Virginia Postrel and Blogging
Virginia Postrel, a very interesting pundit and libertarian has some interesting words about blogging on her web site. (Of course, as she criticizes blogs, she also fails to put an individual item link on her page – a blog no-no. For all you other bloggers out there, a link to each post you make is key so that others can link to your arguments, facilitating the whole blog experience.) She basically says that since blogs are unedited, they’re not going to replace traditional media. So while Andrew Sullivan says that he has a readership equal to that of Tina Brown’s Talk magazine, that doesn’t mean that he gets the same level of credibility. (Although I would say that anything Andrew Sullivan says is far more credible than the drek which oozes from Tina Brown’s liberal rag.)
Postrel’s got a good point there. I have to go against uberblogger Glenn Reynolds, and say that blogs aren’t a replacement for traditional media. If I want to know what’s going on in Zimbabwe, I don’t go to InstaPundit, I go to the BBC. Blogs are more like a conversation than a news piece – blogs are more of a way of carrying on a highly intricate form of communication than news, which is mainly static and unidirectional. Each has their own niche, and each compliments each other. I trust the opinions of Glenn Reynolds or Andrew Sullivan more than the op-ed pages of the New York Times. (Well, to be honest, I’d trust a raving lunatic alcoholic more than the op-ed columnists at the Times.) It’s because they are quality writers. If anything, the editor-free world of the blog requires writers to be more on their toes. Blogging rewards quick thinking and good ideas, something that isn’t always a part of traditional media. Furthermore, I know where Andrew Sullivan’s biases are, he advertises them all the time. Dan Rather still has the cojones to call himself a neutral party. In many ways, blogs won’t be the death of traditional media, but they definitely are unique and valuable in their own right.