Thursday, May 26, 2005
Wall Street Journal Still In the Dark About Blogs: "Measuring Blog Impact"
MSM not understanding blogs or bloggers
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
Posted by steven edward streight at 5/26/2005 10:34:00 AM