Wednesday, May 26, 2004

"Blogs...blogs are baaaad, okay?"  

Apparently the NYT, in their deep soul-wrenching quest to find a way back to respectability, has decided to inspect first the question of How They Could Have Gone So Far Astray. What went wrong? How could they have done better? Is there anyone out there who is ALREADY doing better?

This led them to discover blogs. Not good blogs, mind you. Not Atrios. Not Kos. Not (ahem) us here. Not any of those fine establishments cited in the blogroll. But let's look at what they did find.....

(via Bad Judy! No kneepads! NYT)
Technorati, a blog-tracking service, has counted some 2.5 million blogs.

Of course, most of those millions are abandoned or, at best, maintained infrequently. For many bloggers, the novelty soon wears off and their persistence fades.

Sometimes, too, the realization that no one is reading sets in. A few blogs have thousands of readers, but never have so many people written so much to be read by so few. By Jupiter Research's estimate, only 4 percent of online users read blogs.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, 26, a graduate student at the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berkeley who has studied bloggers, said that for some people blogging has supplanted e-mail as a way to procrastinate at work.

"The addictive part is not so much extreme narcissism," Mr. Jarvis said. "It's that you're involved in a conversation. You have a connection to people through the blog."

Ms. Wang's online journal is now her life.

Dammit, they're onto us. We're lazy, we're crazy, we're narcissistic and egotistical too. Finally I have found a place where I fit in! Damn but I love you people!

Now in fairness they DID find one political blogger worthy of mention (of course that isn't till Page 2, which begs the question of why one needs a page 2 in an online format other than to give a double dose of the same ads to the same reader and up one's page count). This fellow, who we will call Richard K. here, runs a joint called runagainstbush.org.
They note he "blogs late into the night, although he knows that the site still attracts relatively few visitors."

Yeah right. I checked his site meter, which says "Average Per Day 1,719." This (1) sounds respectable to me for a guy whose hobbies are running and opposing Bush and (2) suggests that they are about to crash his servers into oblivion with traffic overload. Go Richard!

Finally, of course, there are the Sane Bloggers. Those are the ones who have quit, kinda like smokers and drinkers, right? They cite:

Suffering from a similar form of "blog fatigue," Bill Barol, a freelance writer in Santa Monica, Calif., simply stopped altogether after four years of nearly constant blogging.

So that's the story, per the New York Times, which we know is the definitive source for news. We're nuts and should just get over it and go back to reading what they give us to read.


UPDATE: Alert reader Shystee makes an excellent point in Comments:

This article comes out the same day as the half assed "mea culpa" about legitimizing lies that lead a country to war? What if we started rating news sources based on accuracy and foresight rather than prestige?

I love the smell of the establishment when it's scared. It smells like... soiled underpants.

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