Media Thoughts, Fish

While reading a couple of my favorite blogs this weekend I felt compelled to respond to their posts.

The first was about the adoption of the word blog by the traditional media outlets. You can read the post here. Here’s my response (I’m feeling too lazy to do anything other than copy paste at the moment).

Blogs aren’t about layout, they’re about individuals interacting with other individuals without all the editorial filters and crap in between.So just because Kim jong-il adds the word BLOG to his Dear Leader website it doesn’t mean he has a blog. It means he has a propaganda website with four bold letters on it.

Personally I don’t consider something a blog unless:
*The author allows Anonymous, loosely moderated comments
*The author has job outside of the blog
*The author reads other blogs
*The author engages other bloggers in conversation
*The author can keep blogging regardless of the political correctness of their words

The NYTimes et. al. don’t meet any of the above criteria so I personally don’t consider their sub-sites blogs. They do use the word blog a lot though so they’re succeeding in diluting the meaning of the word just enough to adopt it for their own marketing purposes.

The blog’s author, and the only reason I watch Kudlow and Company, Barry Ritholtz, seemed to agree with the communication bit and sent me a friendly email about my reply.

Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine was grappling with the outlook for journalists in the blog crazy future in this post. And my reply

If an article is intended to be educational I’d rather read an author who also just learned about the topic and is a great writer than by an expert who can’t write and doesn’t know how informed the average reader is.That said, blogging is so cheap and easy to do that I imagine in five years experts in all fields will be expected to have blogs by their peers if they expect to remain leaders in their field.

Maybe the generalist journalist will be able to make connections between seemingly unrelated topics and provide a clearer understanding of the big picture than could specialist bloggers.

I updated my links over on the right, I’ll be updating my books section soon. My buddy Jerome lent me Globalization and its Discontents The preface has me hooked. The author isn’t simply concerned about the socialism vs. capitalism debate. He has studied information assymetries and problems with free markets. Part of the reasoning behind my love of free markets is the result of my assumption that the forces reshaping the media business brought on by the internet are also reshaping most others but it’s harder to see because unlike fish wrappers(newspapers) we don’t look at the economics of fish distribution every day (though the WSJ has an interesting subscription only article on the sushi business today – avoid the spicy tuna rolls, the hotdog meat equivalent of the fish world).

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