Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Amy Alexander doesn't like blogs. I don't like her reasons.

Driving back from Ann Arbor last evening, I found myself listening to Amy Alexander on NPR complaining – or, more accurately, bitching and moaning – about blogs. As traditional media types have done with alarming frequency these days, her points reveal ignorance and a closed mind.

(Here's the link to the place on NPR's site where you can listen to the piece. For some reason, NPR only offers Real Player and Windows Media options. Hope you can make it work.)

First, Ms. Alexander categorizes blogs as web sites that, "...people use as a diary or to advocate a political viewpoint." Sure, that's what a lot of blogs were three years ago, Amy, but I think it's pretty clear they've evolved beyond that. Tired stuff, that one. Does she really think that Ad Pulp , Design Sponge , Micropersuasion , John Battelle and, yes, The Curling News are pushing political agendas?

She talks about the problem with the lack of editors for blogs. I believe in editors and filters as much as anyone, but I also believe in the intelligence of consumers. I don't think people are suddenly casting off all other news gathering vehicles and substituting only blog information. Blogs are not about replacing other media – they're about adding new voices and providing a way for people around the world to share opinions. Of course, the traditional news media wouldn't seem so vulnerable if they hadn't let people like Judith Miller, Jayson Blair and Bob Novak sully their reputations so completely.

Amy says bloggers write about minutiae she doesn't care about. Hey, here's a thought, Amy. If you don't like what's on a blog, don't read the damn thing. I don't waste my time with useless blogs and neither should you.

Of course, then Amy does admit to to reading a few blogs. And isn't that the point? If we all gain a few new sources of information or entertainment, I think we might just arrive at a better understanding of each other.

Fact is, Amy is so damn close to her insider world of news media that she misses the point of blog discourse completely. Their role as a news source is one small aspect. Their instant publishing nature creates opportunities in conversation, connectivity and transparent commerce.

Finally, Amy ends her rant by saying that she is troubled by the proliferation of blogs, mainly because she wonders why anyone would want to write for free. That's when the true reason Ms. Alexander doesn't like blogs hit me.

She's too damn lazy to write one.


Blogger Dave J. said...

Her commentary is as rambling as a bad blog post. She really has nothing valuable to say.

Guess I could reply "That's why I don't like NPR", the way she says she doesn't like blogs.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Black Lab Five said...

You're right. Her commentary is all over the map. Thing is, I am an NPR fan, and it ticked me off.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Dave J. said...

Actually I like NPR. News and Notes is new, maybe they just haven't learned to filter stuff like that yet.

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