Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Future of Blogging

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its annual report on The State of the News Media. I haven't read it all, but this caught my eye:

Blogging is on the brink of a new phase that will probably include scandal, profitability for some, and a splintering into elites and non-elites over standards and ethics. The use of blogs by political campaigns in the mid-term elections of 2006 is already intensifying in the approach to the presidential election of 2008. Corporate public-relations efforts are beginning to use blogs as well, often covertly. What gives blogging its authenticity and momentum — its open access — also makes it vulnerable to being used and manipulated. At the same time, some of the most popular bloggers are already becoming businesses or being assimilated by establishment media. All this is likely to cause blogging to lose some of its patina as citizen media. To protect themselves, some of the best-known bloggers are already forming associations, with ethics codes, standards of conduct and more. The paradox of professionalizing the medium to preserve its integrity as an independent citizen platform is the start of a complicated new era in the evolution of the blogosphere.

Just thought I'd put this up for discussion. For those of us following the evolution (or devolution) of the blogosphere, this simply confirms and reflects what we've been talking about.


catnip said...

Blogging is on the brink of a new phase that will probably include scandal, profitability for some, and a splintering into elites and non-elites over standards and ethics.

Obviously, it's reached that "new phase" already.

alohaleezy said...

It all comes down to greed/money. Once the money was put into play, the bbbs changed. Even the minor players. It's as if they were looking for a way to get the toe in the door either in mainstream journalism, business or campaign/political consulting/blogging/ web page managemet fields. Blach! I am sick of all of them.

sjct said...

Atrios wrote yesterday (I think) that he never expected blogging to be a paying gig. He did it as a hobby and considers himself very fortunate to have lucked into the financial support from Media Matters that allows him to do it full-time.

I believe Markos always intended to profit from dKos, if not in money then in influence. As it developed, the amount of money he's making came as a surprise, I think. Now, it seems, the money is a prime motivation to him.

Martin started out expecting to make enough money to support his full-time devotion to BooTrib. Setting it up as a LLC indicates that to me. I don't think less of him for wanting that but right from the git-go it's influenced him.

boran2 said...

It's similar to the evolution of other outlets. Some will have credibility, others will just become little more than profit-producing entities. It's sad because what might have been a tool for change, to the extent that blogs could effect change, has become (for some blogs) mere reinforcement for the MSM. There will always be regular citezen bloggers, but their impact has been blunted and diluted.

ms_xeno said...

Nice of Atrios to play aw-shucks like that, but frankly I still think he's an asshole.

theory said...

"legitimized blogging"

I've seen peer to peer networking take over a lot of things... this advance of it to the public debate, with a profile, was fun to watch.

but I can tell you that "legitimized" blogging cannot be. When legitimized, blogging is pathetic, blogging will not have the TOP NOTCH experts, right, those will go work and university, and if they blog, it will be as citizens, as individuals. Their carreer as experts will be over here, say teaching, and they'll blog.

More "pure blogging"... this is about citizen voice and public debate. Experts on the web are two bit... a genuine citizen is worth much more than a voice of authority that you can't take as an authority anyway... they don't get this, and took this as their chance to get in the SAME OLD GAME, rather than the chance to build a new one.

Markos used scoop, that's it. He did not imagine a new media (people say that all the time, and also that Gates invented the internet)... and he blew his chance to incrmentally improve it.

as pros they will look more and more second rate, because AS PROS, they are.

as citizens... we could scare the hell out of politics... we're voters, we take our role on the voter side of the table... but markos et alia seems much more into taking a seat on the other side of the table and telling voters to shut up.


DavidByron said...


DavidByron said...

Hmm. I guess my comment was just too long then. I'll split it.

A 2000 comment thread criticising MSOC's appearance (phone-in) on the John Gibson radio show was up at dKos last night.

Copy of diary posted at MLW, where the guy who posted it was banned twice today after a deterioration of friendly relations let to some nasty remarks.

The original at dKos takes a while to load. You can access it from the two comments within it that I've pulled out for note, as folllows. Both comments by MSOC; she handled herself very well I think.

1st comment has MSOC developing more towards the principle of honouring the outsider. This is not exactly a new experience for her, but this has to be the longest nastiest set of abuse issued at her in her blogging career so far. In fact few people have had so much shit thrown at them I think.


I DISAGREE WITH YOU. I am ALLOWED to disagree. What's more, I am ALLOWED to disagree without fear of reprisal, harassment or banishment. None of you have the RIGHT to HARANGUE someone until they CAVE in and agree to see things your way.

It's disgusting, what's gone on in this diary -- exactly that, by the way, an enormous group of people all determined to COERCE someone into RECANTING and APOLOGISING and, if possible SELF- IMMOLATING.

This is interesting for me because I was banned from MLW under the same circumstances. At that time her view was that the majority did indeed have the right to attack an individual they disagreed with and hound them until that user was banned or else knuckle under and shut up.

Let's hope she is able to apply these lessons to have more sympathy for the under-dog within her own autocracy.

DavidByron said...

2nd part:
The second comment has MSOC saying that her performance on the radio show was poor on that night.

I was a regular guest on that show, sometimes more than once weekly. And I intend to be again. I enjoy doing it. Not this last one -- this last one SUCKED. I hate sucking, and I sucked -- but not for the reasons everyone around here is saying it sucked.

And you needn't feel humiliated on my behalf, though I thank you for your empathy; I consider John Gibson a friend. As such, though I despise his politics and his behaviour and pretty much everything about what he does, I do not feel used or abused or PROSTITUTED by him.

I have to say that I felt she was below par too. But I couldn't say anything at the time because it became political immidiately. And from that it became personal immmidiately. Things are bad when even someone as insensitive as me feels it's not appropriate to say,

"Hey, better luck next time! Glad I don't have to get up there and do that because I'd be PETRIFIED."

(she didn't actually "suck"; she's just employing some hyperbole as part of disarming self-denigration)

Sometimes you do badly, sometimes you do great. Practise makes perfect. MSOC was getting back on the horse after taking a fall. She knew what she was letting herself in for too, in terms of risking her popularity at dKos. This is someone who has in the past appeared to me to have some issues with needing to be accepted, needing to be popular.

Wow. Talk about kicking the crap out of any fear she might have had of being rejected by her peers. That took huge courage. Amazing!!!

I have to say that this need to be accepted, which everyone feels, was the one thing holding her back from being the "blog wrecking" iconoclast she had the potential to be. I don't know if she's really burned her bridges with dKos, I don't think so, and I hope not, however she really overturned any chances of ever being seen as a needy "publicity whore" again.

Next time someone says that I shall just direct them to that dKos diary and ask them the last time they said or did something that they knew would get them such a royal ass-kicking by their peers.

Personally I never saw her as such but there was always that thing she had, a sort of quirk, loving to get the adulation. It's led her wrong a couple of times. This may sound presumptuous (like that ever stopped me before) but Maryscott has really grown in the last few years.

Also: kudos for her saying John Gibson is a friend (that she disagrees with politically).

pyrrho said...

wow david, you are like a psychic... Maryscott "seemed to you" to maybe have a desire to be liked.

Um, gee, that and the fact that she writes about that like... all the time, says it, you know, with words, like, NOT between the line type stuff.

your powers of supposition know no bounds whatever.

btw, david, no, this is not a tantrum, you have earned the right to see how I used to behave when I was as into getting banned as you still are. Of course, I was still 16.


DavidByron said...

So.... it's not a tantrum; you're just acting like you were 16? Well at least you can see you are doing it.

But why exactly are you so angry these days anyway? Is this just because you got banned at dKos?

pyrrho said...

no, I'm not "so angry these days"... I'm just angry at you in this case, and you mistake that for "everything".

In other words, you think you are "everything". Let's face it... you hold grudges, that's your skill, and yet you expect none to be held against you.

I offered you that deal as well, tacitly, and have discussed much with you grudge free, but you still covet your grudges.

it's just game over david. I did learn from our conversations, thanks for that, now take your insulting victim act on a walk to the park.

catnip said...

There will always be regular citezen bloggers, but their impact has been blunted and diluted.

Well, they have at dkos but that place isn't the be all and end all, especially at the rate it's been going. dkos is fashinable - for now - but in this tech world, something new and improved always comes along. I suspect his site will go the route of the many versions of Windows that always promise something better but continually have new bugs and vulnerabilities built in.

canberra boy said...

sjct, I don't know enough about Kos' initial activities in blogging (I started lurking at dKos somewhere in 2003, I think) to be able to discern his original motivation, but it's certainly now about both money and power.

When it comes to Booman, I've always felt that he just hoped to be able to generate some income to support his blogging passion. While I'm not familiar with the intricacies of US law regarding defamation, and the degree to which a LLC might protect a publisher, I suspect this structure might have been at least partly to do with protecting himself from ruin if anyone sues. In thinking about establishing a local community website here, I've figured a company was a necessary protection given the fact you have no control over possibly defamatory remarks being posted in unmoderated forums.

sjct said...

canberra boy, yes, that's the way BooMan explained it at the beginning. But, you know, first you have to be worth suing...

If I were going to blog for money, I'd set up a monthly membership fee paid thru PayPal, a subscription of maybe $2 per month. Maybe offer a discount -- $10 -- if someone paid 6 months in advance. People could cancel their subscription anytime they wanted and get a refund on their balance.

Only paid subscribers could post diaries and comments. There might even be a password system so non-members could only view diaries but couldn't read comments.

When and IF I got 1000 members, THEN I'd look to incorporate to protect myself from lawsuits. But, the semi-private nature of the forum would offer some protection.

As the owner, I'd be very careful not to piss off my members because I'd be directly dependent on them for financial support. And all the members would be, in a sense, co-owners of the venture. Instead of calling the fee a subscription, I might even call it a "share."

DavidByron said...

no, I'm not "so angry these days"... I'm just angry at you.... you hold grudges, that's your skill, and yet you expect none to be held against you.

So you are holding a grudge against me and that's why you've been so pissy? Even in threads where you've been bitterly complaining about dKos?

Ok so please explain why you have a grudge against me; I have never done anything to you as far as I know. You've never mentioned anything.

Or do you mean MSOC has a grudge against me and that you are being pissy on her behalf?

DavidByron said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
spiderleaf said...

I deleted DB's most recent comment.

You don't get to call people names here, or induldge in sexual fantasies, as we already told you when you did it to catnip.

Arcturus said...

that always promise something better but continually have new bugs and vulnerabilities built in

thx for the chuckle

DavidByron said...

Spiderleaf appears to be abusing her position. This board appears to delete comments left and right for no reason now. Shame on you all for doing this on Ductape's board while he isn't here.

You don't get to call people names here

Oh is that only allowed by people like you then? You've called me "names" since I got here more or less non-stop. The post I linked to above, which you deleted had you calling me some sort of variation on stalker / misogynist.

Did you delete my comment because you were ashamed of your own words that I was linking to?

Janet said...

I wonder how many of the BBB will be at this week's rallies or trying to ban the military from using ports??

Janet said...


People are being gassed and shot with rubber bullets by PIGS in Tacoma...

Just thought you all might want to know.

Janet said...

And since this a meta thing... I'm gonna vent.

Fuck the POLICE!
Fuck the MEDIA!
Fuck Apathy.

Janet said...

This is what a police state looks like.

Tacoma, Washington - USA


ms_xeno said...

sjct's plan sounds pretty good. The main downside I can see to it is that the founder essentially functions more as landlord than participant. That's not all bad. Good landlords are a nice thing to have, but it can be very frustrating to be the landlord and to want to take sides in a dispute-- but having to sit mum or play "neutral" against one's will because there's the business to think of...

ms_xeno said...

Janet, I swear on a stack of Oreos that I'm not a spy for Homeland Security. We need to meet up sometime.

catnip said...

Janet, I swear on a stack of Oreos that I'm not a spy for Homeland Security.

Aha! Did you steal supersoling's Oreos?

ms_xeno said...

The race is won by the strong and morally able, catnip. See page 65 of The Kozzies Little Orange Book of Libertarian Democrats.

I have those Oreos because I am the better human. The fact that I have them is incontrovertible proof of my superiority and worthiness. But in the best spirit of noblesse d'orange (it's like noblesse oblige, but different) I will give supersoling one Oreo for every six of my custom ads that he is willing to plaster across his blog.

We Orange Shirts are tough, but fair.

python said...

db, you want the final straw? Your posts here at mobetta... I'm reading this recognizing stuff you and I have gone over, and you are casting it 2000% in your bad characterization, ignoring any realism, any balance... which is too much to take. I've granted you some point, and they stay granted... not with you.


DavidByron said...

Was that comment meant to make any sense? Is that pyrrho again under a false name?

catnip said...

I have those Oreos because I am the better human. The fact that I have them is incontrovertible proof of my superiority and worthiness.

Ah yes...circular orange logic. Well done!

Janet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
catnip said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ms_xeno said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
catnip said...
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Janet said...
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Janet said...
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Janet said...

Hey there, can we delete this conversation of where I work? I know I brought it up in a roundabout way.. but after a good night's sleep I don't think it should be up here. Sorry. Thanks

scribe said...

I decided on a whim, to try some live blogging this morning, (the plame hearings, first panel.) Its over on ECFS if you want a look. Do I ever have a new respect for those who live blog!

Pyrrho said...

i've posted several times, including immediately after the python post that yes it's me.

I'm glad you didn't understand me david.

I'm talking over your head again, since you never appreciate anyone connecting anyway.

catnip said...

Done Janet!

Janet said...

WHEW! Thank you Catnip.

catnip said...

You're welcome Janet and you did an excellent job liveblogging, scribe. If you need help next time, drop me a line! :)

ms_xeno said...

Janet, I'll be the fat broad with graying brown hippie hair and falling-apart brown lace-up boots.

Oh, wait. That describes at least one-third of the probable marchers on Sunday. I'll throw on my Nader '04 shirt with the big white liberty bell in front, on a black background. Look for me. Bring some rice milk to go with the Oreos. ;)

Janet said...

Didn't see ya there Xeno but I was ALL OVER today. I stayed to help lump the tent down and pack "C's" car.

I'm home now. Safe and slightly sound.

I'll have photos up later. I'm dog-ass tired right now and I need to veg out with my kidlets.


ms_xeno said...

Janet, I left early because my feet don't hold up well for lots of standing. After 4 PM though, there was a big standoff across the street from the Justice Center: Armored police, the works. That's all I saw as our car went by, headed towards the Morrison St. Bridge.

No Oreos for Mayor Potter, sez I...

catnip said...

(((hugs))) for both of you!

Janet said...

Yeah I have pictures of some of the riot war pigs. Got some of the Faux news setting up to edit the day... grrr.

Sorry your feet gave you problems.

I almost took a photo of this one fellow marcher. He has polio and had the crutches. He marched the entire thing and stayed for the after party.

I've marched with people who have severe disabilities or illnesses and it always amazes me who didn't turn up and why. One lady I know from work didn't march because she didn't want to risk her new pedicure... ACK!

My feet are killing me today, too. I have plantar fasciitus. AKA heel spurs. From standing/working on them for 8 hours a day. I have to go in soon (I'm a horrible procrastinator) to see about injections.

I'm not really sure what I'm feeling today... I'm kinda pissed off actually. Another fucking year. Another fucking march.

I did like the action tents. Those were cool!

But those damn church bells. Was that counter protest???

But it was interesting to see some action shots that included me - at some of the action tents. LOL. Was sort of an out of body experience in a way. All the people I now know...

I guess Portland is really my home.

I've never really felt like anywhere was my home. Till Portland, CodePink and the Peace Groups.

PS I think the Peace Keepers did one hell of a job yesterday.

ms_xeno said...

Hey ! I don't have a pedicure !! And I can prove it !!

The idea... (Harumph.)

OTOH, if I don't get my boots fixed soon, they will most definitely qualify as open-toed shoes. Perhaps a few toe-rings improvised from tinfoil and those bright-colored plastic bread loaf-binders are in order... Oh, the fashion challenges of activism on a budget, I tell you...

Janet said...

Oh no my anger wasn't directed at you Xenon.

I got caugh behind one of the police tantrums. The adrenaline takes a while to hit me. I finally got it out and posted a diary on it.

The rally was very surreal. Peaceful at times. Chaotic and scary at other times.

And there were times when you couldn't tell what was going on.

I mean, we were packing up the tents about a block away from one riot and didn't know it.

Last year it was at an open area - the waterfront where you could SEE around you. I did not like the lay out of this rally. IT felt claustropphobic.

here's some photos