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« Pay attention to Joe | Main | Farmer MacGregor »

Aug 21, 2006


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Fec Stench

The money blogging has caused to slip from my fingers is frightening.

Joe Killian

I can't really afford for blogging to cost me anything at this stage - but it has helped me professionally.

Sometimes I'll find a story idea while I'm typing a blog entry - it just occurs to me as I'm writing about whatever it is, some new angle. Sometimes something someone says in reaction to a blog post will set me off. I can't count the number of columns that began as short blog posts. I see it as too useful a tool to imagine doing without now - but I know a lot of good journalists who are avoiding it like the plague as well.

Seth Finkelstein

In the comments thread, Nick Carr gave Jay Rosen several examples of blog evangelism, and I've also given Jay examples at times. At this point, I would say the denialism is thoroughly refuted (but I know that we're not dealing with a reality-based examination, almost by the definition of evangelism).

"either blogging levels the playing field, or it's just another high school cafeteria where the cool kids ignore the nerds."

Exponential distribution basically means this is *true*, in a very vague sense. Now, some people don't care about being heard. GOT IT. UNDERSTOOD. They're writing for themselves, family, whatever they get, etc, etc. They aren't part of this discussion then. But if one does care about being heard, if one is interestest in attention and influence and audience (not to absurd levels, but beyond friends and family), then it's basically the same old grind - beg the gatekeepers of the topic, or languish in obscurity.

As we see repeatedly, boosters of blogging do not like to admit this (ShelIsrael's "sit down and shut up" remark is destined to be a classic). And the "innocence fraud"/marketing-scam thus is generated.

Ed Cone

I don't agree with Shel's petulant remarks, Seth, and I don't deny that there has been plenty of utopian hoo-hah about blogs, or that high-flow sites influence traffic at other sites. But I do think that it's inaccurate to say nothing has changed. Look at the example I used above, about a local blogger making an impact on city policy. She isn't writing for family and friends, she has a small audience that probably includes (via other blogs and aggregators) newspaper editors and radio hosts and, obviously, city council members. The false paradigm is guaranteed access to a mass audience, but anyone who bought that in the first place might look in the mirror when looking for the fraudster.

Brenda Bowers

I blog as a release I suppose. Much for the same reason I have kept a personal journal for most of my life. Once I write it down I can more easily put the problem aside, or shrug it off entirely as “Well, that’s just the way (people, politics, whatever) are and you Brenda B can do nothing about it. So stop!”
This is not however the reason I started blogging. Not at all. (I beg your pardon Ed but I am going to refer to the “much mentioned travels” again.) The idea when I started blogging was to relate some of the fun and amazing and awesome and beautiful 'events' Lew and I had on our journey thru North America. (No I didn't misuse the word; they were "events" not experiences. Seeing Bridal Veil Falls in the spring when it's high with winter melt-off and having the spray at the bottom soak you with icy water from fifty feet away is an event.) The sheer variety of not only geographical formations, but ethnic and cultural values represented on this our continent is amazing. My favorite activity was merely to sit down on a park or sidewalk bench and watch people. Sooner or later someone would sit down beside me and start talking. The best were the old gentlemen who had lived their lives in the area. Oh the stories they could tell. And I have them all in my journal ready to be put in my blog.
But somehow the “real” Brenda rose up and she was back to her old ways of trying to make wrong things right. To living in the present and saving my memories for those nights when I can't sleep. I simply couldn’t resist the dysfunctional Greensboro and Guilford County political scene. (I hope you read this weekend's blog about the Center City Park tax payer rip off.) I guess I spent too much of my life "involved" to change near the end. Only now physically I can not be active. All I can do is let younger people know what is happening and hope they will carry the ball. I can also I think, I hope, bring in some perspective and some hard won experience. BB

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