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Blog Nation article lacking

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 16, 2002

I got “pitched” this morning. At least, that’s what I think it’s called…I’m not too up on PR speak these days. A woman from Business 2.0’s PR company sent me an email pointing to this article on weblogs on her client’s Web site in the hopes that I would link to it. Mission accomplished.

Now for the good part (or bad part, depending on your perspective). The article isn’t that good. It starts out by talking about weblogs as the “blinking neurons of an emerging, chatterbox superbrain” and ends with a mention of the weblog collective (running the now-standard blog/Borg joke). Given that and the title of the piece (Blog Nation), you’d think that there would be an interesting story in the middle about the network of weblogs: why it’s interesting, why it’s annoying, what it’s good for, what it’s bad for, are people doing things with it that haven’t been done before, is it significant, etc. etc.

Instead, Wolcott gives readers the impression that the only thing worth checking out in this blog nation are the “superstar” warbloggers talking about the “war” and politics. Contrary to what the article says implies, “warblogging” (two of my least favorite words, together at last!) is a recent invention and not representative of weblogs as a whole.

Near the end of the article, he even laments that what’s missing are “blogs dedicated to cultural pursuits written with the same enthusiastic, hobbyhorse zeal as the breaking-news blogs”. The funny thing is that if you break the habit of only reading the sites listed in Instapundit’s sidebar, you’ll find that there are *tons* of weblogs out there doing just that. Granted, many of them are about technology and Web design, but there are more and more on music and movies and television and theatre and cars and sewing and parenting and cooking and eating and and and! And the majority of weblogs aren’t even focused at all…they just talk about whatever strikes their fancy. A more interesting point to make here is how weblogs on specific topics are hard to find unless the weblogs writer is already some sort of known journalist (i.e. the network is huge and therefore valuable, but it’s largely useless without tools to get people to the information they are looking for).

Anyway, I should come up with some sort of snappy summary here, but I’ve got 50 billion things to do…and unlike Mr. Wolcott, I don’t have to write a thorough, accurate article because this is just a weblog. So nyah.

Nick writes in about the article discussed above, calling it fourth wave journalism. Heh.