S.F Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius write about two editor-free Internet phenomena this Sunday: Google News and Blogs. He takes the heretical position for a writer that editors do in fact add value to writing.
He devotes most of his column inches to Google News but takes on blogs near the end, allowing that blogs “can be very interesting,” but characterizing many of them less charitably:
Self-indulgent claptrap would be the kind description. Hundreds and thousands of words about waking up a little late this morning and deciding to have a second cup of coffee
What these people need is someone with a discerning eye who can say, “Cut this in half. It is nowhere near as amusing and clever as you seem to think it is.” … Editor’s do that. They also catch errors, clarify confusing passages and tell writers to start over and take a different approach. … [W]e will always need good editors.
I’m forced to agree. I think the flourishing of uninhibited unedited writing online is a wonderful thing, but as someone whose worn both the writer and the editor hat, I don’t think you can overestimate the value of a good editor and I think most good writers realize that.