Thursday, 27 April 2006

Blogging. Where's it going?

The blogging phenomenon still fascinates both main stream media and participants in the phenomenon alike. The Economist is amongst the latest to investigate in a series of thoughtful articles available on their site on what they call a Media Revolution as big in its way as that brought about by Gutenberg in 1448, but brought about this time not just by Moveable Type but also by 'always-on' internet, broadband, blogging, wikis, podcasts and whatever else is still to be dreamed up.

It is they say, the age of participation, which "has profound implications for traditional business models in the media industry, which are based on aggregating large passive audiences and holding them captive during advertising interruptions."
In the new-media era, audiences will occasionally be large, but often small, and usually tiny. Instead of a few large capital-rich media giants competing with one another for these audiences, it will be small firms and individuals competing or, more often, collaborating. Some will be making money from the content they create; others will not and will not mind, because they have other motives. “People creating stuff to build their own reputations” are at one end of this spectrum, says Philip Evans at Boston Consulting Group, and one-man superbrands such as Steven Spielberg at the other.
One end of this spectrum is blogger Glenn Greenwald, who has taken advantage of the power of the blogosphere to leap to number one on the Amazon Top Sellers List with a book that he calls "a pure blogosphere book": one commisioned by a blog reader, based purely on blog postings and on arguments developed and researched with blog readers, and bought (initially at least) by the readers of his blog. Now there's the power of the blogosphere in one.

"The power of the blogosphere," suggests a grateful Greenwald, is not just that bloggers are new faces in the 'conversation,' but that so many of the ideas, the arguments "and the underlying approach to political change which characterize the blogosphere is just different in nature" to what we've seen before. "The blogosphere," he says, "is characterized by an independence and autonomy which is glaringly absent in the conventional national media venues."
As Jane Hamsher eloquently observed the other day, there has to be some significant motivation for someone to go to their computer every day and do the work to maintain a blog, just as something has to motivate people to spend time at their computers every day reading and participating in intense, detailed political discussions. Bloggers, their readers and commenters are mostly just citizens who are highly dissatisfied with the conventional media outlets and dominant political institutions, all of which have failed in so many ways. What is most significant about the blogosphere, in my view, is that it enables direct and immediate communication -- and coordination -- among huge numbers of dissatisfied citizens who want to force new ideas and arguments into what was previously a closed and highly controlled media and political dialogue. And, gradually and incrementally, it's working. I think we are at the very beginning of that process and the impact on our country's political processes will only grow, vastly.
LINKS: Among the audience - The Economist [note the vast array of 'Related Items' to the right of the page which constitute the New Media Survey]
The power of the blogosphere - Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald

TAGS: Blog, Geek_Stuff

1 comment:

  1. Glenn is the epitome of rational passion. He has only been blogging for 6 months too. He never goes on moral jihad against others.

    National Review have noticed him (and dissed his book) because it has been no 1 on amazon for 1 week, saying it has only been popular because of Atrios et al. Glenn says:

    That tactic simply isn't working any more and that, more than anything else, is why people like York are so confused about what's going on. As indicated, most of the people who have turned against Bush - and the war in Iraq - are not "on the Left." It no longer works to equate anti-war opposition or anti-Bush sentiments with radical left-wing derangement because most Americans now share those sentiments.

    So true. Chris Sciabarra was right all along - about Bush and Iraq.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.