Friday, December 30, 2005

The Times on blogging; point missed?

The Times had a nice article on blogging last Friday, I found it rather a link on Perfect's linklog. It's not directly about blogging, it's about blogging in Iran. I would say it's a nice piece, and overall it is, but, well, a few stupidities stand out.
Farsi is the 28th most spoken language in the world, but it now ties with French as the second most used language in the blogosphere
So, blogs are popular in Iran then? More than anywhere outside the anglophone world? OK, good point.
Internet usage is growing faster in Iran than anywhere in the Muslim Middle East, and there are now more blogs in Farsi than in German, Italian, Spanish, Russian or Chinese.
Um, Ben? You've made that point two paragraphs up. Nice to see you being consistent, but isn't it sloppy writing to make the same point twice?
Like all blogs they can also be self-indulgent, inaccurate, inarticulate and boring
Why yes, yes they can. Some blogs are inaccurate and boring. Same as some newspaper columnists, for example. However, in that entire paragraph, that's the only judgement you make on blogs. They can be innaccurate, inarticulate, self-indulgent and boring. But, like all media forms, they can also be articulate, well informed, accurate and interesting. You have to filter them, and figure out the difference between the two.

In a similar way to how your avarage punter chooses the newspaper they read. There are good blogs, and awful ones, inane ones, personal ones and intensely political ones. The beauty is, we can write when we feel like, about what we feel like, and we don't need to filter our writing to suit the owner of the paper. Of course, Mr Murdoch wouldn't ever influence your editorial opinion, would he Ben?

We know the MSN is catching on. It's a shame though that, for the most part, they still don't wuite get the point. Freedom of expression, without censorship, and with the ability to push the boundaries. For example, D-notices are voluntarily enforced by the newspaper establishment, which up until a few years ago, meant we simply didn't learn about the story. Now? It's not just Iranians taking advantage of freedom of expression.


aidanrad said...

I was mildly surprised, somehow, the other week, to discover that all 'blogspot' sites are barred from being viewed by internet-users in China (I knew about the BBC site being outlawed, of course, but it was only when my living-out-in-China brother tried to view my fledgling blog, I discovered the restriction was spreading...) Not sure why I was even temporarily surprised, I suppose, but I wonder whether such a limit on burgeoning blog culture might have merited a mention in the Times piece...
Ah, sorry, silly me, Mr Murdoch...

MatGB said...

Murdoch can't afford to annoy the Chinese govt, else they'll shut down his media outlets over tehre.
But yeah, the great firewall is a problem, there are ways around it I'm told but not sure how they work.