In his book, Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed are Tearing America Apart (2007), Pat Buchanan complains we're being drowned in a multitude of voices precisely when focus on a single view or perspective may be the most needed. Interestingly, Buchanan singles out the Internet as the main culprit.
It's the unanticipated consequence of a medium which, by anyone's early estimate, ought to have fostered communications, information-exchange, and meaningful dialog. The “blogging” phenomenon seems to lie at the very heart of the new medium, about to replace the more conventional means of news and information dissemination (such as newspapers or TV), if not the very profession of journalism itself. Witness, for instance, the possible folding of the Chicago Tribune, that icon of the dailies!
Everyone is blogging nowadays, which cuts into the market share traditionally defined by the consumers of print media; and while the newspapers are scrambling to convert their content to online editions, the advertising dollars have not kept pace. The bulletin- or the community boards of old have given way to a much more dynamic, interactive mode of communication. It would seem that only the sky is the limit and that possibilities are endless.
In short, there’re lots of interesting voices out there and points of view. Almost by definition, the bloggers are a highly-motivated bunch – intelligent, introspective, and vocal. It’s a matter of natural selection, you could say. One has to feel that he or she has something important to say. Why bother to go through inordinate time and effort otherwise?
Still, there is a downside: since everyone’s vying for attention these days, one’s voice is liable to get lost in the shuffle. All that clamor! So Buchanan’s complaint is not exactly off the wall for when taken to the limit, the end result could well be that more and more of us are talking, fewer and fewer are listening.
Welcome to the Tower of Babel — the modern-day version!
With these remarks in mind, I welcome the opportunity to contribute to Blogcritics online magazine – “a community of writers and readers from around the globe.” There’s a selfish reason of course, for my own writings and website stand to benefit from greater exposure therefore, but there is another issue at stake: it’s an opportunity, at the same time, to become a part of something larger.
There’s always a fine line to be drawn between unity and diversity, between what’s essential and what’s only marginally interesting, between promoting the public good and that which passes for good entertainment. In the interest of inclusiveness, I suppose, to say nothing of staying afloat, all tastes must be catered to and no opinion can be ignored; yet, some kind of editorial policy, or point of focus, is a must or we’re going to run into “the Tower of Babel” syndrome — ultimately, a magazine that caters to everyone caters to no one. I believe that Blogcritics does a fairly credible job at consolidation, at providing the right kind of balance between the two extremes.
May it continue to do so in the future!
That’s why I urge you to support Blogcritics with your hard-earned dollar. If you like what you see, if you appreciate the quality of the writing, the treatment and the analysis of topics, if it strikes you as having reached the right kind of mix between providing entertainment and addressing what you feel are your most vital concerns, make Blogcritics your online magazine. Most importantly, I ask you to join the community of readers and writers, to respond to what you find challenging or interesting, to give us your feedback. You’re an intelligent audience or you wouldn’t be reading this post or any other. Become a part of the already highly motivated community of bloggers to help us see our way about. We need one another.
We’re facing hard times, our country and the world about to fall apart at the seams. There had never been a greater need for creative ideas and solutions. Together, we may yet be successful and pull ourselves by our own bootstraps. Apart, we stand no chance in hell.
Become involved! Support your online magazine, the next-to-certain medium of the future and a viable forum for exchanging ideas, information and whatnot. Let it carve the niche it rightly deserves. We’re running out of resources and out of time. So don’t stand on the sidelines. Together, we may make a difference.
Above all, let the dialog continue.