catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Dissing the blogosphere

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Courtesy of a link from The Austrian Economists, an article designed to deflate some of the hype about the blogosphere subverting the mainstream press.

We are witnessing “the dawn of a blogosphere dominant media”, announced Michael S. Malone, who has been described as “the Boswell of Silicon Valley”. “Five years from now, the blogosphere will have developed into a powerful economic engine that has all but driven newspapers into oblivion, has morphed (thanks to cell phone cameras) into a video medium that challenges television news and has created a whole new group of major media companies and media superstars. Billions of dollars will be made by those prescient enough to either get on board or invest in these companies.”

Even the ne plus ultra of American public intellectuals, Richard Posner, senior lecturer in law at the University of Chicago, former chief judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, declared blogging to be “the latest and perhaps gravest challenge to the journalistic establishment” (although it is worth noting that Judge Posner decided to publish his meditation in The New York Times Book Review rather than on his own blog).

But as with any revolution, we must ask whether we are being sold a naked emperor. Is blogging really an information revolution? Is it about to drive the mainstream news media into oblivion? Or is it just another crock of virtual gold – a meretricious equivalent of all those noisy internet start-ups that were going to build a brave “new economy” a few years ago?

Shouldn’t we just be a tiny bit sceptical of another information revolution following on so fast from the last one – especially as this time round no one is even pretending to be getting rich? Isn’t the problem of the media right now that we barely have time to read a newspaper, let alone traverse the thoughts of a million bloggers?

Hype and dissing apart, the blogosphere is surely just another weapon in the armory of the communicator, the muck-raker and the public intellectual.


Written by Admin

March 6, 2006 at 10:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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