Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Blogging sure ain't what it used to be!

I'm sure I'm not the only blogger who who considers blogging a fantasy journalism career.

Not everyone can get published in the mainstream, paying press, but anyone can open a blog and post away! The blogging medium is so flexible. We can be political pundits, photo-journalists, satirists, movie and book reviewers, personal columnists--anything! The cyber-sky's the limit!

Then just as we were beginning to have a really grand old time, what do you think happened? Suddenly everybody's blogging, and I'm not talking about grandmothers, like me, or high school students. I'm talking about The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, IMRA, Bibi Netanyahu, Hillary and Arutz 7! Of course that's a very partial list of a mushrooming phenomena. If I'm not mistaken almost every publication with an internet edition has "blogs."

I have a question for you, the true bloggers of cyberville. Are all of those real blogs?

Does Bibi blog over a cup of coffee in the morning like I do? Apparently not, or at least not in English, since his blog ends with "This blog was translated from Binyamin Netanyahu's website."

All of these, uhm-what should we call them?- "establishment" blogs see very well-written, well-edited, spellchecked to perfection. That makes me suspicious. Real blogs are ... well, "unplugged." I guess that's a good term. I like the term since it connotes something raw, unvarnished, pure, uninhibited, since we have no boss, no editor.

Just compare the length of the "establishment" blogs compared to your average independent blog post. I'm including the formerly independent bloggers who've been coopted into the establishment. I don't know what instructions they get, but their posts don't have the honesty and innocence I see in the independent blogs. It must be very inhibiting to know that thousands of total strangers may be reading about your ingrown toe nail or how your "little darling" pished up his carseat. Oh, that's not quite what one blogs about in The New York Times. Right, when you know that the readers aren't going to get to you because they googled "stain remover," "spreading butter" or "embarrassing moments," you try to be a bit more profound.

The establishment press chooses blogs to represent certain "types of people." It's rather inhibiting to be representing a sociological sector of society. It's also a "great responsibility."

Our "independent" posts are considered long if they surpass three short paragraphs, while the "establishment" blog posts are like long op-eds. The late Art Buchwald rarely wrote so many words in one of his brilliant articles. That makes me wonder. Do you think that if he had been alive and well now, would his editors tell him that they were going to repackage him as a blogger?

Now, since the establishment is taking over blogging, what does that make us?


Ploni Almoni said...

Batya, you got it right.

Blogging is no longer just people's personal diaries. Now professionals are doing it too because there's money in it.

OTOH, now even personal bloggers run ads on their blogs to make money.

Blogging is not what it used to be.

benning said...

It makes us originals, Darlin'.

The MSM blogs are just extensions of the same old crud they think we need to read and believe. I don't read the NYSlimes, and would never surf to one of their blogs. Why bother? Same old, same old.

That's why I hit certain blogs regularly. Because they have new and interesting things to say. Just like this one!

Batya said...

Thanks, pa and b,
In the '60's we'd describe them as "selling out to the establishment."
I have an ad on my blogs, but it's not going to make me rich. After all this time and on two blogs, I can't even buy dinner for two.
But I guess it's just because I'm too unique.

Ploni Almoni said...

I have an ad on my blogs, but it's not going to make me rich.

Batya, I don't think that any jbloggers are making real money even though everyone's cluttering up their blogs with ill-fitting ads, but it's just the principle of turning the blog into a commercial entity in some way.

I'm just mentioning it since you wrote that blogging isn't what it used to be and the MSM is getting into it.

At least my blogs aren't MSM. :)

Batya said...

Well, I have one ad, and it's not google. I took down the new blog carnival widget, since it had an ad for them to profit from. I felt used.

beakerkin said...

Batya AOW started after me and now has a radio blog sho. I will be on it next month on April 27. As I speak an odd variant of English you might not be able to understand it. I speak Staten Islandese 3/4 New Jersey and 1/4 Brooklyn and my accent is fairly thick.

One local in Vermont wanted to know what country I emigrated from.
They think Staten Island is a Caribean Nation.

Batya said...

I didn't know there was another blogging batya. What's her link?

Anonymous said...

It's us and them and they will never be able to emulate us and that's where we have the edge.

They will never be able to expose pallywood, hezbollywood scams, or scoop Sharon's stroke or expose the UAE Ports deal for the sham it was. Why? Because they are establishment and every blog storm revelation decreases msm credibility even more.

We've got an edge that the will never hack.

Israel and the Sin of Expulsion

Batya said...

They're like butter-flavored-margarine. Not the real thing, and now the experts are finally admitting how unhealthy margarine really is.

Cosmic X said...

Nice post Batya!

Batya said...


beakerkin said...

The other Baya comments on . She is a big fan of yours.

AOW was a small upstart blog that now features an internet radio show. I will be the guest April 27.

Batya said...

I'll have to visit some time, and radio... sounds interesting.

Soccer Dad said...

IMRA was blogging before there were blogs. The only thing he lacked was a website. But in the end he had his website by 1996 I think. Well before anyone else was blogging. So now he introduced RSS. Big deal. IMRA was always a blog. (I'd argue that was the case somewhat with Arutz-7's internet presence too. IRIS was also a blog before Barak Moore brought it back as blog two years ago.)

The others, I agree, are copycats. They're trying to be cool by imitating us!

Blog Carnival has been a big help in my keeping HH going. (And they give technical help freely and cheerfully.) I don't begrudge them any profits they make off their ads. I don't pay them anything, if they make money because of eyeballs I bring their way, I view it as payback.

Batya said...

I never thought of IMRA as a blog. It's a listing of links and articles, with a weekly editorial. It's a great info service.

I also didn't like the size of the bc widget. I like the old thing I have up better, lots more information and less white space.

Soccer Dad said...

You wrote:
I never thought of IMRA as a blog. It's a listing of links and articles, with a weekly editorial.

Then what's a blog? I'd argue that it used to be even more like a blog when he'd feature clips from news articles that wouldn't be reported by the major media and conduct his own interviews. (That's what I miss the most. Aaron Lerner's a great interviewer, but he doesn't interview any more.)

Batya said...

I guess it could be a blog, but isn't it some sort of amutah, npo?
But I describe a blog as a "simple" internet site.
So actually they're all the same to an extent.

Soccer Dad said...

What does "amutah, npo" mean?

I look at Shiloh Musings and I see that you have excerpts of articles and opinions. (And some fantastic photography.) IMRA, as long as he's had his own server has had the same things (except for the photography.)

And IMRA's not an organization, it's a single guy (it used to be with his father z"l). I really think he deserves to be called a blog without RSS before now.

Batya said...

"non-profit organization"

OK, so he's a serious blog. He's very professional, not an amateur (sp) with occasional humor, like me.