Monday, April 25, 2005

Blogging is Hard Work

The NYT article about celebrities blogging is rather interesting. It shows that the NYT still doesn't understand what a blog really is nor do the clebrities understand.

When Somerby's The Daily Howler was launched back in 1998, he and all of us were happy about it because trying to pass information in the old way via forums was beginning to collapse. Intelligent voices like his were being drowned out by people chatting idly or right wingers howling like banshees in unison. From that day on, I was a daily visitor at his new fangled home. "The Daily Brew" was another such site early on. The motivation was the attacks on Al Gore as the impeachment unravelled. Our dear media unsheathed the shivs and started backstabbing Gore with an amazing ferocity.

To run a blog needs self sacrifice and dedication and a belief in one's self that can take the slings and slugs of interacting with hoards of humanity. Many early blogs had no means to comment on each day's postings but when this was fixed, new blogs moved to the head of the class: blogs with a community that meets and greets each day. On the left was the ever popular Atrios, the web equivelent of a running bar and anarchists of the world unite convention (hello, gang! Luv ya all!) and the much more controlled Kos which is hard core politics with a lot of criticism of each other (sorry, not a place I can handle, personally). Reminds me too much of the self critisism sessions in Maoist China...

The right has the Little Green Goofballs and other unpleasant places one can find if you look in dark corners.

Blogging is different from articles of the day or week such as professional writers like Parry of Consortium News. He has a history of great reporting, he broke the Iran/Contra story, for example, and has published many books. He has been running his professional blog for many years. It is a must read once a week.

The famousBartcop was launched at the same time as the Daily Howler and for the same reason: to give us news uncorrupted by the so called mainstream media. He calls it his tree house and it gets raided by monkeys periodically. This is his chief form of amusement aside from watching the ballet (hehehe).

To run a successful blog today one should have a community which means using Haloscan or other platforms so comments can rain down on the head of the blogger---especially pointing out editorial mistakes or spelling errors, heh. GUILTY! I appreciate the free editing, by the way. Keep nipping!

Many bloggers tire of this. They close the joint entirely like Media Whores Online or Billmon who closed the comments section.

So into this lion pit comes......Celebrities and a very rich lady, Arianna Huffington, the columnist and onetime candidate for governor of California, is about to move blogging from the realm of the anonymous individual to the realm of the celebrity collective.

The NYT which is addicted to the obvious, note Bobo Brooks at the editorial page, gets all up in the knickerhood over this great thing, a "blog" of "celebrities". Oh, the famous names. Time to HOB NOB! They are even hiring ten, count it, ten assistants to run this blog. Talk about a bloated blog. The Titanic of Blogs. The BLOG. Sort of like the alien in the movies sloshing into the theater in a remote town in Alaska to eat dating teens!

Having prominent people join the blogosphere, Ms. Huffington said in an interview, "is an affirmation of its success and will only enrich and strengthen its impact on the national conversation." Among those signed up to contribute are Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer and Mortimer B. Zuckerman.

This is a list of people I hear from already way too much. If they are so hot to trot they could all start a blog, each. They then can spend time inbetween trips to Paris and swimming in a big private pool with their own cabana and cabana boy to post something that might mean something to me...yeah. Right.

Blogs are PERSONAL. Just like we know dear Bartcop intimately, we know Atrios and his collection of cats and Kos and his cute kid and here at my blog, each story is salted with various tales because I am a real person just like the readers here who, even when anonymous, reveal many things about themselves because this is an open but intimite conversation.

You can't have that with a celebrity. They spend fortunes to keep us all at bay. Far away. They don't want to interact at all. This "blog" won't even have a community and if they dare try that, it will collapse because everyone will clamour for attention rather than build towards each other.

This part disgusts me: Ms. Huffington's effort - to be called the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com) - will also seek to ferret out potentially juicy items and give them legs. In fact, she has hired away Mr. Drudge's right-hand Web whiz, Andrew Breitbart, who used to be her researcher.

Well, I am happy this monster is deserting his present sinking ship. Shows you this is the Twilight of the Twitchy Troublemakers but this doesn't make me want to go to her "blog" which looks more like a newsletter like Salon. I remember Salon really well. The former owners and editors and I had some very long and involved fights which ended with them banning me from communication with them. Their blog is dreadfully thin now and barely better than this blog.

Except for the comix there. They are fantastic and fun. Go visit them.

This is the worst part of the Huffy blog:

While many of the bloggers are on the left of the political spectrum, some conservatives have also signed on, among them Tony Blankley, editorial page editor of The Washington Times, and David Frum, the writer who coined the phrase "axis of evil" when he was a speechwriter for President Bush.

OK. Earth to Huffington: I know you live a sheltered life but are you nuts? What possesses you? The entire reason bloggers like this one here exists is because the main stream media has locked us out. Parry once was in the mainstream. I used to be published or appear on TV regularily. We are LOCKED OUT. Nearly totally. The right wingers she is "inviting" in are all walking through open doors no matter what they say, they can even, like Coulter, call for the murder of millions and the editors fo the NYT and still get to sip wine and play with the cabana boy at the pool!

WE ARE LOCKED OUT. My biggest fight with Salon was over David Horrorwitz and the host of rank right wingers they paid to write for them. Why? Why? The owner snipped at me, "It pisses off liberals like you". Well, piss off, Salon. Note their stock has collapsed and they are a shell of their former selves and we seldom visit them.

There is no way I would visit the Huffy blog. She can go rot.

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