Sunday, July 18, 2004

Blogging Legitimization

So, okay, tell us how you really feel about credentialed bloggers covering the convention:

However, bloggers, with few exceptions, don't add reporting to the personal views they post online, and they see journalism as bound by norms and standards that they reject. That encourages these common attributes of the blogosphere: vulgarity, scorching insults, bitter denunciations, one-sided arguments, erroneous assertions and the array of qualities that might be expected from a blustering know-it-all in a bar.

For the record, we here at Phoblog endeavor to be the witty, funny blustering know-it-all in the bar.

In these early days, blogging still has the charm of guileless transparency, which in the blogosphere means that everyone — no matter how cranky or hysterical — is presumed to be speaking his or her mind with sincerity. It is this air of conviction that makes bloggers such potent advocates.

However, if history is any indicator, such earnestness will attract those who would exploit it, and they include some canny, inventive people. There is already talk of bloggers who would consider publishing items for cash and commercial blogs that tout products.

Every good idea is eventually coopetd and marketed - ain't capitalism grand? When it comes to blogs, yes, some will be purchased and used for evil instead of good. Many already are. But the net is just too big, the blogosphere too varied, for blogging to get Bill Gates-ed into ineffectiveness.

This article goes on to say that the blogosphere is a place where everyone has his own truth. I might agree with that - but bloggers probably would argue that having 1000s of truths, overlapping at key points to create a bigger truth - is more truthful than, say, ABC News, the White House press office, or any other supposedly reliable source. Right now there are no reliable sources - and that's where bloggers come in. We're trying to cull what we can from what's available - sometimes that results in amplifying mistakes. But sometimes, it results in real, positive change.

Blogging, the article contends, has "arrived" by virtue of its credentials status, but it goes on to warn:

But should blogging displace traditional reporting and journalism, as some in the blogosphere predict it will, then the steak will have been swapped for the sizzle. It's better to have both.

First off, blogging won't displace traditional reporting and journalism, though some bloggers may displace reporters and journalists, if we're lucky. I'd love to think Phoblog's reputation has reached the DNC convention planners, but my bet is that I wouldn't have been awarded credentials, and neither would 99.9% of bloggers out there.

Blogs are steak and sizzle, meat and potatoes, truth and beauty. I'm glad to be part of this new media - for however long I am, and to whatever extent I am. I don't think traditional news need be worried yet.

But if it happens in November, the revolution will be blogged . . . .

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