I'm frequently exasperated by the all too common misunderstandings about the nature of blogs, eagerly restated by columnists and editors at regular intervals, like here and here, and recently given an alibi by Andrew Keen's forthcoming book on bloggers as parasites and what have you (sometimes I wonder if he's just link baiting).
Part of me, the commentator/campaigner, wants to go out there and readdress these issues, to say that it's missing the point altogether, that it's about conversation: the day someone stops talking about your newspaper THEN you have a problem - and that, by the way, most bloggers don't want to become journalists, don't see their blogging as journalism and many blog about everything but the media. But then I broach these issues online, and am told something like: actually, why can't bloggers be journalists, why can't they replace that whole archaic MSM-model - cluttered as it is with uncritical, ignorant and incompetent journalists? So for the moment, I just thought I'd leave you with some open-ended musings on the nature of blogs:
Three definitions of blogs from Stephen Tall (via Iain Dale):
Blog (n.): an online journal written by publicity-hungry politicians and self-opinionated journalist manqués, commenting on current political affairs with scant regard to fact or fairness, and accountable to nobody save their small band of obsessive readers.
Blog (n.): an online journal written and/or read by anyone in the democratic world, providing them with a platform to address issues of concern to them, and which is transforming the relationship between modern citizens and the traditional governing and media elites.
Blog (n.): my space to write about whatever’s delighted or annoyed me that day, forcing me to arrange half-formed thoughts into something semi-coherent for public consumption, keeping my thinking fresh and up-to-the-mark.
I'm quite partial to the middle option here, though I would perhaps rephrase it a bit. For one, I think social media, like blogs, is transforming the way we understand, and gain knowledge about the world, as well as our expectations to it. But enough about me - here's a bit about the ups and downs of blogging:
Brian posts this excellent quote from Squander Two about why the latter is blogging less:... I’m going through one of my periodic bored-of-the-news phases. I mean, is there really any point in blogging all this crap? Someone in a position of power has done something inefficient and/or counterproductive? Really? Well I never. Must tell the world.
However, says Brian: Blogging enables you to live a sort of double life, but without having to buy alcohol. In real life, you. In the blogosphere, You With Church Bells, shouting at the world, barking at the moon. The blog-life makes the real life far more livable and more fun. The mundanity of the real life becomes far more bearable, and, when it ever deviates in any way from mundanity, it then counts twice, for itself, and for its blog potential.... (read the full post here)