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Bloggers to be Time’s People of the Year

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Okay, it’s not official, but there’s a strong grassroots push for Time to name bloggers as People of the Year. You can make your case to Time’s editors on why you think bloggers should be Time’s People of the Year by clicking here. Here are a couple of proposed covers courtesy of Steve Rubel over at Micro Persuasion:

Click here to read Rubel’s highly compelling argument for why Time should name bloggers as Time’s People of the Year.

Bloggers currently number approximately four million, adding approximately 400,000 posts a day to the world’s printed opinion pages, and we’re not talking newspapers here, either. News opinion writers are often frustrated by bloggers, as blogs often appear first and more often in Google than most columns. News media outlets often get story ideas from blogs, but not all cite them as sources (for example, the St. Petersburg Times regularly visits my blog, but their writers haven’t cited it as a source when using its material). Blogs will not likely replace newspapers, magazines or even broadcast media, but they will continue to blur the lines between them. It would not surprise me at all if news media outlets started hiring bloggers as reporters, columnists and editors over the next few years. In fact, some already have.

-John Mudd
“Mr. Real Estate”

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About Mr. Real Estate

  • Blogs force the media to do PR with their stakeholders, and bloggers are one of them, but not all media are smart enough to build and maintain relationships with their publics. You can tell by many journalists’ and editors’ attitudes about those publics.

    I just boycotted Fast Company and removed all of their links from my blog because their editor asked me to remove him from my distribution list. He received a press release announcing the Blog Herald’s Christmas Blogging Awards. Look, mom, it’s the Grinch that stole Christmas. Read all about it:


    Media that aren’t supportive of the blogosphere that feeds them don’t deserve my money, or the free publicity I give them.


  • Getting an idea of the blogosphere by reading “blogs for Bush” or random hobby blogs like mine (I blog books) is a little like viewing a pointilist painting at a distance of two inches. And while the Person of the Year has already been announced, and it’s not bloggers, dismissing the blogosphere on the basis of the contempt of “real journalists” for news and opinion bloggers is more than a little biased.

    Do we then trash the – what, 60%? 70%? – of a newspaper that is taken from the AP or UPI feed instead of from local reporters because they’re just repeating someone else’s “real journalism”?

  • Time has chosen their “Man of the Year”, I thought it should have been “The bloggers” to paraphrase Babe Ruth “we had a better year”. The world is a better place because of all the bloggers observing and commenting on everything imaginable 24/7/365.

    Is Time magazine threatened by bloggers? Who pays for a subscription to Time these days? Remember they don’t make money selling magazines, advertisers’ paying for eyeballs is the golden goose and more and more advertisers are going with the blogs as a way to get their message out.

    Time Warner also sells records (large flat disks with squiggly groves), owns Looney Toons, AOL, a cable TV company and a big motion picture company.

    Time Warner just announced a settlement with Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the naming of the Man of the Year wasn’t part of that settlement. To quote The Man of the Year “justice should be fair”, no injustice here.

  • “Outside, have we really had much of an impact?”

    Yes, because journalists read us too. In the hip-hop blogosphere there are examples of blogs making a lot of little impacts that most don’t know about.

  • There was actually an article on people not completely trusting blogs posted over at The Blog Herald (www.blogherald.com). Of course, there was also a book on people not trusting the media. Go figure.

    Blogs and the media have several things in common: (1) Not all blogs are trustworthy, just as all media aren’t trustworthy. (2) Blogs and media both have a bias, although blogs are more open and honest about their bias, whereas some media are outright pretentious about being unbiased. (3) There are blogs that give straight news, while others just entertain with gossip, but there are news media outlets that do both, as well.

    Should bloggers be named Time’s People of the Year? It’s really up to the editors of Time, but since it’s such a controversial matter, it may be a perfect fit. Newt Gingrich, after all, was Man of the Year, and there have been many other controversial picks. For a hobby, though, blogging is oddly influential, as it is very rare for a hobbyist to be given press passes to national political conventions, just as it is odd for hobbyists to be more ethical than a professional journalist (i.e., Dan Rather).

    The arguments against Time naming bloggers as People of the Year are, oddly, only arguments for it, as no other hobbyists have seemingly been as influential on our nation’s culture throughout the past several years, as bloggers.

    ’nuff said.

  • Not to mention, sadly enough, there’s still a large portion of the population that has zero idea of what a blog is. Poor souls…

  • The Theory, I believe blogging is fine as a hobby. But, the journalist in me gets pretty riled over people making up stuff. Bloggers need to be more responsible about what they say and do.

    For example, this ludicrous plan to ignore real societal issues and lobby to put bloggers on the cover of a major news magazine is embarrassing. If the media gets hold of it, the proposal will be something to mock bloggers about. More proof that bloggers are so self-centered they think the world revolves around them. It is the kind of thoughtless behavior people are coming to expect of bloggers. (But only a relative handful of people because most people aren’t aware of blogs or don’t care about them.)

  • The Theory

    I tend to agree with MD on this topic… blogs, as a whole, haven’t impacted society as much as some people might like to think.

  • I spend some time on a hobby. That is what the overwhelming number of people who blog have — a hobby. Some of them are too vapid to realize that is all blogging is. And, not surprisingly those people are usually the least reliable. They do things like inflate their blog stats by pretending the links to a large group blog like Blogcritics are to their individual blogs. Or, at least monthly, one or more of them will post malarkey about blogs that needs to be debunked. What you never see is any proof of anything they’re saying because they are just making it up. All that lying is for naught — except to other foolish people. Thoughtful people look at the hype and ask: If this is true, why is there no proof of it?

    A longterm journalist recently had this to say about bloggers in the aftermath of their blundering efforts to cover the election.

    The public is now assaulted by news and pretend-news from many directions, thanks to the now infamous “information superhighway.” But the ability to transmit words, we learned during the Citizens Band radio fad of the 70’s, does not mean that any knowledge is being passed along. One of the verdicts rendered by election night 2004 is that, given their lack of expertise, standards and, yes, humility, the chances of the bloggers replacing mainstream journalism are about as good as the parasite replacing the dog it fastens on.

    Actually he is a little off. He says most bloggers are typing. That’s overly optimistic. Many of them are bad typists in addition to not being able to think or write.

    I used to play tennis until my bad knee made it an occasional thing. Photography became too expensive. So, now I have a hobby that extends something I already do, read and analyze things a lot. And, having been educated and worked as a journalist, it is easy for me. But, I am not going to mislead anyone about blogging being anything more than a hobby — and for most people, one they are awful at. That is the truth.

  • That makes two of us.

  • Eric Olsen

    funny John, what I fail to grasp is why someone would devote so much time and energy to something so obviously beneath her

  • I consider entries like this childish.

    That’s nice. Inman News used it as their headline entry yesterday in their e-mail edition. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, though.

    I think on many of the issues you speak of you are more reactionary than logical. When you are more logical than reactionary and stop name-calling when people post posts you disagree with I will take you seriously. Before debtating social and political issues, ask yourself, would someone frame it this way on say, Hardball, or even NBC Nightly News?

    In the meantime, thanks for increasing my PageRank with your rants! =)

    :::winks::: 😉

    It amazes me that any foundation actually spent money to study blogs. That’s money they could have given to the poor for food or clothing. Foundations should help people. Let them leave blogging to the experts here in the blogosphere.

  • Everyone is not talking about blogs. A few people with no sense of the relative insignificance of the fad are. And, frankly, they’re boring.

    I consider entries like this childish. They give the impression bloggers are like two-year-olds — so taken with themselves the rest of the world doesn’t exist to them. Iraq is under occupation and Americans and innocent Iraqis are being killed daily. There has been a return to the barbaric practice of beheadings to protest the occupation. More than 11 million Americans do not have enough food to eat. (Probably more, but the Bush administration has withheld the latest report.) Social Security is being privatized, meaning a return to the days of old age meaning poverty for many people. Homosexuals have been appointed the new Negroes. (Not that the old Negroes are doing very well, either.) Women’s wages, which were closing the gender gap for years, are now decreasing. Yet, despite all the important topics deserving attention, there are people who think their infantile desire to see their hobby made “People of the Year” at Time is paramount.

    And for the record, the remark I made about blog readership came from the most authoritative study of blogs so far, by the Pew Foundation.

  • Wow, this whole bloggers as People of the Year thins is getting much more debate than I thought, even from the blogosphere. It would certainly be a subject that gets plenty of letters to the editor for Time, then, and plenty of punditry debate on TV talk shows. Perhaps that makes it the essential subject for Time to cover and for mainstream media to have a national debate over. Since blogs are just another hobby, as MD put it, why is everyone talking about them? Why do people even read them? Why do bloggers get press credentials? Why do advertisers pay them at all? For simple hobbyists, bloggers certainly are a little bit too influential, especially considering the small number of readers MD says they get. That makes bloggers perfect to be Time’s People of the Year.

    ’nuff said.

  • Typo=ridiculously.

    And, while I’m here, let me emphasize and amplify what Temple said in his first comment. Blogs have had very little impact on the national discourse. The hype one reads from some bloggers is just plain false. The huge numbers of readers. Blogs driving mainstream media out of business. Blogs being a way to make a living. Male bloggers having impressive genitalia. Tain’t so. Blogging is largely just another hobby. Stamp collectors are ahead of us for the cover of Time.

  • Bad idea. There are important issues that need the attention of the public. An exercise in ego stroking for bloggers would be at the bottom of my list of concerns that deserve Time‘s cover. About four percent of Internet browsers read blogs on a regular basis. That hardly merits a cover of a major magazine. A story here and there, maybe. But, not a cover.

    The riduculously high degree of self-regard of some people in the blogosphere amazes and amuses me. I know wonderful writers, winners of Pulitzers, NBAs and even a Nobel, who are much more humble than the average proprietor of a ‘blog for Bush.’

  • What a brilliant idea!

    Time Magazine belongs to big media, but their actual journalists are pretty receptive to grassroots movements like this. On the other hand, they did a big spread on bloggers a few months ago (with a roundup of the usual suspects–Cory, Gawker, etc).

  • I would think that the piece would include prominent political bloggers, business bloggers, arts and music bloggers, journalist bloggers, gossip bloggers or any other bloggers who have made a positive contribution via the blogosphere. More businesses have begun to embrace blogging this year than recent years, I’ve noticed. Political bloggers were given press credentials to national political conventions and other events. Blogs as businesses have become an acceptable norm.

    Individual bloggers have already been noticed, but the idea isn’t to have any one blogger as Person of the Year, it’s to have bloggers as a collective as People of the Year.

  • I agree they do

    >>PR people pitch (“lobby”) publications all the time using various methods.

    My point being if you’re not already “noticed”, well then do you deserve Thing, Person of the year.

  • Big whoop. An effort to score more press for Atrios and Instapundit and LGF on the backs of an insular “community?” Nah, person of the year would be the Bogeyman (aka the same-sex spouse).

  • PR people pitch (“lobby”) publications all the time using various methods. I first read about this over at The Blog Herald (www.blogherald.com), then I noticed it was on Steve Rubel’s Micro Peruasion (www.micropersuasion.com). I’m not sure who had the idea, originally, but I thought it was a great idea.

    I can’t think of another medium, other than blogs, that has had this much of an impact upon the mass media since broadcast journalism. Journalists often downplay blogs, and some even criticize them, as do some editorial column writers. I’m not sure why.

    There’s a wide array of blogs out there that have made an impact not only on the media, but on the world, and the world consists of many more than us bloggers.

    The link to Rubel’s blog will take you to some more info. Poke around and see what you can dig up.


  • If you have to lobby for the role – well, let’s just say Osama bin Laden has a better e-mail network.

    Really, I’m not sure about that – but if you have to work to be noticed, well …

    Again most of us reading this are bloggers (in my case and a few others also print journalists). Outside, have we really had much of an impact?

    Trent Lott? CBS memos? Charity efforts? (although they get overlooked analog and digital) What else? Convention cov .. um, perhaps not.

    And are we talking ALL bloggers like blogcritics or “merely” political bloggers?

    On the hiring aspect – yes, of course, as people see your blog over and over again they can see that you can write – or not – and that you have skills in area XX. Those who would hire a blogger are among the most tuned in of editors.