There is another article on blogging in the upcoming issue of The Austin Chronicle. I’ve been quoted in this article, as well.
Some points of clarification (since I think my opinion may be contrary to some counterparts’ in Austin):
- I am NOT the webmaster for the austinbloggers site… not by any stretch of the imagination. Credit goes to Chip, Adam, Adina, Prentiss et al who actually wrote HTML and maintain the site regularly. I’m only on the webmasters list because I post announcements and care about the group… So when Marc Savlov sent something to firstname.lastname@example.org, I responded.
- I believe that warblogs, in general, tend to be net cost-defective. I think MY blog is pointless as a news source. Everything I write here is my opinion. I am unresearched, uninformed, and yes, often ridiculous. If you find no value here, don’t read my site. Bah.
So, I see the effort/value ratio as very high when pursuing warblogs… namely because they are most often written by people that don’t know what they are talking about and don’t have an ounce of the necessary facts needed to derive a trustworthy opinion. Worse, many people invent facts to suit their agendas.
With warblogs, emotion overrides cogency and objectivity, and suddenly you have people on every side of the fence just angry and vindictive about everything… and God forbid you attempt to engage a warblogger in conversation, much less debate… you’ll end up spending innordinate amounts of time accomplishing absolutely nothing.
Then there’s the incest factor. Warbloggers and their Flocks begin to hyperlink each others’ bad opinions pulled from thin air (or more likely, from the political machines that manipulate them), and supernodes appear in the network to dominate the linkage. Every blog you read, no matter how small, begins to link to their friends who link to their friends ad naseum until you get to A-listers, who all link to each other… There’s no sense of where the original thoughts come from and certainly no sense of whether or not they are REASONABLE thoughts.
For me, even if I do find a nugget or two of interesting information, sorting through the overwhelming mountain of garbage is a costly waste of my limited time… hence warblogs, to me, are a valueless and costly endeavor.
- That vast majority of online writers are not journalists. Sorry. Get some training on how to tell a story accurately and ethically, quote your RAW sources once in a while, and at least make a nod towards being objective, and then I might start to consider your news story on par with a real journalist’s. (and, yes, not all real journalists are all that great either (ex. NYT fiascos)… but they’re still going to be an order of magnitude better than amateur hour on blog-central)
But David, you respond, can’t blogs the ultimate eyewitness accounts? didn’t great news stories evolve out of 9-11 blogs for example? Yes. But that’s not Journalism. That’s personal writing… journals… affadavits. BECAUSE YOU ARE INVOLVED, you cannot be objective… therefore your writing is biased… therefore I can’t trust your opinion to inform me accurately… therefore if I spend time reading your stuff, it’s because it’s good writing or an interesting story, NOT the News.
- Interesting and exciting things ARE happening in the blog world… but, in all fairness, not EVERYTHING interesting involves a blog or (wretching) "Social Software."
- My opinion in 1-4 is invalid. Go read someone that knows what they are talking about…
That is, if you can find them…
revised 05.16.03 0849 – fixed a redundant sentence containing two instances of "waste time"