Thursday, May 27, 2004

The New York Times Needs a New Magic Mirror

From Corrente, I learned this morning that the NYTimes thinks blogs are smelly and they smell funny and they're stupid and smell, too:


...For many bloggers, the novelty soon wears off and their persistence fades.

Sometimes, too, the realization that no one is reading sets in. A few blogs have thousands of readers, but never have so many people written so much to be read by so few. By Jupiter Research's estimate, only 4 percent of online users read blogs.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, 26, a graduate student at the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berkeley who has studied bloggers, said that for some people blogging has supplanted e-mail as a way to procrastinate at work.

"The addictive part is not so much extreme narcissism," Mr. Jarvis said. "It's that you're involved in a conversation. You have a connection to people through the blog."


It's ironic that the "Expert" on blogging that they find is a grad student at Berkeley's SIMS, a Library Science Department that lost their ALA accreditation. Further ironical twists ensue when we visit Mr. Hall's webpage and discover that he is not a grad student, but a PhD candidate.1

Before I started blogging, the only people who read my writing were me and my wife. In the year since, I've had over 6000 visitors, with an average of 39 a day. Grant it, some are repeats and that's not a whole lot, compared to Atrios' 30,000 visitors a day but it's more than I had before, when I was just an obsessive writerly sort of freak, reading my novel-in-progress aloud to my cat.

blogging is Radical Democracy in action. Absolute freedom of the press. And it scares the soiled pants off of the likes of 'journalists' who realise they can no longer coast on their byline and have lost all credibility, by sucking at the corporate tit. That there are bloggers out there, like Atrios and Kos who are read by more people than traditional journalists and have earned their credibility by actually reporting facts and checking sources, unlike a certain paper of record who just copies and pastes the proclomations of certain Iranian Spies pretending to be Iraqi Disidents.

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1. Note to editor at the Times: Keith Kisser, 27, a graduate student at the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies (fully accredited by the ALA) is an actual blogger, who has done research on blogging. He also knows how to use Google to do basic fact checking. Maybe you should consult someone like him next time you need to fill a few column inches in your technology and lifestyles pages on this whole weird, loser blogging fad that's so popular right now.

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