? Not that including non-American/English blogs wouldn't have been of interest, but I don't necessarily see this as a "character flaw" or some sort of bias against "foreign" blogs.
posted by davidmsc at 4:35 AM on April 26, 2001

I'll admit it's a perfunctory article, but a) it's about weblogs, what you do want, b) I think it's safe to blame the wearying title (sorry, Nick) on a Yahoo temp, and c) even freakishly intelligent writers like Heidi have to pay the bills. Try this, a diary of her ongoing attempt to completely absorb every single exhibit in the New York Museum of Natural History.
posted by jga at 5:40 AM on April 26, 2001

Succa, I think legal action is in order. I thought "Succaland.com: who let the blogs out! woof woof woof!" was very clever...when it was on succaland. I'll appear as a witness on the plaintiff's behalf.
posted by borgle at 8:50 AM on April 26, 2001

Think Yahoo was having revenue problems before? Wait 'till my legal team is through with them!

I will admit a certain textual attraction to Heidi Pollock and her work. Her writing is certainly impressive, even though she doesn't appear to have a lot of her work online. I believe she worked at Webmonkey...true, Joshie?

Anyway, it's perfectly alright to write articles such as these to pay the bills (providing you have the skills to pay said bills). But, has anyone tried a more daring, mudslingy take on the "earthshattering phenomenon" known as blogs? Like, you know, Zeldman and Knauss squaring off in the UFC Octagon of Doom or something? I'm looking for paparazzi, here.
posted by Succa at 9:21 AM on April 26, 2001

OK, I withdraw my nomination. It was ill-considered.

I don't know that we'll ever see a blog article that fails to mention a-listers, though.
posted by dhartung at 11:13 AM on April 26, 2001

I'm pretty sure the paranoids are going to label anyone who gets quoted in a mainstream article on weblogs as one of those awful A-listers.
posted by harmful at 11:29 AM on April 26, 2001

Succa: "I will admit a certain textual attraction to Heidi Pollock and her work."

Say no MORE! (nudge nudge)
posted by lia at 11:45 AM on April 26, 2001

Must have been one of those days when the ZDNet guys were having lunch with the Boston Globe guys....this is in today's "Digital Mass" section
posted by briank at 12:06 PM on April 26, 2001

Don't feel bad, Succa -- people have begun to forward articles to me that steal my year-old "Content with content" line.

"Yahoo is content with its content; meets earnings goals" , and so on.
posted by jragon at 12:45 PM on April 26, 2001

Heidi didn't work for Webmonkey, but she wrote some articles for us and bought us an office goldfish which started dying after a month. I was forced to euthanize it in chilled vodka (the boss happened to have some in her desk), the method recommended by our resident Fish Expert. I don't suggest doing this.
posted by jga at 2:18 PM on April 26, 2001

Hee hee, get it? I'm textually attracted! Ho ho ho. (for the clueless: "textually" ~~ "sexually", see the similarity? I knew you could.)

Jon: I'm sure with your "bareSquare" and all, you probably haven't got many nice words for the webmaster of "ClearSphere", eh?

I still find it amazing, though, that every reporter seems to discover the same few blogs in every article on the subject. Not like these blogs aren't good, but how come they always find those exact same six or so blogs?

For example, I don't think I've ever seen Halcyon's blog mentioned in one of these articles. Is he not newsworthy? He's unquestionably one of the more eccentric and interesting members of the web community, and yet he's never garnered a mention. He won the Webby for best personal site for chrissakes. Or what about Zeldman? Surely he's a recognizable face in the crowd...have you ever seen him mentioned in a mainstream article? I can't recall anything. Knauss and EOD.com? Hundreds of others? But yet reporters get hung up on the same few blogs in every article. I'm just saying it's odd, that's all.

Do I sound bitter? Probably. Oh well, if you were stuck on a farm in rural Ontario, you'd be bitter too.
posted by Succa at 2:39 PM on April 26, 2001

I'll let you in on a little (not-so-)secret about modern journalism methodology: If you're assigned to write a piece about a subject about which you have little/no knowledge, the first thing you do is read or scan everything else you can quickly find on the subject. Do a NEXUS search on weblogs and you'll turn up a few dozen pieces. If the first three I read mentioned Robot Wisdom, evhead, Blogger, usr/bin/girl and the like, I'd likely check out those sites and consider them, as did my predecessors, as emblematic of the breed. (Well, actually I would take some time to follow a few link paths and ferret out some "lesser-known" sites, but I'm armchair journalism-ing here -- working under deadline, I might not be so conscientious.)
posted by bradlands at 3:29 PM on April 26, 2001

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