Sunday, June 12, 2005

Argument #1 for why blogs won't fully eclipse the traditional editorial media: when it comes to weekly, page-length columns, blogs are not commercially viable. To keep up internet traffic -- and to get sufficient hits on advertising links -- bloggers need to post frequently throughout the day. Yet to compose a formal column, you need the luxury of a weekly or even bi-weekly deadline.

The reason I bring this up is Frank Rich's current column in The New York Times. Over the past week, the blogosphere has done a thorough job of dissecting and analysing the Deep Throat / Mark Felt story. But none of the bloggers I've read have been able to put the story in both its historical and present context as well as Rich has. Doing what Rich does takes time, both in the sense of having several days to write a piece and of knowing that you have 1,000 words to state your case. Neither of those luxuries apply to bloggers, or at least not to those who blog for an income.

I realize to some extent I'm stating the obvious here, but with all the hoopla surrounding blogs lately -- one author I met last week described blogs as having 'reinvented the book' -- I just felt the need today to stress that there are some things blogs cannot do, at least not as effectively as other platforms. Blogs are wonderful things, but so are editorial columns. Formal and professional analysis is just as necessary to a productive national debate as the democratic, informal commentary that blogs provide.

For bloggers to be as efficacious as possible, they really need to keep that in mind.


Blogger Elayne said...

I always thought the difference between blogs and print media was the difference between amateurs and professionals.

7:37 AM  

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