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James McGrath Morris has an article at that tries to de-hype blogging’s contribution to news by saying what bloggers do is nothing new and pointing out that blogs are error-prone.

We’ve all been over the error prone argument forever. As for the argument that blogging is nothing new, well, nothing is really new. The importance of blogging for journalism does not rest on a claim that it’s without any precedent. In fact, James says that the blogs’ claim to a lack of objectivity is a return to the “Golden Age of Journalism,” which would mean that while it’s not new, it’s different. James is arguing against a strawperson, and thus sleighting the real effects of blogging on journalism.

Finally, he goes on to say that “blogging may be more democratic, but it’s also likely to be less read. There is a point when there are simply too many blogs. With 30 million blogs today, we may well have reached that point.”

That last point sounds a bit like the Yogi Berra remark that no one goes to that nightclub any more because it’s too crowded. It ignores the research that shows there’s a short head and a long tail, which means that a handful of blogs are being massively read and — more important — there’s a huge network of nodes each of which accretes a local readership.

And then he sort of misrepresents me. The nerve! He says that I announced in an “All Things Considered” commentary that I am no longer reading many of my friends’ blogs. Not exactly. I didn’t stop reading my friends’ blogs; I gave up on keeping up with them every day. There’s a difference: I still read my friends’ blogs, just not as steadily as I once did. And, fwiw, my point was that it should be considered rude to assume that anyone has been keeping up with your blog. So, James was off a shade. But, then, we all know that articles about blogs and journalism are error-prone. (Damn humans!) [Tags: ]

2 Responses to “Blogs, journalism (yawn), and a correction”

  1. […] Original post by David Weinberger and plugin by Elliott Back […]

  2. on 05 Mar 2007 at 5:34 amjimi

    There is no Soviet Union anymore, but everybody remember those great victories and defeats. We trusted in idea and we made our history through great losses…