I guess I'm not a new media triumphalist

I've been meaning to post this for awhile, so here we go. You may recall Joe Rago, who wrote the "The Blog Mob: Written By Fools To Be Read By Imbeciles" article for the Wall Street Journal. Afterwards, he appeared on Hugh Hewitt's radio show:

You're 24? 22? 23?

JR: 23.

HH: Okay, you're 23 years old. The Wall Street Journal allows you to set forth with a piece of writing that was mocked, in large part, across the blogosphere, for its many inaccuracies, satirized by people like Tigerhawk and Ace of Spades, and yet you're defending mainstream media's accumulated institutional culture that screens for originality, expertise and seriousness. Does your piece represent that tradition?

JR: Yes, I think it does.

HH: And so, what was original in your piece?

JR: I mean, what was original is that everyone is...you know, Time Magazine says the person of the year is everyone. What was original was that everyone seems to have acquiesced to the idea that technology and blogs are going to sort of revolutionize media and make it completely new, and I just don't see the evidence for it.

HH: And what's your expertise in blogs?

JR: The expertise, in this case, is criticism. It's the exercise of judgment and taste.

HH: Joe, you're 23.

JR: Sure.

HH: Can you be expert in anything? And I'm serious here.

JR: I think I can write a thoughtful article, even though I'm 23.

Apparently, at age 23, he can also win a debate even when his constitutional law professor opponent controls the flow and direction of the argument.

Criticisizing someone's age is a pretty sure sign that you're losing the debate.

Blogs are just a cheap form of publication. As Chris Anderson pointed out in The Long Tail, lots of things in the long tail are terrible, but sometimes there are niches of wonderful stuff.

So, I'm not much of a blog triumphalist. Most suck, but some are wonderful. Many of the best are from "old media" journalists, but not all. Glenn Reynolds deserves his place, and locally, one could read Kevin Whited's link blog alone (he wouldn't call it that) and have a much brighter knowledge of world affairs.

I'll have more comments on this soon, you'll probably see why.

Posted by Evan @ 01/18/07 06:58 PM


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>>one could read Kevin Whited's link blog alone (he wouldn't call it that)<<

Why, thanks!

I actually don't mind that characterization.

Way back when, I actually used Blogger (and a series of other tools over time) to do a link blog.

I like Furl much better because it caches the full article being linked, allows categories, and creates a searchable index of it all. Other than those features that are handy to me, it's the same old linkblogging I've been doing off and on forever.

The only thing that may confuse some people is that I Furl/Link things I've read and found interesting, and linking isn't necessarily an expression of agreement/disagreement. I occasionally annotate, but that's generally for my own amusement, not anyone else's.

Posted by kevin @ 01/19/07 05:34 PM

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