The Disrepute of Blogging

What is a blog? A blog is a place in which a person can write whatever s/he wants. Only in blog-speak, bloggers aren’t writers, they are bloggers and they don’t write, they post.

The other day, I heard Patt Morrison on the radio refer to the people who comment on her KPCC blog as bloggers. I heard the hesitation in her voice when she said that. She knows that the people who write something on her blog are commenters, not bloggers. But her verbal faux pas got me to thinking about the following:

-The belief that blogging has permanently undermined print media. To be sure, the Internet (not just blogging) is changing media and, like a game of musical chairs, no one knows where the music (read: dollar) will stop.

-The belief that blogging is not as good as traditional, J-school originated print media. That may have been true years ago, but these days (especially in some local contexts), blogs do a good job. Think how Alaska blogs have kept Sarah Palin on her toes.

-(Related to above) The belief that bloggers are giving away good stuff for free and that is wrecking it for the rest of us (not me) who make money being journalists. Hey, if there’s no money, there’s no money. That doesn’t mean that issues don’t deserve an airing.

Additionally:

The X Factor: What scintilla of a percentage of bloggers (who aren’t otherwise employed by media sources) are actually making a life-sustaining amount of money by blogging? Or blogged their way into a book deal (which may or may not be life-sustaining)?

The Y Factor: Traditional media (e.g., commercial television) hating bloggers (not to mention that massive money-loser, YouTube) for taking away the viewing audience. Except you will see in that link that mebbe YouTube is not losing all it says it is.

The Z Factor: A mentally ill individual, someone who needs to see the world in black and white…OOPS, that’s racist…I didn’t mean “black” and “white” (Haven’t you seen Boyz n the Hood? Now one of us is going to get shot)…I meant someone who sees issues in terms of absolutes, a person for whom even the tiniest infraction of the absolutes of good vs evil sends that person into fits of lambasting not just local bloggers, but the local media.

The Scout is not a fan of my blogging. He can’t understand why I’m interested in all the people ‘out there.’ The idea of writing something that anyone, ANYONE, with web access can read, and writing without pay—well, he thinks that is ludicrous (not Chris Bridges). I tell him that I think blogs have the power to build community, and that is important to me. Blogging, along with more immediate social media tools like Twitter, has the power to organize people to make good things happen.

I’m sure the issues I’m raising here have been raised elsewhere to greater effect. Whatever. Blogging has lost a bit of its sheen for me over the last couple of years. Once, I actually believed that it was possible that a critical mass of observers of the political scene could make a difference (e.g., cryogenically preserve Sid Tyler forever, make Sarah Palin admit she didn’t have that baby).

At the same time, to the few of you who read this blog and live outside the area, let me tell you that a wonderful thing has happened here. The Pasadena/Altadena/SGV bloggers are a confederacy (are we allowed to use that word?). We pursue artistic/historical/multi-media projects IRL (in real life). Oh yes, we have our spats like any other group of people. But we cook for each other, spend time with each other, and best of all, laugh through the pain that is life.

Perhaps that’s too high falutin’. Certainly only the most astute cognoscenti can grasp the meaning over at this new local blog. (Carolina, do not expect me to let you comment here! You are exposing me in a way that is clearly biased and unfair….you, you, you BLOGGER you!)

What can blogging do? What can’t blogging do? If you blog, why do you do it?

In the meantime, I’m off to try to generate some income. Is the Star-News hiring?

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10 Responses to “The Disrepute of Blogging”

  1. Carolina Logue Says:

    The ‘blather’ continues

    Hate speech wrapped in attempted art. Coy?

    I blog to expose the right-wing of the Pasadena/Sierra Madre blogging ‘community’

    ‘Free’ speech must be stopped

  2. Cafe Observer Says:

    We’re a confederacy?? Didn’t know that.
    What bout if we’re a Union? Doesn’t it sounds better – benefits wise?

  3. AmyR Says:

    I like to blog for lots of reasons. One is so I can practice writing. I don’t think I could actually get a paying writing gig. I can write in my blog though and feel important? Or something. 😉

  4. The Real Zajac Says:

    It all comes down to a simple matter of technology. The microcomputer has radically altered society and the economy in the last 30 years (the last three big boom markets are the direct result of increased computing power in the hands of the masses). The internet, above all else, lowers the cost of moving information, as well as the time required. We saw a similar shift when color printing got cheaper (magazines), a voice could be converted into a series of radiation bursts (radio), a motion picture could be rapidly and optically scanned (television), or live journalism could take place anywhere at anytime to a global audience (cable/satellite news). Each time the existing players were displaced they adjusted to the new conditions. The difference with the internet is that the costs are dramatically lower: the cost of information has gone WAY down. Not only that, advances in mechanical language processing (like Google) has made the plethora of information more useful than before. And unlike newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, or cable news, the internet allows the communication to go both ways. Having met and talked to Pat Morrison, I’m convinced that here experience as a talk show host has better prepared her for the interactive nature of this new new thing (way more so than some Chicago demagogue who just barks orders at people all day long).

    And that is why I keep blogging (if infrequently). I get to meet fascinating people like you!

  5. altadenahiker Says:

    Well questioned, well said. But can we get back to the “cooking for each other” part?

    (I wanted to blog before there ever was a blog.)

  6. Mocha Says:

    As soon as I read my first blog I fell in love with it and decided that this is something I could do, wanted to do, and I started the very same day. Prior to that, I hated writing. All these years later I can say that I’m so glad to have started it and that I’ve met the most incredible people from this little writing endeavor.

    Like YOU. 😉

  7. frazgo Says:

    I think we are a great alliance of people blogging what interests each other for a variety of reasons.

    We all blog for a variety of reasons. In the end its all about sharing our interests and cultivating new friendships online and real time at our picnics.

    Should we have another picnic soon?

  8. Petrea Says:

    Blogging has opened the world to me. It’s that simple and that complicated and that great.

  9. Sister Wolf Says:

    I blog to have an excuse to write. To express myself. And to cause trouble. I went to the crazy lady’s blog and can’t even begin to understand what her problem is! She is eerily like my crazy Russian Lady, in the area of unhinged malice.

  10. gaga 4 dada Says:

    What is disgusting is that she is race baiting in order to drive traffic to her site. Why republish two year old hateful posts? When she can’t get traffic to her site she delves into the incendiary. One can not run around with matches and then claim “who me?” during the fire.

    She has now become what she accused a certain defunct Pasadena blogger of being.

    She is a demagogue and never funny. I hate to be dismissive but she is nutz.

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