Sunday, August 29, 2004

Blog-only news

For a week blogger Steve Rubel was supposed to only read news from blogs. This meant: read the blogposts only. What he wanted to see was, according to the article in Poynter Online, whether he could stay updated on important news through reading blogs.

His intent: See if at this stage in the evolution of blogging, weblogs are an adequate entry point to current events -- if they could replace more traditional forms for people who want to learn what's going on in the world.

He found that certain news spread swiftly, while other spread slowly or not at all. In general the information he got was superficial, and there was little in-depth analysis.

This does not surprise me at all. The reason why I am not surprised is in his methodology. He did not follow the links! Clicking the articles the blogs linked to was NOT part of his project! What kind of blog-reading is this?

The reason why blogs work so well, why they are interesting and why following a blog can give you indepth information about current affairs or particular topics is because they work as gates and portals, not sources. They open up to others and to other discussions. This is the opposite function of mainstream media. Mainstream media want to keep the reader, listener or viewer tuned to their channel, and not clicking on anything that lets you exit and go elsewhere to learn. Blogs give you the subjective view of the writer, some commentary and an opportunity to make up your own mind about reading on or going back.

Some blogs can act as news sources and contain journalistic coverage of a topic. But don't confuse the channel and the medium! A blog is a channel for many different genres, and not a newsmedium.

Thanks Erling, for the article.

No comments: