Nailing Jello to the Wall

· Weblog Concepts

Thank goodness tweneyblog ran it down. Scot Hacker alerted me to the LJ threads where the (now familiar) anti-weblog “what’s the big deal?” backlash debate was taking place, in the blog context.
I mentioned it the other day, something that made me want to start cataloguing frequent utterances about blogs (blogFU’s) such as “They just link to each other” or whatever (that was made up but there’s a public record to sift through).
I was feeling like I should put in the links (reading Rebecca’s book makes me feel guilty when I don’t always insert the link to a site, even when I’ve mentioned it already in another post that day) and lead readers to the good debate even if I didn’t have the cycles available to weigh in and tackle again whether there’s any there here. I think I’m on the record as thinking that blogs are worth discussion in that, oh, I publish a blog about blogging. I’ve also said why and I’ll keep doing so but I detest my urge to conciliate every debate.
But the blogosphere is vast and mighty and it does not any of it fall on any one Atlas’s shoulders, at least not for long, and Dylan Tweney has boiled down the discussion. Thank you!

There’s a very thoughtful debate between Scot Hacker and Sean Graham about the significance of weblogs. My horribly reductive summary: Graham says, what’s the big deal? Weblogs are not significantly different from other forms of media. Hacker argues that actually, there’s a lot that’s new:

  • “Self-publishing has never been this easy.
  • The editorial/filtering role is now in the hands of every person (in a way that it wasn’t two years ago).
  • RSS has moved the newswire feed from a push model to a pull model, and everyone can now have their own news feed.
  • Blogs are so popular that old media is concerned about the eyeballs moving away from centralized media companies and out into the field.
  • A journal was almost always a private thing. Now the concept of the public journal, with links, is an established part of the landscape.
  • Two years ago the phenomenon (you yourself describe it as a phenomenon) didn’t exist – now it does. Clearly something is different from the same old shit.”

This is a serious, thoughtful discussion that covers a lot of ground (including the tired “journalists-vs-bloggers” debate) with careful argument and insight.

Tweney also notes, as I should have by now (if I haven’t) that Scot has migrated his foobar blog to MT at the birdhouse.