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Blogging: It’s Too Loud And I Can’t Hear The Words

I’ve been making an effort to avoid taking links directly from the ubiquitous Professor, but… ah, who am I kidding. Here is John C. Dvorak, of PC Magazine, being cantankerous about the blogging phenomenon.

This trend [towards dominance of Big Media blogs by professional writers] is solid. A look at Columbia Journalism Review’s recent listing of traditional-media blogs shows everyone getting into the act: ABC News, FOX, National Review, The New Republic, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and so on. The blogging boosters, meanwhile, are rooting like high-school cheerleaders over this development. To them, it’s some sort of affirmation. In fact, it’s a death sentence. The onerous Big Media incursion marks the beginning of the end for blogging. Can you spell co-opted?

This I do not get. What impact does NRO’s Corner have on the blog I put up devoted to how cute my cat is? (Note: this is a purely rhetorical question.) If I want to read professional commentary on the issues of the day, I can do that. If I want to read Random Guy’s thoughts on the future state of Cascadia, I can do that. If I want to inform the world that my cat is cute, I can do that with equal ease. And if I want to see pictures of moldy pumpkin ears, I can do that too – because Dan does have permalinks working, I just didn’t notice them when I wrote the first draft of this post. Who or what has been co-opted here?

Similarly, Dvorak cites a study by Perseus Development estimating that most blogs have an audience of about 12. Is this a problem? If there’s more – vastly, terrifyingly more – content out there, isn’t that a good thing regardless of whether or not most people care about it? And again, who cares if MSNBC and Fox News put up blogs? How exactly can someone be crowded out of this market? Except by one group, singled out by Dvorak for particular criticism…

It’s no coincidence that the most-read blogs are created by professional writers.

That’s right. It’s a sinister conspiracy to get people to, um, read them and interact with them, by disseminating their work for free on the Web? Well, I’m glad we finally saw through that evil scheme. Jesus.

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