Monday, June 14, 2004

Blogging - from nerdy fad to . . .

Well known nerdy fad . . . .

Here's an, at times condescending, article about blogs, bloggers, and blogging sent by Phoblog reader Mark (thanks!).

It describes blogs as "acting like a lens, focusing attention on an issue until it catches fire." We here at Phoblographer* like to think we're especially built for lens metaphors, though we don't condone arson of any kind. Sadly, we've yet to start any real fires - but I hope Phoblog adds to the smoldering that can help change the world.

What makes blogs so effective? They're free. They catch people at work, at their desks, when they're alert and thinking and making decisions. Blogs are fresh and often seem to be miles ahead of the mainstream news. Bloggers put up new stuff every day, all day, and there are thousands of them. How are you going to keep anything secret from a thousand Russ Kicks? Blogs have voice and personality. They're human. They come to us not from some mediagenic anchorbot on an air-conditioned sound stage, but from an individual. They represent — no, they are — the voice of the little guy.

or girl, thank you very much. and hey - thanks for the compliment, Time Magazine.

And the little guy is a lot smarter than big media might have you think. Blogs showcase some of the smartest, sharpest writing being published.

Oh stop, you're too kind, really, shh, we're not that great.

Bloggers are unconstrained by such journalistic conventions as good taste, accountability and objectivity --

Uh . . . . I beg your pardon - just because Wonkette does her thing . . .

— and that can be a good thing.

okay, okay, I'll let you finish.

Accusations of media bias are thick on the ground these days, and Americans are tired of it. Blogs don't pretend to be neutral: they're gleefully, unabashedly biased, and that makes them a lot more fun. "Because we're not trying to sell magazines or papers, we can afford to assail our readers," says Andrew Sullivan, a contributor to TIME and the editor of andrewsullivan.com. "I don't have the pressure of an advertising executive telling me to lay off. It's incredibly liberating." . . . .

In a way, blogs represent everything the Web was always supposed to be: a mass medium controlled by the masses, in which getting heard depends solely on having something to say and the moxie to say it.

Hey, if there's one thing I got . . . .

This part I agree with (though if I were Josh Marshall, I'd object to the suggestion that I sit around in my underwear all day [see the Lott anecdote that opens the piece]):

We may be in the golden age of blogging, a quirky Camelot moment in Internet history when some guy in his underwear with too much free time can take down a Washington politician. It will be interesting to see what role blogs play in the upcoming election. Blogs can be a great way of communicating, but they can keep people apart too. If I read only those of my choice, precisely tuned to my political biases and you read only yours, we could end up a nation of political solipsists, vacuum sealed in our private feedback loops, never exposed to new arguments, never having to listen to a single word we disagree with. . . . . .

You can't blog your way into the White House, (who smells a challenge there? Anyone, anyone - yeah you do, don't lie) at least not yet, but blogs are America thinking out loud, talking to itself, and heaven help the candidate who isn't listening.

The article lists 5 bloggers to watch that includes some of the usual suspects like Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things and Instapundit.com and of course, Ms. Wonkette - who doesn't get a link - you can find her on your own.

Read the piece and enjoy a very brief history of blogging. (Of course, it's also not a bad history of blogging since its whole history IS very brief).

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