Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, September 17, 2004  

The New League

There's been a lot of celebrating in the blogosphere over the take down of CBS's fraud. The triumphalism is merited, along with much punditry of this new, powerful, and democratic medium.

What I see happening, though, is that the blogosphere may well be serving as a minor league for new journalists and reporters (and not just pundits).

Many bloggers have successfully won authority and credentials by building an audience, contributing to many web sites and finding approval from news organizations. Many have been writing op-eds for local newspapers and writing essays for national magazines. Numbers of people hve been offered the opportunity to have books published based on agents reading them and seeing talent.

This is going to give conservative writers and analysts a much better chance to break into the national debate from positions of authority in larger media venues. In larger numbers, too. Lefty bloggers have the same opportunities and find approval on their side, too.

But more and more, things are going to the internet. I watch some Fox, but mostly everything I learn comes from the internet now. Bloggers or sites like Drudge are going to either expand more into hard news coverage and reporting, or else, the Old Media will have to shift its coverage to the internet and forget TV. (That seems very unlikely yet since revenue from advertising is so much greater when you actually have eyes for ads. Internet ads generate revenue, but I hardly pay the slightest attention to them, so I wonder if they have any value apart from the way Google binds ads to searches.)

The blogosphere is a great place of opportunity, but I wonder how long the frontier style of it will last. Thomhs are already sorting themselves out. I don't see how Instapudit, for example, can keep up his activity for years to come unless it becomes his primary source of income and he works full time at it (but I swear he's already working full time).

He may have to do what others are doing -- organizing into group blogs with a particular niche or slant like Redstate or Powerline. People like Hugh Hewitt combine their radio show with a blog so its all full time work for Hugh, one hand washing the other.

People like me who have never built a large audience will continue as we please maintaining a conversation with my neighbors, so to speak, like old shortwave afficianados, around the nation and globe.

Commercial success requires energies of self-promotion and a product that will appeal to a great many people. Christian bloggers are limited right off the bat, and people like me who are too idiosyncratic or offbeat even for the religious folks hasn't much appeal in the long run.

But as the great Al Franken, man of enormous political wisdom has said in the guise of Stewart Smalley -- "That's . . . O-kay. Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." (Well, maybe just a few, but the few are true.)

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:47 AM |