01 October 2005

Sorry, Another Blog About Blogging

There is these things that keeps swirling round the blogosphere;


1. That blogging is the new journalism,

2. It's a democratisation of speech.

3. It will change the way we interact, relate and converse with each other.

1. Nonsense it isn't if there are 1,000,000 bloggers in the UK the number of people in Britain reading blogs will be 1,000,500. We are talking to ourselves, we haven't broken big stories, if our opinions are noted it will be one or two bloggers or blog sites and they are noted by an incredibly small number of people compared to traditional mass media. I could go into work on Monday and list the winners of the 2005 bloggies, Dooce, Wonkette, Boing Boing, Tom Coates to members of the group I work in (~ 140 members) and I would be very surprised if more than 2 or 3 of them would recognise the names if any of them. If I was to list Richard Norton Taylor, Robert Fisk, Boris Johnson I would get a far better recognition rate. What we bloggers are is a resource to journalists who are too lazy to leave the office or don't have the expense account to fund the bus ticket. A few journalists do look at what is floating about in the ether but we bloggers do not break stories.

Don't get me started on bias and fact checking, newspapers are bad enough and they run the risk of being taken to court and need to keep some resemblance of being honest brokers. Most bloggers do not have the resources to fact check properly most of us, me included, are not trained journalists I have never been formally taught the difference between reporting information and commentary.

I would put at best we are the comment pieces, the columnists of the internet, though probably we are really the Polly Fillers and Dave Sparts.

2. Democratisation of Speech - Yeah I'll go with that but who is listening, "if no one reads your blog does it exist?"

3. Changing the way we relate - Now this is true but blogging is a niche activity although it has a profound effect on my life :-D we are the exception not the norm. Most people though will still use the internet for less permanent "conversations" messenging, using chat rooms, forums.

I think the blog is a wonderful thing but its impact is overstated it is important to those of us who blog and enjoy it but to those who don't they are not missing out.

Becky summed it up very neatly here


  1. People will say anything. Blogging as the new journalism?

    My blog is titled "rantings of the lazy iguana". RANTINGS. Not news.

    But really. Compared to CNN my blog is news. You know what the American cable news networks are talking about now? New Orleans. It seems there was a hurricane or something there, and it caused a bad flood.

    Todays "news" story is all about mold. It seems that the latest breaking story is that when the climate is hot and moist, mold is a problem. I never knew this.

    Today I learned all about how to tell if there is mold in my home. It seems that mold can make your skin itchy, it can cause foul odors, and it can make your nose runny and/or cause a lot of sneezing.

    Mold can live in your carpet, it can live inside your walls. It can live in tile grout. It can even live on your stuff.

    This is news? Mold in Louisiana?

    So maybe my blog is news after all.

    You should send a nice perfumy love letter to the BBC. You could be stuck with CNN and Fox News. The BBC has a long and distingushed reputation for first class news reporting.

  2. I'm not sure where this idea that bloggers are journalists comes from..... oh no.... I remember now.... from those idiots that attend blogging conventions and then release press releases with grand sounding ideals..... you know the sort of thing.... yo-yo's are the new rock and roll.... black is the new brown.... New Coke....

    I'vfe been banging away for a nearly two years now and I have no idea who those poeple are that won those awards..... and frankly I don't care....

    But there are stories that I have heard of whilst blogging that have never been covered elsewhere..... or much later....

    The one I remember best, is of a 17yr old girl I used to chat with about football/soccer, who lived in Wyoming or one of those vast Mid-Western States, and she started telling me about a forest fire, and how she had helped her neighbours escape their burning house. I talked with her about events for the best part of a month before I heard about it on the news.... the fire was something like 20,000 acres.

    And I guess this counts as news: http://lostcove.modblog.com/?show=blogview&blog_id=740470 It is the remains of my friend Ann's house following Katrina. Of course the media was focused on New Orleans and the racial quastion because it was more sexy.

    But then if you ask me most of the news is simply ranting in annodyne fashion and a posh accent.... oh and sucking the cocks of the rich.

    As for whether anyone reads you blog? I don't think it matters.

    And it has to be said that I have made some very firm friends through blogging. And I have certainly stopped being a knee-jerk anti-American because of the friends I have made in the states.

  3. I agree, it's not news in the traditional sense, but certainly news pertinent to our own particular blogging spheres does travel very efficiently - and is certainly relevant (even useful?) to those with an interest.

    You're certainly dead right, Jane, this blogging thing ain't gonna take over the world.

    On a more general note, I do like the facility of having stuff "pushed" to me, stuff that I want, at least. And that's something traditional journalism can't compete with when it comes to the Internet.

    Let's keep blogging exclusive - that's what I say! ;)

  4. It's not us breaking news rather our interpretaion of news and events. Blogging is also a creative outlet for many people. Well said.

  5. Let's not kid ourselves, we peddle tittle-tattle.

  6. A blog is publishing, but it's not journalism. There's a LOT of crap at the bookstore that's most definately been published, non-fiction even, but that sure as hell doesn't mean it's news. And I don't think there's anything wrong with it. If nobody ever read my blog, I don't think I would care so much, it's mostly there for me to write my thoughts down so I can see them and sort them out better, for myself.

  7. There is an important issue with blogging is that it is an on-line community of interest, a virtual pub!

    Blogging gives me the opportunity to get things off my chest, and hopefully amuse anyone who might like to take the time to read my meanderings.

    Oh and it is FUN!

  8. Jane,

    Blogging? Well - it's certainly changed my life! I used to be a dull, conventional geeky guy with no social life - and look at me now!!!

    Love on ya and thank you so much for linking to me.

    Roberta Cecilia Swipe

  9. If there are a million bloggers in Britain, and assuming those bloggers read other sites, which we do cos we're all whores, you then have a tremendous base for networking information around the country, even if most of it is only spread via word of mouth - it can't possibly be contained withing the blogosphere. I've read some interesting stuff about New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, stuff you won't hear about in the media. If I pass this on to my girlfriend, who in turn passes it on to her colleagues, you can disseminate information at a rapid rate. I would never underestimate the power of blogging. Before the advent of the Net International news was limited to what was spoon fed via traditional media. Now I can get it from the horses mouth, whether it be someone living in or Near New Orleans, or a soldier on duty in Iraq.