Saturday, February 26, 2005

Quote from an Unhappy Librarian

John Dvorak one of my favorite columnists in the TECH World has these interesting observations about the Blogosphere:

Coined the term “blog people”

Written Inc.: Quote from an unhappy librarian

“[The] Blog People (or their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of digitization and a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief … Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.’” — M. Gorman

I have no idea where Cami Levy got this quote, but it’s apparently from library spokesman Michael Gorman (pictured above). Of course the bloggers immediately get outraged. What he is saying is quite true. You hear about “people’s journalism,” “print is dead,” old media, new media, blah, blah, blah. It’s an attack on print just for the sake of an attack. And note that he’s not saying all blogs are crap. He’s saying they are taking themselves a little too seriously with all the changing the world nonsense. He also takes a couple of cheap shots which does his position no good at all.

But let’s discuss changing the world. The way I see it radio was going to change the world. Movies were going to change the world. TV was going to change the world. Computers were going to change the world. And, uh, hmm — they did! But compare the promises to the results. The corporations are bigger. The public is dumber. McDonalds and Coca-Cola are everywhere. Public and corporate corruption is rampant. Like all new technological developments blogs will accelerate these trends, no matter what the bloggers think.

You can see it developing as the most read blogs fall into one of two political categories (conservative or liberal) both essentially serving big government as cheerleaders for one of two narrowly defined knee-jerk positions on everything public. How is this helping anything?

That said there is indeed a third category of blog which is purely informational such as the definitive WifFi Networking News. These tend to be specialty blogs that more resemble a magazine. And when the blog aficionados go on and on about changing the world this blog is never mentioned since it’s not political.

Anyway, you can expect more debate on this topic over the next few years. Ack!

A point well written, John.

The commercialization of the blogosphere and its use to disseminate commercial speech is just beginning. Political speech is easy and cheap.

Companies will invest heavily in this new medium.

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