Thursday, May 26, 2005

Wall Street Journal Still In the Dark About Blogs: "Measuring Blog Impact"

MSM not understanding blogs or bloggers Posted by Hello

Today's (May 26, 2005 Thursday) online version of The Wall Street Journal has an article, in the section called The Numbers Guy by Carl Bialik, entitled "Measuring the Impact of Blogs Requires More Than Counting":


Paragraph 1 is a put down of bloggers:

"If you read press coverage about blogs, you might conclude that just about all Americans are reading a blog".

[STREIGHT: What is he talking about? What "press coverage" declares that almost all Americans are reading blogs? I've never heard any media say this, not even bloggers. Carl cites no reference sources for this bizarre and reckless statement.]

"But then you wouldn't have time to read the press coverage, because if surveys are to be believed, you're probably busy creating your own blog."

[STREIGHT: What surveys? Again, he is making wild accusations without any credibility on his part. What surveys, what press coverage about blogs actually says "just about all Americans are reading a blog" and thus, have no time to read press coverage? This is shoddy journalism, a la MSM.]


Paragraph 3 muddies the waters even more:

"Adding to the confusion: disagreement over exactly what a blog is. In our young era of blogging, there's still no consensus. 'Blog' derives from 'Web log' and everyone agrees that a blog should be regularly updated, with new entries in reverse chronological order--and that the entries can be about anything."

[STREIGHT: More reckless journalistic error--"everyone agrees".

I know quite a few who do NOT agree. There are some bloggers who dislike the reverse chronological order of blog entries, want new posts to reside in a conceptual hierarchy, and wish to see thumbnail-like displays of posts so the reader can determine which posts are priority reading.

Carl admits that there seems to be no "consensus" definition of blog, yet he doesn't take the time to fully explain what a blog is. Saying "blog" derives from "Web log" is no explanation at all. I can imagine many readers of this article scratching their heads and thinking "...but, again, what exactly is a blog?"

Steve Streight Definition of Blog: a communications, connectivity, and interactivity platform that enables users with no HTML skills to quickly and easily publish web content for a global audience, thus the democratization of web content publishing, the revolutionary rise of universal access to internet content.]

Doc Searls apparently said that a blog is an "email to the world", which I think is one of best general statements ever made about blogs. It's as easy to post material to a blog as it is to compose and send an email.]

The rest of the article discusses the problem of tracking and counting blogs, and how as many as 50% of blogs are abandoned or blank.

This article sheds very little light on the subject of blogs. No mention of the significance of reader interaction via comments and email to the blog authors. No mention of the community building or activist aspects of blogs.

What is said about the problems of defining, tracking, qualifying, and counting blogs is not new, nor is it very enlightening.

It seems to me that the whole point of this article is to downplay the significance of blogs AS AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM.


I hate advertising on blogs, and will not allow any ads to appear on any of my blogs.

I also hate blogs that are trying to sell me something, unless it's an occasional book or blog related merchandise like a hat or tee shirt with the blogger's name and logo printed on them. Fun and relevant informative stuff is okay, as long as the promotions on the blog are not pushy, hard-sell, distracting hype.


Under the subhead "How Important Are They?", Carl states:

"Even if millions of Americans read blogs, there are very few individual blogs that have a significant number of readers."

Again, it's the old fashioned mass media broadcast mentality.

What's important to the dead MSM is numbers of "eyeballs". Bah!

Though it's difficult to measure influence, many blogs seem to have pretty powerful influence on influential thought and action leaders.

This article is careful not to make a very big deal about how bloggers have joined together to topple big names in both journalism and politics. The subversive aspects of blogs are ignored. The democratization of web content publishing is also ignored.

I think Carl, and other MSM journalists, need to actually read some major blogs by important bloggers like Doc Searls, Robert Scoble, Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Hugh Macleod, Darren Rouse, Joi Ito, John C. Dvorak, Richard Edelman, David Weinberger, Steve Rubel, Buzz Bruggeman, and others who discuss blogs and their impact.

Bloggers do a much better job promoting, questioning, and even harshing blogs than the lazy, lame MSM.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


steven edward streight said...

I turned comments back on.

They were disabled due to disgusting pervert comment spam attack storm.

Here's what DAVID WEINBERGER emailed as his comment:


You're more upset about this than I am, in part maybe because you're taking the happy little journalist voice seriously...when they say "many think" or "people say," we know they're just making stuff up.


Nevertheless, it's good to call these guys on this type of sloppy writing.

-- David W.

Don The Idea Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don The Idea Guy said...

This is the third piece of blog-bashing-bull I've read in as many days.

I think some media feel compelled to start bashing blogs now that it's received a modicum of media coverage.

Some media groups "get it" -- some don't. History is written by the victors (and I suspect it'll be written by us bloggers.)

steven edward streight said...


I'm very horribly harsh toward the MSM, mainly major network television news, due to their asinine insistence on NEGATIVE NEWS, much of which is false.

CNN lied wholeheartedly during the Iraq elections for example: showing non-current footage of Iraqis wailing and mourning the dead from terrorist (not "terrorist" but "destructionist" crybaby bullies, they inspire NO terror in most people, just ridicule) attacks.

No reports on the schools and hospitals up and running in Iraq.

And I'm an a-political pacifist, not a war-monger.

I hate many things about the USA, especially our outsourcing torture and our bullshit camp in Cuba, conveniently free from US laws jurisdiction.

I hate all political parties and all politicians can bite me.

Yet...the MSM, especially television, ticks me off even more than most bloggers.

I am the avowed enemy of the corruption within CERTAIN SEGMENTS of the MSM.

I pray that the MSM gets its act together and starts following the Core Values of Media, some ethics and intelligence would be nice for a change.

Steven...the GRRRRRRRRate.

Joe Katzman said...

Obvously, this guy isn't familiar with the concept of "," in which Winds of Change.NET is playing a leading role. Bottom line: The "long tail" lives, and enough small blogs make for a pretty impressive sized readership for advertisers.

Among other spinoffs.

Candidly, I prefer keeping the MSM types in ignorance for a little while longer yet....

steven edward streight said...


LOL, yeah, let the MSM flounder around foolishly in the dark while we perfect the blogospheric mechanisms, RSS, podcasting, vlogging, glogging, etc.

Let the MSM show how incredibly stupid they really are, most of them, not all, but most.

They bullied and pushed us around long enough. Now we are making up the rules and They Must Submit to us. And they do, or we get horrible revenge, like with Dan Rather and Trent Lott.

Thanks for taking time to visit and post a comment!


steven edward streight said...

ROB MAY of Business Pundit has emailed me a couple of comments.

Here's one of them, with my reply.

[QUOTE by Rob May]

It's funny how much the blog world has changed.

They say that power corrupts, and for much of the blogosphere, that unfortunately holds true.

Maybe corrupts is too strong a word, but lots of people have definitely changed.

I like what you are trying to do, but in the end, blogs will follow the same silly pattern that everything else does.

Those of us who can see it realize how sad that is, but it's the nature of people.

I'm not sure you will have much luck challenging the blog status quo, but I wish you well.

I miss the old days.


Steven Streight
to Robert May

More options 9:15 pm (0 minutes ago)

Sometime when you feel inspired and up to it, write me an article on
The Good Old Days of Real Blogs and Real Bloggers, or similar, to put
into Blog Core Values.

I believe that the scumbags and mediocrity mongers fight hard to
distort media, and I am willing to fight hard to overcome them.

I don't care if I lose the war.

Winning and losing mean nothing to me.

All I care about is "fighting the good fight" for the rewards
metaphysically are enormous. Karma keeps score.

Steven Streight

steven edward streight said...


just posted an article pointing to this Vaspers the Grate post:

Thanks Evan!

Anonymous said...

You should never trust any msm bollocks that forces you to subscribe before you can read the article.

It's the #1 clue that they don't have a clue.

The WSJ sent me some questions for another blogging expose they're obviously planning. I have to say that it was quite apparent that they didn't have a clue what they were talking about.

The more of these things I happen to do, the less inclined I feel to do any more. These swine are just lazy, ill-informed hacks churning stuff out for the sake of it.

MSM is nothing more than a reference point for bloggers to then deconstruct. That's their only purpose.

All the best,

Paul Woodhouse.

steven edward streight said...


And MSM wonders why people are bored, disgusted, and angry with them.

My main criticism, aside from being STUPID and UNPROFESSIONAL, is their NEGATIVE slant on every frigging thing under the sun.

Brian Williams: would it kill you to loosen your eyebrow and smile.

I turned the volume off, muted the tv during the silly "world news" at 5:30PM and watched how, even when they HAD to report something good, the facial expression was STILL sour, surly, like a damn psychopathic schizoid paranoid.

They are truly insane.

I think many in the MSM are in league with The Evil One.

They, most of them, are horrid little shits.