I thought at the time that by the time I got home it would have been given more than a few fiskings, but I was only able to start looking for them tonight. The best? This shouldn't surprise anyone; Dave at the Ministry.
first we really ought to see what Yasmin’s whining about…His analysis is spot on, go read. I'm not sure I buy into Tim's opinion that it's a conspiracy, I suspect it's more a case that, as Deek Deekster observes, the proverbial chattering classes have noticed that the internet is allowing us poor normal citizens to share our opinions with each other, debate, deconstruct and critique opinion columns, etc.
… which, sorry, doesn’t really amount to much.
Are we simply "wasting our time"?I think not (obviously). We may not get the biggest readerships compared to columnists, but what is Yasmin's opinion peace from yesterday? The cause of a bit of discussion, and now, mostly, the proverbial chip wrapping. I can read, get to know, debate and discuss ideas with people across the country, most of whom I've never met. We can come to a consensus, agree to differ, work together on issues of common import and, at times, continually, vehemently, disagree.
It's a bit like the days of the pamphleteers of yore, but I can do it all from the, ahem, comfort of my pokey little flat. I can even share my opinions on Ms Brown's column draped in a towel and dripping wet from the shower.
Isn't free debate and democracy wonderful?I think so, anyway. As does Deekster, a blog new to me:
In the past these true journal-ists would have been writing in isolation, but we contemporary writers are blessed with the modern miracle of interactivity - and frankly this is something that scares the Gucci pants off most hacks, whose idea of interactivity is submitting to an axe-wielding editor.The beauty of "blogging"? (and what is a blog if not simply a style of managing a website, a different type of publishing tool?) Interactivity, commenting, discourse, analysis.
I can read an article elsewhere, challenge the views put forward, add cogent facts to the debate, link in extra points, question the author on points. And others can do the same here. By being questioned, we analyse. That analysis both improves our ideas and our ability to explain them. I've certainly learnt a lot in the 10 months we've been running this place.
"Waste of time"? Perhaps. But then, some people waste their time watching Eastenders, reading the DaVinci code or even, *shudder*, writing opinion columns on national newspapers. In 3 months time, my opinion on Yasmin's article will be there, on this site, cached in Google, found in search engines. Her article on blogging? Locked behind a subscription firewall on a piss-poor website and, being recycled.
Bloggers may have little legs Yasmin, but we have a much longer tail. Besides which, a number of your colleagues on the paper are also bloggers. Some of them are quite good. Maybe, y'know, you could find out more about what it's really about from them?
UpdateJustin on the same subject, rather good in an overall blogging analysis kind of way.
I promise to try and write a substantive article soon. Maybe Thursday. Not sure which Thursday. In the meantime, linkage good, right?