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Are We Bloggers Giving Ourselves an Unmerited Air of Importance?

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Bloggers are everywhere – they seem to be coming out of the woodwork, literally! With millions of blogs out there, and with the mainstream media playing catch up, bloggers at times are at the forefront of information dispersal. A blogger was the first one to break the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, another was the first to find evidence of air-brushing in Reuters photos, and so on. Some even credit themselves with being instrumental in Joe Lieberman's loss to Ned Lamont in the Democratic primaries.

It looks like the politicians are also taking note. John Edwards and family have been actively blogging and trying to cultivate bloggers for their cause, McCain and Hillary have bloggers on their payroll, and each activity, speech and personal history of the candidates is a serious topic of discussion on the blogosphere.

And this is an international phenomenon – we see Chinese bloggers writing under the guise of anonymity, Indian bloggers writing about everything from the failures of their cricket team to raising funds for tsunami victims and British bloggers criticizing the Blair administration for the mess that is the Iraq War.

Over a period of time, we (bloggers) have come to believe that our opinions really count and that we are making a difference, especially when it comes to politics – I mean, isn't that the best way to ensure that we're making the world a better place? We can make sure that "good" candidates win and hence solve the world's problems.

I sometimes wonder… are we giving ourselves too much importance as bloggers? Do our opinions matter as much as we'd like them to?

A classic case in point is that of the Lieberman-Lamont Senate race. "Liberal bloggers" (as they were termed by the media) were influential in ensuring that Lieberman lost the democratic primary. This was hailed as a great success; it is as though the following message was sent out to the world: Beware — we're bloggers and we have arrived! But then, what happened in the actual election?  Lamont loses to Lieberman, and now the Democrats are short an experienced senator!

I have a feeling that while many people out there read a large variety of blogs and form opinions or gain knowledge from them, come election day, the main stream media (MSM) will still rule the roost. Honestly, the reach of television, radio or newspapers is far greater than that of the blogosphere – admittedly many urban households have computers and internet access, but how many people really log on and gain political know-how from the Internet? Most people would stick to email, music, videos, chatting, and of course, searching for porn.

Television and radio, on the other hand, are far more pervasive – some of the poorest people have access to televisions and radios and often gain information about their elected representatives from these traditional media. The msm may pick up occasional stories from the blogosphere, thus giving that particular blog/writer his/her 15 minutes of fame, but present their own views and opinions about candidates that the nation generally listens to.

They choose which facts to present and which ones to leave out. While tech-savvy people will go online and look up for the remaining details, chances are that they are a an insignificant minority.

Not that the politicians will acknowledge this, of course.  If there exists any possibility of damage to their image, then they will work on appeasing bloggers, just as much as they work on forming good "relationships" with the MSM. So we see John Edwards and company scrambling to fix problems with bloggers on their payroll.

In the larger scheme of things, will blogs and bloggers be influential in the '08 presidential race? Can we make/break candidates based on what we write? We would like to think so, but I believe that the blogosphere is far from being that influential…unless we are able to reach a large majority of the citizens that matters – i.e. the ones that vote on election day, we will lag considerably behind traditional media.

Meanwhile, one is left to ask about the fact that conservative bloggers do not like John McCain – who cares?

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About Sib.

  • JustOneMan

    FACE THE FACTS – When politicians pay or feed information to bloggers they (bloggers) become nothing more than propgandists….when you look at the idiots blogging for politicians – on the left and right -they are just a bunch of paid staffers carrying out the wishes of their masters..

    JustOneMan

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Whose wishes are you carrying out, JoM? Is it Jesus?

    Dave

  • JustOneMan

    Dave Nailee,

    What the fuck are you talking about???

    JOM

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Now, to address the actual content of the article.

    I think it’s pretty clear that someone other than bloggers takes blogging pretty seriously, because almost every mainstream news outlet now has a blog and also offers up quotes from blogs on their broadcasts or in their publications.

    If nothing else, blogs are an easy way to get provocative quotes and bits of insight from a broader section of the public than the usual talking heads, and the media has cashed in on that, thereby elevating the status of bloggers in general.

    Dave

  • JustOneMan

    No I think the opposite the MSM has paid propagandists that are bringing down the level of discourse and the ability of independent thinkers to be heard….this imo will lead to a bunch of talking heads eventually running this place…

    JOM

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Should blogging be called blahgging? The only problem with blogging is that there are no standards. The barriers to entry are zilch. That means any person with the most remedial of abilities (like me) can write about anything. On the other, it has given quite a bit of exposure for great writers who were never given a shot. It’s also shown that some mainstream writers who earn serious coin shouldn’t be. In this light, JOM and Dave make fair points. Some people do use it for propaganda but the fact they are doing so only points to the importance of blogging. Quite frankly, I’m not interested in influencing people. Celebrity tried and lost to Bush. Bloggers should simply seek for knowledge and let the rest follow through.

  • troll

    *The only problem with blogging is that there are no standards. *

    you mean like ethical standards – ?

    funny that you should bring it up…

    (sorry – couldn’t resit…feel free to delete this comment)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    There are certainly no ethical standards, but it’s been amply demonstrated that the same is true for the MSM these days. Remember Dan Rather?

    In blogging and in writing for the MSM you can trust what you read up to the point where you trust the author. What was it Reagan used to say – ‘trust but verify’? If you’re suspicious, then check out the facts for yourself or at least go to more than one source.

    I know that when I write I try to make sure that facts are checked and documented, but I’m still trying to make a point. But to make that point effectively it helps a lot if you stick with the truth, even if it’s the truth as you see it. If you see it well, then others will see it too.

    Of course, in the realm of comments on blogs there are no standards of morality or ethics, as has been brilliantly demonstrated recently by several users here on BC.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, you’ve really never mastered the art of letting sleeping dogs lie, have you? Oh, and YOU don’t stick with the truth, you stick with what you see as the truth. The difference is enormous…

    I think people’s opinions about standards, online or off, tell a lot about what that person really thinks. You clearly assert that there are none, so why would you bother to have an ethical standard yourself?

    I passionately believe there are standards, that they matter and that those who have standards are easy to discern. Believing that, I have to have an ethical standard too.

    How will it play with your freedom of speech schtick if I invoke the MCH Exception and nuke any further repetition of remarks that have already been re-iterated to death? I for one am so fucking bored with certain recent subjects…

    I’m already going to strengthen my application of the pre-existing comments guidelines in the Politics section as very few people in that section of BC seem fully acquainted with the spirit of brotherly love we wish to foster.

    That may well conflict with your apparent desire to make exaggerated and insulting remarks to your colleagues here in the comments space. You can stop doing it or I can start deleting anything remotely critical, which would seriously impinge on a lot of people, not least myself. Which do you prefer Dave, some much needed self-restraint or the heavy hand of censorship?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

  • Clavos

    How will it play with your freedom of speech schtick if I invoke the MCH Exception and nuke any further repetition of remarks that have already been re-iterated to death?

    Would that include shark? Or does he continue to get a bye?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: Shark, one of your BC Writer colleagues if you didn’t know, hasn’t been getting a bye. If I heavyhandedly suppress people’s comments when they’re worried about what’s going on in the comments space, it can only aggravate things. I’m therefore trying to walk the fine line between allowing people to explore the issue and stamping the life out of this place.

    I’m ultimately responsible for what goes on in the comments space and have already made my views known as to the errors of Dave (hmm, sounds like a band name, The Errors of Dave! Country Ska possibly?).

  • http://whatisgwbushdoing.blogspot.com/ Thinker

    The window of opportunity is open! Free speech is alive like never before. Yes, sometimes the politicos get the blogs to do their dirty work… but I think for the most part blogs have contributed to political skepticism like never before in history. The sphere of blogsheads is in the next century… but why do Paris Hilton and President Bush act so archaic? That skank throws around words like “faggot” and “nigger”… she is not in touch with today’s world. And Bush– he is the epitome of being soooo last century. He doesn’t even know how to use a computer. He can only wage wars from last century. Point of my comment: Go free speech, discussion, skepticism, AND open-mindedness. Discuss with me.

  • moonraven

    Chris,

    How long have you been comments editor?

    I am asking because I first entered this site in September–getting close to 6 months ago now–and since the moment I first posted a comment, Dave started with his bullying, personal attacks, lying and general abuse toward me because I disagreed with his political point of view.

    More to the point, I CALLED him on that behavior IMMEDIATELY. And I also made a demand for factual and informational support for statements–a demand that was pooh poohed, ignored and which finally produced a few piddling links here and there–largely to other OPINIONS and some even to primary and secondary sources that directly contradicted the statements made Dave (and other posters such as clavos).

    Chris, writing with presentation of primary and secondary support sources has everything to do with STANDARDS, as well as with CREDIBILITY.

    Yet here we are almost 6 months later and so far as I can conclude–given that the past few days a number of posters have been raising hell about Dave’s unethical, bullying and mendacious behavior–you have only decided to chide Dave with a few slaps on his posting wrist because a significant number of other posters have joined in with complaints about him.

    And you have only decided to do so NOW.

    In my book, at least, that doesn’t say much for your belief in and commitment to standards. I see that you only respond when the potbanging noise becomes almost deafening (in a virtual sense).

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Christopher Rose, the Blog Critics Magazine Comments Editor and Editor at Large, writes,

    “I’m already going to strengthen my application of the pre-existing comments guidelines in the Politics section as very few people in that section of BC seem fully acquainted with the spirit of brotherly love we wish to foster.

    …….

    Which do you prefer Dave, some much needed self-restraint or the heavy hand of censorship?”

    Considering that several highlighted articles in the politics section deal with the issue of freedom of speech, this may get very interesting…

  • moonraven

    Now I would like to say something about the topic of this thread.

    1. Yes, bloggers are giving themselves WAY too much importance. Most bloggers (I don’t know what percentage, but it’s got to be way up there) are just folks who, if they weren’t blogging, would be putting that same kind of energy into the following: writing letters to the editor of newspapers (but there you take the risk that they won’t be published), sticking bumperstickers on their vehicles and wearing tee shirts with slogans on them.

    Back in the 70s, Fran Leibowitz said: “If nobody wants to hear from you, they don’t want to hear from your tee shirt”.

    Good point, and highly applicable to the majority of bloggers.

    2. A good blog, as it gains readers, can become a very worthwhile part of the mass media. But if it’s a good blog, it should follow journalistic standards of documentation and ethical presentation.

    That means it can’t be lying about events and it can’t be just a shill for a company, a politician or a product.

    That also means that ideology needs to take a backseat (WAY back there in the former territory of Rosa Parks) to information.

    3. Unless a blog makes a committment to the standards referenced above, it will not gain credibility and it will not be seen as part of the professional media.

    And that means one’s sources can not be protected. The San Francisco blogger who has been doing jail time for refusing to hand over a video he made may well spend another 6 months in jail–a lot longer than the so-called professional journalists who have done jail time for refusing to reveal sources.

    4. There’s no way to police–I don’t like that word, either–the blogger sites in Internet to prevent abuses. And also no way to pull the plug on those that are just nose-picking in a public venue. Or masturbating in a public venue either.

    It’s vitally important, in my opinion, that folks contributing articles and comments to this site and others that get a fair amount of traffic commit themselves to ethical standards.

    Without that bloggers will have LESS impact and importance, rather than more.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Moonraven, you are aware that your past comments on BC are still available for anyone to view, right? That being the case, saying silly things like you do in #13 would seem like a pretty big mistake. Christopher can easily go back and read that thread, just like anyone else and see exactly how everyone there was behaving.

    For those who’d like to check it out, the original Chavez thread can be found here

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    To Chris R. from #9:

    Dave, you’ve really never mastered the art of letting sleeping dogs lie, have you?

    I’m trying very hard, Christopher, and at leasdt here it’s halfway on-topic. When people take their vendetta onto every discussion thread and totally disrupt the politics section, it’s a disservice to the authors of the articles which aren’t getting discussed. If you aren’t going to delete off-topic comments, what am I supposed to do?

    Oh, and YOU don’t stick with the truth, you stick with what you see as the truth. The difference is enormous…

    I’m actually working on an article about this. Truth is subjective. It’s an opinion about what facts mean and what the intentions of actions are. There’s no truer phrase than ‘the truth as I see it’, and this is NOT unique to me. Don’t think that your truth trumps mine in any way.

    I think people’s opinions about standards, online or off, tell a lot about what that person really thinks. You clearly assert that there are none, so why would you bother to have an ethical standard yourself?

    There are no operating objective standards of ethics in blogging or journalism. There are lots of great ethical ideas out there and lots of principled writers, but there’s no ‘authority’ which sets standards for the medium.

    Ultimately it’s up to each author to determine their own ethics and up to each reader to assess the ethics of the authors. Personally I set strict limits on what I am willing to do and what I’m willing to put up with. I try to apply the same standard to others which I apply to myself. That seems like a good starting point. I tend to be a moral/ethical absolutist. There are certain things which I think have to be absolutely off limits.

    I passionately believe there are standards, that they matter and that those who have standards are easy to discern. Believing that, I have to have an ethical standard too.

    But those are YOUR standards and THEIR standards. They aren’t universal and they aren’t laid out in some formal way for everyone to follow, are they?

    We should all have ethical standards and make them as pure and rational as possible. But in the real world we still have to deal with the fact that ethics become awfully muddy in day to day practice.

    How will it play with your freedom of speech schtick

    That ‘schtick’ as you dismissively call it IS a set of ethical standards for my conduct as well as the conduct of others.

    if I invoke the MCH Exception and nuke any further repetition of remarks that have already been re-iterated to death? I for one am so fucking bored with certain recent subjects…

    You think I’m not?

    One thing about ethical standards is that there are levels to them. There’s an ideal and then there are steps down from that ideal which take practical considerations into account, such as the greater good.

    The highest ethical standard when it comes to free speech is to not limit any form of expression. That ideal isn’t always practical in the real world.

    The next step down from that ideal is to temper free speech with a limited consideration of the ‘common good’. Free speech is then limited at the point where it interferes with the rights of others. This is an acceptable alternative to the ideal, so long as the limitation of free speech is applied impartially.

    In the current situation we’ve reached the point where the free speech of some is interfering with the free speech of the general body of participants. In such a situation it falls on authority AKA Christopher Rose to apply restrictions impartially and as lightly as minimally necessary to restore an environment conducive to free speech.

    I know I blathered on a bit in the above, but it seemed like you wanted to frame this in ethical terms, so there it is as I see it, having thought it through.

    I’m already going to strengthen my application of the pre-existing comments guidelines in the Politics section as very few people in that section of BC seem fully acquainted with the spirit of brotherly love we wish to foster.

    I’m all for brotherly love. My family is originally from Philadelphia.

    That may well conflict with your apparent desire to make exaggerated and insulting remarks to your colleagues here in the comments space.

    I have ZERO desire to do that, as you should already know. There’s a huge difference between wanting to make disruptive and insulting comments, and being forced to respond to such comments. When I do respond I actually try to bring
    down the level of invective, while still making my point.

    As I’ve said before, you can edit me all you want and I won’t be offended a bit so long as it’s fairly applied and within the established standards.

    You can stop doing it or I can start deleting anything remotely critical, which would seriously impinge on a lot of people, not least myself. Which do you prefer Dave, some much needed self-restraint or the heavy hand of censorship?

    I have not been and will never be the source of any kind of personal attack unless I am attacked in that same fashion first myself. In addition, I’ve been going far beyond that as was recently requested, to completely ignore scores of personal attacks in the last few days.

    I have always said that if you apply your restrictions with an even hand I’ve got no objection to whatever you delete of mine, so long as you treat others the same way.

    Your last comment suggests that you think that I’m the source of the problem here and that I’m the one originating personal attacks. If that’s really the case then maybe my past assumption that you can edit comments impartially was mistaken. But maybe I misunderstood you. You’ve done a great job in the past.

    Dave

  • http://sibin.blogspot.com Sibin

    Dave,

    I think it’s pretty clear that someone other than bloggers takes blogging pretty seriously, because almost every mainstream news outlet now has a blog and also offers up quotes from blogs on their broadcasts or in their publications.

    Yes they are….and that is most because of the sudden popularity of blogs and not necessarily because of any “impact”. Also it gives their journalists to express views in a less controlled manner.

    I write occasionally for the student newspaper, and even there I have noticed that stories need to be backed up by two or more named sources. We have no such “quality control” for blogs and that is the reason why we will have trouble presenting ourselves in a more serious manner.

    Moonraven,
    about comment #15 – completely agree…great points. I agree that many bloggers (especially the popular ones) have an ideological trend in their writings and once you have been labelled as belonging to one side of the other, then you have lost a large readership base – the other side…then it becomes a case of “preaching to the choir” so as to speak…

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Maybe so, Moonraven, but as I said, you were just as bad, and I seem to recall, not in the slightest inhibited about taking the initiative yourself either.

    You and others have had a lot of political argy-bargy here but I’m prepared to conjecture that I’m possibly the only person who’s read every single word from everybody with full concentration.

    As I’ve said before, and you ought to know better than me with your stronger leftist credentials, a dialectic process ought to resemble a dance as it ebbs and flows, hopefully something like the tango but more often the pogo.

    What’s important is that courage to be intellectually naked, to not know and not worry about it. None of us know it all and the excessive certainty shown by almost everyone in this politics section truly revolts and depresses me.

    We can continue to try and grind personal axes or we can all move along together. Doing the former is just going to result in my heavy-handed use of the delete key, which I’m sure we can all agree is a bad idea. Moving along together, we will learn more about each other and greater truth, even possibly trust, can grow in relationships compounded by time.

    Finally, I think you really ought to join BC and write your own articles. It’s way harder sticking your neck out than commenting on the poor posture of others.

    As I’ve said to Shark, who already is a BC Writer, you ought to ask that Dave edit them too. The moment they’re published you’ll know for sure what kind of editor he is.

    I’ve just noticed other comments posted whilst I was writing and reviewing this. I can’t respond right now, although I want to, for pressing and grave family reasons. I’ll try and catch up with you lot later. But I’d just like to quickly remind Dave, re his #17, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO KEEP COMMENTS ON TOPIC AT BLOGCRITICS! You know this, you twerp! Grrrr!

    I’m out.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO KEEP COMMENTS ON TOPIC AT BLOGCRITICS! You know this, you twerp! Grrrr!

    Well, of course there’s no requirement, but it is certainly a fundamental courtesy to the author of the article, especially when the article is new and fresh like this one.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Going back to the original article…

    I sometimes wonder… are we giving ourselves too much importance as bloggers ?

    I think that we can’t ‘give’ ourselves importance as bloggers. That’s just putting on airs. Our importance is what readers and the media choose to give us, and right now politicians, the media and a limited number of internet users are taking bloggers probably a bit too seriously.

    Dave

  • troll

    fuck it…

    *I’m trying very hard, Christopher, and at leasdt here it’s halfway on-topic. When people take their vendetta onto every discussion thread and totally disrupt the politics section, it’s a disservice to the authors of the articles which aren’t getting discussed. If you aren’t going to delete off-topic comments, what am I supposed to do?*

    it is your breach of BC standards that has caused the uproar…what are you going to do about it – ?

    how about shut the fuck up on the issue for a minute – if the powers that be want to do anything more about it they’ll let us know…

    moonraven – good points all imo…but I don’t want the bsphere to end up a sterile information environment as the MSM has become

    we each have to function as the medium’s fact checkers – keep up the good work

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I agree that many bloggers (especially the popular ones) have an ideological trend in their writings and once you have been labelled as belonging to one side of the other, then you have lost a large readership base – the other side…then it becomes a case of “preaching to the choir” so as to speak…

    In my experience a lot of blog readers are way too quick to jump to conclusions based on a very small sample and label people and then write them off or react to them with hostility without really considering their actual opinions. There are an awful lot of closed minds and people who are filtering what they read through their own preconceptions.

    we each have to function as the medium’s fact checkers

    Exactly my point in #8.

    Dave

  • D’oh

    Unfortunately, the record is NOT as clear pertaining to other incidents…a current point of contention, hence a difficult problem.

    I’m very not pleased to read that Christopher is considering more draconian editorial measures in response to nothing more than some *noise*. It appears to be a poor Answer to the current situation (quieting the rabble rather than the actual point of contention which has the rabble roused).

    It’s all part of the Digital Frontier we are talking about in this topic…and in a way, on the entire site/blogosphere.

    For all the noise, echo, shills, just bad writing, unsubstantiated allegations and deceptions the new Aether remains the greatest leveler of sharing Speech and Thought since Gutenberg.

    Ideas are now circulated and examined at the speed of Light in a true example of Lamarckian evolution in the realm of Thought. Reason pokes and prods, research uncovers and elucidates, the rough and tumble hardens resolve…and what emerges is a furtherance of Understanding and Comprehension…sometimes even Exploration of something New.

    Whoa…too heavy…to much *gonzo*… but this is something important, far too easy to slide down the path of least resistance just to make things *easier* in the short term rather than better in the long View.

    (side note to “Scooter”…part of the price is YOU don’t get your usual “last word” by outlasting and outshouting until opposition wearies and goes away…”I tell you three times”)

    the Tao of D’oh.

  • Baronius

    Most bloggers are fourteen year old girls writing about Justin Timberlake. Maybe the question isn’t about what standards apply to all bloggers, or how seriously we should take all bloggers. It’s how easy is it for internet users to find blogs with standards.

    I think the blogosphere’s utterly free market of ideas has been working well. No one thinks about the old media’s filtering system, but we all know the difference between Weekly World News and US News and World Report. It takes time. Reputations fluctuate. There’s probably a lot of correct information that I miss because it’s on untrustworthy blogs. Ditto with the Washington Post.

  • http://easyace.blogspot.com Easy Ace

    Says Baronius: Most bloggers are fourteen year old girls writing about Justin Timberlake. Say I: Which did you inadvertently omit: a /sarcasm tag, or a link to the stats that prove most bloggers are fourteen-year-old girls writing about Justin Timberlake?

    Says Baronius: . . . we all know the difference between Weekly World News and US News and World Report. Say I: Say I: Yes—the Weekly World News would spend ten column inches writing about most bloggers being fourteen-year-old girls writing about Justin Timberlake; U.S. News and World Report would spend a graphic box displaying the fourteen-year-old bloggers who’ve thrown Justin Timberlake over for Daniel Radcliffe.

  • moonraven

    Sorry, Chris and Dave.

    I amnot going to buy what either of you are larding the words on the page ad infinitum to sell.

    You are both protesting WAY too much and throwing up way too much horse excrement to protect the reality: that something is rotten at Blogcritics.org and it has names: Dave Nalle and the rest of the editorial staff that support his abuse of power.

    And Chris, I believe I have made it perfectly clear–and you should certainly be aware of that given the amount of concentration that you claim to apply to every post–that I will under no circumstances write articles for BC so long as Dave Nalle has any kind of editorial power.

  • moonraven

    And Chris,

    Regarding your last snipey comment, that it’s harder to stick your neck out:

    As a professional writer and journalist since at least 1965, how many times do you think my neck has been out there?

    Just one example: a bylined column WITH photo in a newspaper with substantial readership–despite its being in New Mexico (where there are only two large-circulation papers and my column was in one of them for more than 5 years). Is that or is that not sticking my neck out?

    A hell of a lot more intellectually NAKED and public than a blogcritics writer could even dream of being.

    Take your condescending pap and use it as an enema.

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    What is totally amazing and refreshing about BC (and blogging in general) is its affirmation of the First Amendment. Thus, anyone can speak his or her mind on any topic. This “right” is not predicated on whether or not this writer is telling the truth, distorting facts, or can’t tell a Modigliani from a Monet.

    I don’t think that can be said about other venues where a limited number of people get to write or talk about things according to a regulated formula.

    Long live Blogcritics!

  • moonraven

    The downside is you have to shovel a whole lotta shit to get to any information.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    To what Ace and Baronius said about 14 year old girls –

    What’s remarkable about the internet is that these girls are taking their musings about Justin or Daniel and putting it out in public in a readable form rather than writing it in the margins of their school books.

    For some of them that may be a first step towards more writing and more self expression which has always been a weak area for teenagers. This seems like a very good thing.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    And it would be a darn good idea if Dave Nalle confined his blogging activties to just those very sites–for an indefinite period.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I have a 14 year old daughter. Be nice or I’ll encourage her to start blogging on BC. She can write rings around a fair number of our contributors.

    Dave

  • http://easyace.blogspot.com Easy Ace

    What’s remarkable about the internet is that these girls are taking their musings about Justin or Daniel and putting it out in public in a readable form rather than writing it in the margins of their school books.

    True enough. With the codicil that it depends entirely on what your definition of “readable” is. (A lot of them, alas, could be tried by jury for murdering what’s left of the King’s English. Not to mention the Queens, the Bronx’s, and the Staten Island’s . . . )

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Have you seen the B5 and Pretty Ricky thread, Ace?

    Dave

  • http://easyace.blogspot.com Easy Ace

    Dave—Not yet. Hell, I just discovered this one earlier this afternoon. I was enjoying an unusual day off and, when not discovering this place by happy accident, was occupying myself with my own writing and with building my collection of vintage radio shows. I’ll give them a pull shortly. :)—EA.

  • moonraven

    Dave,

    She can’t possibly create as many problems on this site as you have. Encourage her all you want.

  • http://easyace.blogspot.com Easy Ace

    Dave—Just had a gander at the B5/Pretty Ricky threads. When will the grand jury be seated? ;)—EA.

  • Driveby

    Was listing to Kim Commando’s computer show this day on the radio. Do any of you bloggers make money blogging and if so why and how?

  • Zedd

    Sibin

    At the core of your commentary is a deep seated cast oriented perspective about human relationships.

    Your relevance is based the simple fact of your experience as a human being. Imparting your take on the world based on your view point is significant. There is no knowing class. One reaches a certain age or plateau of awareness and she realises that there really are no experts.

    You see all of the tenets that we hold dear in our modern world were made up by just guys. We deemed them “intelligent” after their views were heard and they actually worked. But they were just guys, like you and me. They were not ordained and in most cases, their intellect was no greater than the rest of us. They just used their perspective as a tool for insight and shared it with the rest of us.

    So if we bloggers are not important, who is?

    Is it Bush or Paris?

  • Zedd

    Sibin

    Now the real question is, are we effective.

    According to various commentary on the subject, it seems that bloggers have been effective.

    Howard Dean grew threw the blogs. What Dean stood for has eventually filtered to the rest of the population and is now standard opinion regarding the war.

    Blogs are starting to erode the significance of talk radio (the ultimate propaganda machine).

    Blogs also add a side of humanity to “the other side”. When reading the news paper or watching Fox News, one forms opinions without interacting with people of opposing views.

    On the blog, Dave may have a heated discussion with Shark about a political issue and yet find commonality in some personal interest. The divide that came as a result of talk radio will begin to close as we see each others humanity and our own errors in reasoning.

  • Zedd

    Dave

    I think on your part, you would like to be seen as more complex in your views but your commentary contradicts that. You like to cloud any pigeon holing that may occur as it relates to you but truthfully, it is your statements that give you away. They are consistent and reveal a certain bent, one that has been influenced by a concerted political strategy to influence a certain segment of our population.

    Your desire to not be one among the masses may be your saving grace. You may at some point reach the goal which your purport to have reached. You may find yourself actually holding opinions that are individualistic simply because you want to be seen as doing so, so badly.

  • http://sibin.blogspot.com Sibin

    Zedd,

    At the core of your commentary is a deep seated cast oriented perspective about human relationships.

    To be honest, that doesn’t make sense to me – how does it tie in with the rest of your comment or even the article? Frankly speaking, how does it matter?

    But I agree that people are not “ordained” with wisdom – it is something you gain via experience. But there can be “experts” in a field – some of them are called PhDs ! :) But one would never remain an expert on something for too long unless one is willing to continute the learning process – trying to make sense of everything that is thrown at oneself…

    About this…

    So if we bloggers are not important, who is?

    Are you saying that no one else is important, if bloggers aren’t deemned important? Aren’t we being smug if we think that way? Also, there is the matter of context – bloggers are increasingly being heard more and more, but in the political context (which my article is about), we are not yet the voice that matters – as I mentioned, that voice belongs to the MSM – at least for now…it might change in the near of distant future, but this article is about now. And to go out on a limb, I don’t think the fate of the 2008 election will be decided by bloggers.

    Yes, Howard Dean might have grown through the blogs, but did that get him anywhere ? He did not even get the democratic party nomination, in spite of being the frontrunner for a long time. Is it because of his “yee-haw” video which the MSM played over and over again ? Perhaps, perhaps not…who knows ?

    Also,

    Blogs also add a side of humanity to “the other side”. When reading the news paper or watching Fox News, one forms opinions without interacting with people of opposing views

    I must disagree – most of the A-list bloggers find themselves on one side or the other and they lose the “other side”…as I mentioned in my earler comment, they end up “preaching to the choir”. This is a quintessential human condition – it has nothing to do with blogs/msm/etc. – we choose what we want to hear and ignore the rest…so if I need affirmation on some topic, I will go read up about it and ignore the counter-points that others have written about it. Even if people face opposing views, it doesn’t mean that they will reconsider their ideology – that’s the thing about ideology – the more that people try to shake it, the stronger it gets…

    And yeah : Bush – he’s made it to the top post, in spite of all the criticism and blog attacks, and has gained a second term there…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Do any of you bloggers make money blogging and if so why and how?

    I’ve made about $400 blogging in about two years, entirely through Amazon ads on my home blog. That’s only because my brother-in-law is a big Amazon user and kindly uses the links from my site when he orders stuff. He accounts for about half my total revenues.

    My advice – don’t quit your day job.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I think on your part, you would like to be seen as more complex in your views but your commentary contradicts that.

    I don’t think I’ve ever maintained that my views are complex. They’re really pretty simple and straightforward and based on a few consistent principles. Complexity is the enemy of clarity.

    You like to cloud any pigeon holing that may occur as it relates to you but truthfully, it is your statements that give you away.

    No one likes to be pigeonholed, especially inaccurately. My main objection in this area is with people who take a look at my view on one subject and innaccurately extrapolate from that everything else that they assume I believe. For example, I can’t tell you how many times people who’ve seen me write about school choice have immediately come out and accused me of favoring prayer in school and a whole religious, anti-secular agenda which most seem to believe automatically goes with wanting to take your kids out of public school.

    They are consistent and reveal a certain bent, one that has been influenced by a concerted political strategy to influence a certain segment of our population.

    Well sure. I’m basically a libertarian. I think people should be free and under as little government as is necessary to protect their rights. I’d like to see that belief in freedom influence ALL of our society as it did when our nation was first founded.

    Your desire to not be one among the masses may be your saving grace.

    I’d love to be one of the masses if they all came over to my side.

    Dave

  • http://www.dcblogs.com kob

    Good piece. On this point

    …I believe that the blogosphere is far from being that influential…

    Hate to put it this way, but it depends. Bloggers have the potential to be explosive. They’ll dig deep into public record to look for hints of scandal, and they’ll dog candidates with video in places and at events MSM may not be focused on. They are modern day detectives working the B Movie side of the media street, and are certain to find things that will influence the MSM coverage agenda.

    My worry is that bloggers will make a name for themselves all right, but as mud slingers, producing a steady stream of distractions, and giving viral velocity to non-issues, such as what Kerry faced over his Vietnam service.

  • http://easyace.blogspot.com Easy Ace

    I’m basically a libertarian. I think people should be free and under as little government as is necessary to protect their rights.

    I had a feeling you might be a kindred spirit!

    But hark a moment to your earlier observation: No one likes to be pigeonholed, especially inaccurately. My main objection in this area is with people who take a look at my view on one subject and innaccurately extrapolate from that everything else that they assume I believe.

    In that light, say forthrightly that you are of libertarian persuasion and, in certain places elsewhere, you would be presumed no questions asked to be a member of the Libertarian Party—which has problems enough, and abets fooleries enough, that the best thing for the libertarian persuasion would be for the party to finish its dissipation and then go quietly away.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Indeed, Ace. But after 25 years with the LP, including being a paid employee and running for office, I gave up on the fecklessness and infighting and switched over to the GOP so I could actually accomplish something. Just having an (R) after my name damns me as a Bush worshipping sycophant in the eyes of many.

    Dave

  • D’oh

    No…defending, rationalizing, and writing apologist articles for the Administration, does.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’m sure that would damn me in the eyes of some too. Some just don’t want to understand why people they hate do what they do, or accept the idea that things they see as evil could be done out of good intentions. They find it threatening to be told that their worldview is not based on absolute truth and that there might be another way of looking at the world which has some validity.

    Dave

  • Mohjho

    Sibin-
    These newfangled blogs are the political freedoms of expression that we always wished we had. Use it while you still have the opportunity. Some day it may be taxed out of reality.

    Dave-
    Actually Dave, its what you don’t write that belies your position. So much corruption and incompetence is going on in Washington that the Republicans are responsible for, and all you can do is badger ‘lefties’ and ‘liberals’.

    As a conservative/libertarian/whatever, seems that what you most should be concerned about is government intrusion and MONEY being wasted and defrauded. But you end up sounding like some fox news wantabe.

  • Tedd

    Dave

    You’ve grown hyper defensive as of late. Perhaps it was the two days of cold weather in Austin that sent you over.

    Pay attention…..

    My point is that if multitudes of people are saying that you are saying a particular thing, over and over again, you may just be saying it. You not wanting to be seen as saying that thing does not mean that you didn’t say it.

  • Tedd

    Sibin

    I disagree with the assertion that the blogs do not serve as a source to unite people with polar view points.

    I didn’t say that their views will merge I said that they see the others humanity. Allowing the spinners to define the camps is injurious. They don’t articulate the blurred lines, the cross overs and certainly not the likenesses that exist. However individuals talking will find commonality.

    Ex. Nancy is a Liberal, Dave is a Conservative (he’ll say he’s not but, whatever). These two individuals may hold similar views on social issues. This is the perspective that one doesn’t get on talk radio or on the TV round tables.

  • Zedd

    oops. Did I just get caught???

    [Yes you did. Knock it off! EuropeanBoy]

  • Zedd

    Christopher

    You are reasonable. Are you an American???

  • Zedd

    Dave

    I have to say, you protested just a bit too much regarding the issue of being used by spinners to spread the word on blogs. What was up with that???

  • Bliffle

    Dave: “Well, of course there’s no requirement [to stay on topic], but it is certainly a fundamental courtesy to the author of the article, …”

    Really? But what if one doesn’t wish to be courteous to the author? It’s discourteous to jibe that the Emperor is naked, shall that be suppressed? After all, dissent would demoralize the troops.

  • Lumpy

    I heqr the nigerian spammers are training chimpanzees to blog. They’ve already raised the content quality on myspace.

  • moonraven

    What rating has your employer given to the quality of your interventions on this site, lumpy?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx D’oh

    On the topic, a Canadian article raises some valid points about shills masquerading as bloggers and the like in attempts to utilize the viral phenomena.

    Here’s the link to the article itself.

    Food for Thought.

  • moonraven

    Might be the next caper to surface on this site.

    I might even welcome it, as boring as this site has been since management decided to stonewall the crimes and misdemeaners of Dave Nalle.

  • Matt L

    While the importance of individual bloggers may not change the world, the ability to quickly place information into the public domain may. I cant remember the name of sci-fi novel that theorised that the use of wireless video devices updating automatically to the internet could deter crime, but the premise is sound.

    With a video blog of daily events being contributed to by any person with a modern camera phone or other handy video capture device, could the blog be the next crime fighting device?

  • http://easyace.blogspot.com Easy Ace

    Just having an (R) after my name damns me as a Bush worshipping sycophant in the eyes of many.

    It could be worse, Dave. You could be damned as a back-alley abortion-forcing homeless-swelling warmongering sexist segregationist ageist capitalistic pig who wants to reintroduce society to the perils of polio, smallpox, whooping cough, barefoot pregnancy, and gingivitis.

    (You could be hammered as one or all of the first seven at least, and possibly the second four, but don’t be surprised if, for all you know, the portsiders—with or without the (D) after their names—find a way to blame you and yours for the next gingivitis epidemic, the next neuritis and neuralgia epidemic, and the next three albums by B5, Pretty Ricky, and the reunited 1910 Fruitgum Company . . .)

  • http://easyace.blogspot.com Easy Ace

    Just for the record, I know—I know—the starboard side can be buttheads, too. Proof of which was the November elections, for openers, and for continuers the fact that anyone thinks John McCain has a working knowledge of the Constitution above and beyond the level of his pet paramecium. And for all I know Mr. Bush thinks the veto pen is

    a) Where they keep the rare Viennese porcupine at the national zoo.
    b) Where they keep the last of the old-time wiseguys in solitary confinement.
    c) What Marlon Brando used for signing autographs when The Godfather went boffo at the box office.

  • Zedd

    Sibin

    Are you saying that no one else is important, if bloggers aren’t deemed important? Aren’t we being smug if we think that way?

    Bloggers are “We The People”. Bloggers involve, educators, journalists, doctors, lawyers, factory workers.. you get the picture.

    As you stated, the blogosphere is accessed by all. By that virtue we hold a great deal of significance. Its difficult to get a real gauge of what the people are saying. So much of what is in the media is garbage and certainly not reflective of what goes on “on the ground” per se.

    Also, the reason that Clinton and McCain have jumped on the bandwagon is because of the impact that bloggers had on Dean’s campaign.

  • Clavos

    It could be worse, Dave. You could be damned as a back-alley abortion-forcing homeless-swelling warmongering sexist segregationist ageist capitalistic pig who wants to reintroduce society to the perils of polio, smallpox, whooping cough, barefoot pregnancy, and gingivitis.

    No, no, that’s me…

    Clavos

  • http://sibin.blogspot.com Sibin

    kob,

    My worry is that bloggers will make a name for themselves all right, but as mud slingers, producing a steady stream of distractions, and giving viral velocity to non-issues, such as what Kerry faced over his Vietnam service.

    Hmmm…good point – unfortunately we shouldn’t go down a path where we’re useful for smear campaigns…I mean, doing “good” shouldn’t be an accidental side effect of just trashing people we consider “bad”…also we don’t want to become the next tabloids, and I think there’s a real danger of that…

    Zedd,

    As you stated, the blogosphere is accessed by all.

    I respectfully disagree…I don’t remember mentioning that blogs are accessed by all…quite the contrary – I believe that many people have access to the internet, and some of them read blogs, they’re a miniscule percentage of the people that follow traditional media.

    I agree that blogs have potential to do a lot of good and get a lot of information directly to the people – but, imho, we’re not there yet…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    BTW, KOB. Nice to see you around BC again. I recall it was one of your articles which first attracted me to the site back in 2005.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Sibin

    Wow how literal… You must be young. Thats nice.

  • Emry

    “BTW, KOB. Nice to see you around BC again. I recall it was one of your articles which first attracted me to the site back in 2005.”

    Back then Nalle posted as Vox Populi and Dave Nalle in the same threads. Nobody really knows who he is anymore. He could be Wormy or Shifty by tomorrow.

  • http://sibin.blogspot.com Sibin

    Zedd,

    Wow how literal… You must be young. Thats nice.

    Well, I am in academica and we like matters to be precise instead of vague generalities and hand-waving! So, we try not to say something if we don’t mean it! Besides if you say all, then I gather you must mean all. Can you please tell me how I can read your mind and that you mean something else other than all?

    Besides, this begets the following question…How does it matter? While the discussion was on an intellectual level (about the merits/demerits of what I have written), why must you bring personalities into it? Why take a personal snipe such as the above statement? In my opinion, the only reason someone falls to level of bringing in a personal statement directed at another person while being engaged in an impersonal discussion is because they have nothing else left to say of importance and feels like they are losing ground and need to have the final word.

    I may be young, teething or a 110 years old – that should have nothing to do with the matter on hand – a critical take on the effects of blogging in the political world…I ignored it the first time you made the following ridiculous, unconnected statement…

    At the core of your commentary is a deep seated cast oriented perspective about human relationships

    but this is getting ridiculous…I honestly prefer not to waste time on responding to such comments. I think perhaps this small note that is printed above the comments went unnoticed…

    Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read our comment policy.

    So Zedd, just a note – I shall not respond to any comments (on this or other future articles) from you…

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    There’s no such word as “academica”! Do you mean “academia”?

    *chortles*

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Isn’t Academica the lost land beneath the sea that the mermaids come from?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    There’s no such word as “academica”! Do you mean “academia”?

    *chortles*

    So now you’re the spelling and grammar police, too??

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    mahn, eye hait badd speelin an granma, innit, aight.

  • http://sibin.blogspot.com Sibin

    There’s no such word as “academica”! Do you mean “academia”?

    My bad…yes – “academia” – just a typo…but “academica” gives me an idea – for being a place in a fantasy novel that I might pen in the not too distant future ! :)

  • Zedd

    Sibin

    Dont be cross. Please continue to communicate with me.

    Wow you really took that hard didn’t you. Have you read these threads? I really was not being offensive (relatively speaking).

    I sincerely meant that your reasoning reflects immaturity. Its not a bad thing, its just part of the process that we all undergo. There is a sweetness to youth, whether one is young in academia or anywhere else, it is still quite nice. It is nearly pointless to argue with someone who is young in many cases however. Their newness makes them dogmatic about irrelevant matters. However, that is sweet.

    The amber which sparks your dogma eventually dims. You look back on your certainties with a tinge of embarrassment and a gratitude for time and the fact that you weren’t the only one. If you are lucky, a new spark is ignited, one for simply living and taking it all in. We all go through it like just as we all ween off of the nipple. At the time mother’s milk is better than anything, then we taste the savory nature of meat and we are reborn, lust begins and life is a party.

    Your comment sounded as one who has not tasted the savory nature of life. I must have been wrong however. Please forgive.

    I find that academics usually have a great understanding for nuance. Being literal reflects a limited imagination and in inability to perceive beyond the plainly obvious. I suppose we are all intelligent in different ways.

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