"Our aim, to swat liars and leeches, hypocrites & humbugs, demagogs & dastards"
-- The Yellow Jacket
Moravian Falls, N.C., 1919
“[B]logs--or "citizen journalism" to its most enthusiastic cheerleaders--will never replace the mainstream media... For all the hype over blogosphere triumphs such as the takedown of Dan Rather or the almost instant posting of cell-phone photos of the 2004 tsunami, the plain fact is that very few blogs do sustained original reporting of their own. It's also why the endless debate over whether blogs are better or worse than the MSM is pointless. In the same way that newspapers excel at broad coverage of breaking news, TV excels at images, magazines excel at long analytic pieces, and talk radio excels at ranting screeds, blogs also excel at certain things. Trying to compare them to 'journalism' is a mug's game, like trying to figure out if a beanbag is really a chair. Who cares?”That analysis is basically correct in my estimation. Of course, the idea of "citizen journalism" is ludicrous. It is like saying anyone with a portable drill is a citizen dentist. And note that the author tells us “blogs also excel at certain things” but really never says what those things are.My guess is that blogs excel at GOSSIP. The so-called blogosphere is the modern equivalent of early telephone systems, when individuals shared a single connection, called a party line. Back then, you had the choice of passively listening to other people’s conversations or actively participating. This is known in blogging today as either lurking or commenting. But the result is essentially the same: people yakking about the “news,” yakking about what they heard so-and-so did to so-and-so, yakking about every mindless subject under the sun.
Bob, work on your reading comprehension. Kevin does pretty clearly outline what he thinks blogs are good at as a medium -- name filtering and analyzing.As for your speculation on them being good at gossip, one would doubt that a professional blogger would see that as the greatest thing about his profession.Oh, and offering up your random commentary makes it clear that blogs are good at another thing -- speculation. Although, as with gossip, this isn't really their greatest value-add.
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