Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Blogging Begins to Come of Age

Faithful reader Don Lubach* sent along an article from the New York Times on civility and blogging which describes a proposal from tech guru Tim O'Reilly and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. One of their proposals suggest a "badge" be placed on blogs which indicate what level of conversation is acceptable. The article is definitely worth review and I will be going over their proposals for help on our very own guidelines which I will be editing soon for official placement on the left navigation bar.

There have been a few articles on blogging of late that show old media's reluctance to accept blogging for what it is. Unfortunately, many of these articles do not compare the effects of blog posts with the effects of old media on other people's lives. What happens to the reputation of a priest who is interested in what happens in their community, for instance, when a local newspaper editor says something she did was "snarky"? The difference is right now versus tomorrow morning. Speed. Blogs have similar effect as newspapers but bloggers don't have the experience most journalists have in reigning it in, getting second and third sources and considering what their writing does to the conversations people have about others. This makes guidelines for blogs important and they should also be considered for old media. Another difference is reach -- old media types may be afraid of us but they still have a much farther reach and distribution. It shouldn't be so easy for them to exagerate the influence on a little blog like ours on, for instance, a union election.

The flip side of all of the angst going on in the media about blogging is that some companies are beginning to get that transparency can help their reputation and combat their worst nightmares about blogging. Microsoft -- even with uneven sales of Vista, a lagging XBox and a five-years-too-late Zune player -- allows their employees to video blog on Channel 9. For a good article on this new transparency in Redmond, see this month's Wired Magazine article. Imagine transparency in De La Guerra would go along way towards regaining the trust the News-Press once had from our community.

* Mr. Lubach gave permission for his name to be used in this post.

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Blogger John Quimby said...

It's interesting stuff to ponder Sara.

I think that the best part about blogging is that I don't have to kill ten thousand trees to share my worthless, narrow and distorted point of view.

4/11/2007 9:05 AM  

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