Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bloggers need to get over themselves

When you subscribe to blog aggregators like OntarioBlogs or IrishBlogs, you come across a lot of varied and wonderful stuff but also a lot of one-note blogs and a lot of one-track minds. God knows I have often been wrong about stuff I have written and commented but I hope that when it gets to the stage where I reflexively abuse people personally simply for thinking differently that someone like Twenty will less than gently smack me upside the head and I will find something else to do with my time.

The problem is that sometimes an interesting sounding subject line will have me clicking on the aggregator link before I realise whose blog it is and then my heart sinks on discovering where I've landed. Even if I don't click on it, sometimes scrolling down through the aggregator brings post after post which are cut and pastes from other outlets favouring their positions and little if any content of their own.

Having made this comment in some frustration on one such blog, I then noted this post of James Bow's where he makes similar points - that terms like "wingnut", "warmonger", "apologist", "Harperocrites" and "Libranos" are the default reaction of some people in discussing matters such as the Middle East or the state of the nation in general.

I also (via Sicilian Notes) noted this New Yorker article which takes on the notion of blogger-as-journalist (or worse, blogger-as-history-maker) with a healthy dose of vinegar, not to mention interesting historical perspective. I thought "deathmatch posting" was only as old as Usenet but apparently the Spectator (not the "modern" Spectator which arrived in 1828) and its peers were the soc.culture.celtic of the 18th century! Ironically a search of that and other formerly contentious boards from a few years back seems to indicate the heavy flamers have largely moved on... I wonder where...

Many news outlets refer to the "influence" of bloggers but the only way they ever got any was when working journalists decided to take them seriously - and even take up the medium themselves.
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