I’ve been thinking a bit about the whole ‘blogging’ idea in general since I decided to take the proverbial plunge. This is in no small part due to the general distaste with which I’ve viewed blogging in general up until now. I’ve heard blogging variously described as the saviour of journalism or, even more grandly, the saviour of the Internet. I think it is neither of these, nor can it be.
The saviour of journalism? The journalistic world (or the western journalist world, at least) is presently on the brink of a revolution. This is an almost incontestable fact, the evidence is abundant. We have an American population becoming more and more aware of the fact that their corporate media is little more than a agent of propaganda for government and corporate interests, we have a British population who are increasingly furious at the fact that their government and their media sold them patent lies in order to garner support for an illegal war. The left wing independent media is littered with examples of extremely newsworthy and consequential stories that have gone almost entirely unreported in the mainstream media. Blogging has proved to be a very useful adjunct to media sources, providing both first-hand reports and some insightful commentary (on both the left and right political spectra). In this role it is excellent, and will continue to be. I am of the firm opinion that blogging will never replace the news-media, certainly not in the minds of the general public and I think not even in the minds of the more Internet-literate public. Firstly, blogging by it’s very nature implies an opinion. A blog expresses the opinion of the blogger. Now, while it may be argued that media-reports rarely are unbiased (it can probably argued that they never can be) it is usually a general assumption that journalism should be, and when done correctly will be unbiased. A blog will never be viewed as an unbiased source of information. Secondly, blogs are far too distributed a means of information dissemination to serve as a source to inform the general
public. Blogging has proved a useful supplement to the media, especially in times such as these, but it will not report it. The journalism revolution will be one from within and while it might change the nature of the journalistic establishment, it will not replace it with a new establishment.
The saviour of the Internet? This far loftier claim needs far less rebuttal. Blogs are not organised enough to serve as proper repositories of information. They are a means to distribute opinion, not a means to distribute more general information. I’ve never been quite sure why the claim that “blogging is the future of the ‘net” is ever made, but it’s a claim I hear often enough to be annoyed by it. To the contrary, I think the idea of a Wiki-web is to be the future of the Internet. It is my opinion that Wiki will turn the web into that Elysium of information it was always meant to be. It’s Internet-communism come to be in it’s most wonderful form.
All this aside, I have succumbed to temptation and so I now am an accomplice. Forgive me, for I have sinned. Months of disdain for blogging and bloggers and now I have one. I’m an idealogical apostate. I should be flogged with wet monkeys.