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Blogging for Dummies?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the flame-retardant-suit-necessary dept.

The Media 223

Guinnessy writes "Wired News reports that one of the most respected journalism schools in America is going to be teaching blogging as part of next semester's course. I find this quite interesting, especially considering the existing controversy over whether blogging, such as Slashdot, is real journalism or not. I still haven't made up my mind." "Blog" now takes the cake as the most ill-used word of 2002. Please draw distinctions between webpages with news, mindless link propagation, discussion sites, personal diaries or journals, etc.

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Anyone have a concise history (0)

linzeal (197905) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657162)

From when nntp servers to the presnent day?

Re:Anyone have a concise history (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657285)

calling all trolls and crapflodders -

what happened to trolltalk? i cant seem to find it in the user_created_index [slashdot.org]. what sid was it again?

Re:Anyone have a concise history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657327)

If you haven't memorised the number then you don't deserve to know [slashdot.org]

Re:Anyone have a concise history (-1, Offtopic)

betatron (512415) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657304)

The lady at PetSmart said I can wash my new puppy with baby shampoo!


ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657363)


Goddamit not another one. I'm sure the lyrics guy will post something that fits.

A PSA for the Slashdot community. (-1, Troll)

PeaceInOurTimes (583960) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657163)


It will all end soon.

There will be no more war

He's coming. June 15th, 2002.

Slashdot's has never experienced a troll like this...

Be strong.

Be ready

Re:A PSA for the Slashdot community. (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657250)


props to al
l the slash
dot troll s AC or CLIT adolf
hitr oll anal cocks anon ym
ous pancake big ass spork ca
rp flounde rston cyborg monk
ey donke y hote egg trol
l fecal troll matte r fu
nky troll gaf the horse
in tears handy bundl er
l0rd kariy a metr ollica
pr0n king recip e troll
return of the spork serial
troll er the turd report tro
llaxo r your mission for tod
ay yr0 and all the others! p
rop s to all the slas hd
ot troll s AC or CLIT ad
olf hitro ll anal cocks
ano nymous pancake big
ass spork carp floun der
sto n cyborg monkey don
key hote egg troll fecal
troll matter funky trol
l gaf t he hors
e in te ars han
dy bundler l0rd kariya metro
llica pr0n king recipe troll
retu rn of the spork seri a
l troll er the turd repo rt
troll axor
your m issio

Don't associate the UTM with warring ACs and CLIT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657253)

I don't quite see the relevance of mentioning the UTM here. We are a peaceful organisation trying to unite all Slashdot Trolls. I am pleased to hear this news about a new troll though. Let us hope he can truly end the troll wars - there has been too much suffering already.

Blah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657169)

Blogging is a fucking stupid word. Where's your head at? I'm trying to take up 20 seconds so Slashdot doesn't tell me I'm posting too fucking quick.

But anyway, blogging and P2P are gay terms. Very gay. Sort of like Rob Malda or Jon Katz.


Slashdot a blog? (1)

yamcha666 (519244) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657172)

I don't believe Slashdot is a BLOG. I would call it a portal myself. Then again, I don't see the academic value of teaching blogging. For the most part it is just a personal journal or diary. Then u have those "script kiddie" sites with links, and mindless posts about nothing. Oh well.

Re:Slashdot a blog? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657246)

I agree. Slashdot is a portal. Just like my asshole is a portal

Re:Slashdot a blog? (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657249)

Then u have those "script kiddie" sites with links, and mindless posts about nothing. Oh well

I know Slashdot is bad, but that's kinda harsh!!

Professional?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657267)

What kind of crack are you smoking? Slashdot is about as professional as a Perl script. The janitors don't check to see if linked stories are in any way valid. The janitors don't check for duplicate stories. The janitors post blatant trolls and flamebait. The janitors are hypocritical dumbfucks who encourage users to commit crimes. The janitors can't even be bothered to spellcheck their own posts!

Oh, and "blog" isn't an acronym, you fucktard. It's short for "weblog." So don't write it in CAPS, newbie.

-- The_Messenger

College Credit.. (2, Interesting)

Knoxvill3 (578169) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657328)

Hey, colleges and universities have to encorporate something that is A) Related to the Present and B) Something easy that even a 1/2 wit can Ace.

And Weblogs, aka 'Blog's, are just that and then some. I must say I like to occasionally sift through someone's online journal or 'Blog', but 1/2 the time I find myself wondering 'Why is this person complaining?' and 'Where did this person get the idea that people would want to read this stuff?' (that would make me guilty I guess.) and last, but certainly not least, 'Where in the [heck] did this person learn english?'

But to defend that last curiousity, we can blame the net, (or even D-Dials if you really want to push it), for the lack of educational value when it comes to the written word, namely english. Even I can not concider myself an english major, nor will I even attempt such a bogus statement, but geez, compared to some sites, I could fall into thinking that I'm an English Language God of sorts. =)

But the end result, it just smells like college teachers are just looking for things to make them 'Hip' and 'in the know' of the present, and it will last a few years till the fad dies down, then it will be tossed into your Local Junior College's Adult education class catalog, right under 'Potery'.

( Disclaimer - Potery is not Bad, Pot maybe, But Potery is not, unless of course your a complete and under freak, then maybe even breathing would be a class with too much of a curve for you. Anyways...)

Re:College Credit.. (1)

Knoxvill3 (578169) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657340)

So, after re-reading my post, It appears I may need to take some 'Blog 101' and little brush up in 'English', followed by a night class for 'Potery'.

Re:Slashdot a blog? (2, Insightful)

zoid.com (311775) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657399)

The reason you cannot count Slashdot as a BLOG is because it is the original BLOG that grew into a community. Most Blogs will only be simple journals. I remember trying to tell my dad about Slashdot way back and told him it was like reading the newspaper and submitting your letter to the editor in a matter of seconds with other people commenting on you letter to the editor within a few minutes. He responded "so it's total chaos". That's when I decided I had no idea how to explain slashdot.

Re:Slashdot a blog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657482)

Your dad's smart. It IS total chaos. Let the Karma rip.

BLOG: 7 june 2002 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657179)

Today I made the first post on Slashdot!

mod parent funny (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657203)


Journalism (3, Insightful)

papasui (567265) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657180)

Newspapers are believed do to credibility and for the most part unbiased reporting. Credibility can be established by reporting accurately, truthfully, and by keeping current with the events. Slashdot has a bit of sensationalism along with opinnions and sometimes unreliable sources that prevent me from believing everything I read on it. If a person can establish themselves as reliable source of information then I believe a blog can be true journalism.

Re:Journalism (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657377)

"Slashdot has a bit of sensationalism along with opinnions and sometimes unreliable sources that prevent me from believing everything I read on it."

If you believe everything you read in the newspapers you are a gullible fool. Conventional media are no more accurate, truthful, or unbiased than Slashdot. The difference is that here you find out about the inaccuracies, etc. Newspapers publish corrections only under threat of lawsuit, and then on an obscure back page weeks or months after the event.

mindless link propagation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657550)

like... slashdot?

Slashdot a Blog? (4, Insightful)

PeekabooCaribou (544905) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657182)

Who in their right mind would call Slashdot a "blog"? Blogs to me have always been personal journals. Slashdot is more professional than personal, though it doesn't fit well into either category. Maybe it's just that I find /. useful, and journals self-centered and annoying. =P Off-topic? =)

Re:Slashdot a Blog? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657275)

Professional my ASS!

Re:Slashdot a Blog? (-1)

cyphixation (454446) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657463)


/. and professional are on different sides of the fence at times....

however, /. does indeed, belong in the "community" section.

Keep in mind that i love this place and am not slamming it, just stating that it isn't cnn.

Re:Slashdot a Blog? (1, Flamebait)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657518)

Call me an old fart (25), but back in the day when data transfer was 2400bps, things like this were called Message Boards. Now I know that it's not hip to allow two english words to come together to form the name of a technical entity, but we still use the term "newsgroups" now don't we.

So maybe we can shorten Messages Boards or acronymize it so it's cool:

Message Boards

Message Boards

Message Boards

There ya go. From now on things like this will be called Mebo's. That can be next years stupid term. Dibs on the trademarks though ;]

blog (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657183)

Blog is just a stupid word.

Re:blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657383)

I would like to know: Who in the hell came up with the word "blog" anyways? Even as a short-form for "weblog" it sounds stupid.

Journalism yes (1)

dirvish (574948) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657184)

Slashdot is where I get a (slight) majority of my news, at least tech related. I certainly think of it as journalism. I also get quite a bit of news from Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org], another weblog type site that I consider journalistic. I usually hear about news stories on one of these sites before they show up in the mainstream press [cnn.com]. Sometimes the mainstream press takes a week or two longer than the weblogs.

Re:Journalism yes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657198)

I certainly think of it as journalism.

can't ....
must stop.....


In a story posted by michael, no less!!! Haha, you karmawhore.

Thank you, that is all.

Re:Journalism yes (5, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657231)

Kuro5hin might rank as journalism. Not very good journalism in my opinion... Slashdot on the other hand is seldom anything more than a news cutting service with the occasional editorial comment. (more often than not the editiorial comment is more ignorant than the trolls...).

Re:Journalism yes (2, Funny)

Bob Finklestein (583573) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657420)

I don't know about calling it journalism... Sure, Slashdot is definately where I get the (vast) majority of tech news, but all that news is just harvested from other sites, isn't it? Slashdot is to the New York times as Readers Digest is to magazines. (Sort of, you get what I mean) On a side note, I'm going to concur with just about everyone else in saying that calling Slashdot a Blog is definately a misuse of the term. It's not someone's journal. That's a Blog.


RoboTroll (560160) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657187)

LNUX death watch: Powered by Microsoft Moneycentral!

VA Software Corporation [goatse.cx]

After Hours: Last 0.81 Change -0.03 Volume 2,100

Last 0.84 Open 0.83

Change unch Previous Close 0.84

% Change unch Bid 0.82

Volume 107,100 Ask 0.86

Day's High 0.90 52 Week High 3.98

Day's Low 0.80 52 Week Low 0.76

StockScouter Rating 3

Financial data in U.S. dollars

Fundamental Data

P/E NA Market Cap. 45.25 Mil

Earnings/Share -7.22 # Shares Out. 53.87 Mil

Dividend/Share NA Exchange NASDAQ

Current Div. Yield NA Intraday Chart | Message Board

Re:LNUX DEATH WATCH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657441)

Hi, I agree with this post.
How can LNUX have a Earnings/Share
of about -7, and their valuation is
less than $0.83? How can this company
justify it's existence? It looks
like slashdot is the enron of the
open sores community.

Not REAL journalism (3, Funny)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657191)

Be careful what you say in your online site. After all, we all know that you have to be paid in order for it to be considered REAL journalism with 1st ammendment protection...

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/05/15/ 16 24241&mode=thread&tid=153

This may be a great thing. It somewhat officially broadens what an important institution considers journalism.

Re:Not REAL journalism (1, Troll)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657260)

Too late. I've said over and over on my web page that John Ashcroft is not a patriot. In fact he's a deadly enemy of the American people. I hope that he gets fired and subsequently cannot fulfil his dream of being a choir director.

"Blogging" (1)

edhall (10025) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657192)

Please draw distinctions between webpages with news, mindless link propagation, discussion sites, personal diaries or journals, etc.

That's often a matter of opinion. Anyone who's spent more than a fortnight reading Slashdot knows this, unless they're brain-dead -- it's all of these, as are numerous other blogs and bloggish sites.


Re:"Blogging" (4, Funny)

outlier (64928) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657323)

from The Brunching Shuttlecocks' [brunching.com] (funny) weblog FAQK:

How is [a weblog] different from an online journal?

Weblogs do not contain little graphics at the end of each entry telling you that the author is "feeling bummed."

Blogs and Cat People (3, Interesting)

allrong (445675) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657204)

In my (albeit brief) investigations into the personal diary style of blog I seem to have found a correlation between being a female PD blogger and the ownership of a cat. Any suggestions why?

Where are the dog people?

Re:Blogs and Cat People (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657338)

out walking their dogs (and possibly socializing with other people out walking their dogs), of course!

not sitting at their PCs yelling at their cats for walking on the keyboard while they're trying to blog ;-)

Gah! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657208)

Anyone who is confused as to whether or not slashdot is real journalism definitely is in need of education.

Re:Gah! (1)

PeekabooCaribou (544905) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657301)

It can't really be called journalism. There is no investigating or interviewing involved. It's just an endless stream of links and editorials. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just not the New York Times.

hrmmm.... (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657211)

Please draw distinctions between webpages with news, mindless link propagation, discussion sites, personal diaries or journals, etc. ... sounds like he's describing /.

Don't forget wiki (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657215)

Another crap word of the year.

Re:Don't forget wiki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657389)

Why is this "insightful"? This is the most idiotic comment I've ever heard.

Do you have any idea what a Wiki server is, by chance? There's a big difference between Wikis and stupid "blogs": Wikis are useful and serve a real purpose. Do you find the word "Web" "stupid" and "overused" as well?

EMACS IS DYING!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657216)

It is official, FSF confirms: Emacs is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Emacs community when FSF confirmed that the Emacs market share has dropped yet again, with yet more users switching to the highly praised vi product line. Coming on the heels of a recent user survey which plainly states that Emacs is continuing to lose market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Emacs is collapsing in complete disarray, as has had so many releases it's current version number is greater than 21, a clear sign of crappily maintained software.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict the Emacs future. The writing is on the wall: Emacs faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Emacs because Emacs is dying. Things are looking very bad for Emacs. As many of us are already aware, Emacs continues to lose market share to vi. The red ink flows like a river of blood.

Let's keep to the facts and look at some numbers.

Tim O'Reilly, of O'Reilly and Associates Publishing (ya know, the books with the animals on the cover), told folks on his Ask Tim forum that he is among those that have made the switch to Emacs from vi. In his message [oreilly.com], he tells his followers that O'Reilly sells almost double the number of vi books when compared to sales of Emacs books. Likewise, an O'Reilly sponsored Linux Expo vi/Emacs paintball match shows a similar 2:1 advantage to team vi.

All major surveys show that Emacs has steadily declined in market share. Emacs is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Emacs is to survive at all it will be among text editor dilettante dabblers. Emacs continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes...

Emacs is DEAD

Re:EMACS IS DYING!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657321)

made the switch to Emacs from vi
^^ ^^^^

uh, sure, whatever you say.

Blogs are lame.... (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657217)

How come when someone posts unimpressive, uninteresting, tiresome blogs about their day at work/school/home, they receive an abundance of comments for that blog, but when someone posts a real good thought-provoking blog, the number of comments left for it barely even exceeds zero? Do people feel intimidated? Or do they just have no brain and cannot be bothered to come up with a response? It is nice to see that a few people take some initiative and comment, as small as that number of people may be. Except slashdot, where it's all goatse and bearded linux hippies.

MLP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657219)

Slashdot, talking about mindless link propagation in a derogatory manner? Heh!


Why Slashdot in my eyes is not a blog (1)

abat (583908) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657225)

Slashdot may be bloglike in its listing of news. However, I have come to the conclusion Slashdot is so much more than a blog because (a) as others have pointed out it is not so personal and acts as a portal to news sites but more importantly (b) there are forums through comments such as these, which make Slasdot so much more than a blog.

happy happy joy joy (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657230)

props to al
l the slash
dot troll s AC or CLIT adolf
hitr oll anal cocks anon ym
ous pancake big ass spork ca
rp flounde rston cyborg monk
ey donke y hote egg trol
l fecal troll matte r fu
nky troll gaf the horse
in tears handy bundl er
l0rd kariy a metr ollica
pr0n king recip e troll
return of the spork serial
troll er the turd report tro
llaxo r your mission for tod
ay yr0 and all the others! p
rop s to all the slas hd
ot troll s AC or CLIT ad
olf hitro ll anal cocks
ano nymous pancake big
ass spork carp floun der
sto n cyborg monkey don
key hote egg troll fecal
troll matter funky trol
l gaf t he hors
e in te ars han
dy bundler l0rd kariya metro
llica pr0n king recipe troll
retu rn of the spork seri a
l troll er the turd repo rt
troll axor
your m issio

Learning from slashdot... (4, Funny)

CtrlPhreak (226872) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657238)

Forget the class and just take a basic class on spelling and grammer!

Re:Learning from slashdot... (2, Funny)

jkramar (583118) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657283)

>Forget the class and just take a basic class on spelling and grammer!

I'll see you "their!" Don't forget about that "grammer" part. There is evil afoot, and Oxford and Webster have conspired to delude you into believing that there is no such word as "grammer." Take no heed! Sally forth!

Matt Drudge and online journalism (5, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657240)

Freedom of the press is one of the most cherished freedoms we hold in this country (the US). It, hopefully, is the 4th branch of government that keeps all other branches in check through close scrutiny.

Lately, however, such scrutiny has become non-existent. Whether this is a result of the 9/11 attack and its subsequent Arab bashing or because powerful entities with ties to liberal political movements (Ted Turner) have bought out all the major news outlets is up in the air. If anything, it's probably a combination of both factors. These days we see nothing but carefully crafted 'news' and air-brushed reporters and anchors on the tube. The real news gets lost somewhere on the cutting room floor.

So where can we get our news now without the Big Brother Filter working overtime? The main source is the Web. Sites like the Drudge Report, NewsMax, and IndyMedia (not to mention our own new-anarchist Slashdot :-) are set up to print news as it comes with only the lightest of editing.

So what comes out of this new media? Frankly, crap for the most part. However, hidden deep in the headlines are jewels of information and true news. Unfortunately these gems are surrounded by conspiracy theories and crackpot reporting that it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. That's the problem with the new media.

The benefit of the new media (or blogs as the article incorrectly calls it) is that discussion of the topics at hand can begin almost immediately. Slashdot.org is a great example because after each story the readers can chime in with their own comments and insights or provocations. In short, it is news by consensus. Not too shabby.

Re:Matt Drudge and online journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657263)

NEO-anarchist not new-anarchist, idiot.

Re:Matt Drudge and online journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657523)

In short, it is news by consensus.
Consensus of whom? If most of the users are left of left, Lunix lovers, then the "truth" on Slashdot emerges as a "Micro$oft is evil and should be nationalized by the state" mumbojumbo. Political blogs are the worst of the lot because all the right-wing, nuke Iraq, sites all link to each other in some self-aggrandizing mastabatory fashion; where the "right" answer is their own. It's just as bad, if not worse than traditional media.

Re:Matt Drudge and online journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657530)

9/11 Is a date i remember to, 1972.09.11 is the day when USA thought that Allende was "an evil communist that had to die" and sure they killed (more humanoids than wtc which ever way you count it), but you couldn't kill em all. you surely can kill people (as you are too eager too prove) but you can't get all of us.

As if anyone but a dummy has one in the 1st place! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657243)


-- The_Messenger

Meaning of blog is fine, dammit (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657247)

"Please draw distinctions between webpages with news, mindless link propagation, discussion sites, personal diaries or journals, etc"

No. I won't. And you're somewhat screwed up to think a word's popular use, lending itself to a definition, should change simply because it's too broad. A word, part of language, can encompass many topics and things. That's why we use them.

The single word, blog, can mean all of those types of pages. If you want better distinctions, find another word, came up with another word and hope it becomes part of popular language (you've contributed before with a term, e.g. the slashdot effect), or use language (words, usage, formatting) to clarify the distinctions you seek.

A square is (or you're case, wait, that's too broad) a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. Caucasion, human. Web pages, or slashdot.org.

Re:Meaning of blog is fine, dammit (2, Insightful)

echucker (570962) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657353)

What literary authorities have defined "blog"? It does not yet appear in the online version of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary [m-w.com] or at dictionary.com [dictionary.com]

If it's not in either of these places yet, who's to say what definitions are right or wrong?

Re:Meaning of blog is fine, dammit (1)

jethro200 (573288) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657453)

a word is defined by the common usage of it. think of all the slang words that aren't in the dictionary. there are hundreds of them, and new ones being created all the time. just because the dictionary doesn't have the word, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have a definition. "blog" is a slang word like all the others, granted it may be geek-slang, but it is slang nontheless.

Re:Meaning of blog is fine, dammit (4, Insightful)

Broccolist (52333) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657472)

Who cares what a dictionary says? If Merriam-Webster put out the entry "vertelswoop" in their next edition, would that make it an English word? The right definition is the one that most people use. Dictionaries can only describe definitions, not impose them.

This is a bit of a sore point for me, because the dictionary makers in my native language, French, constantly try to impose ridiculous rules on the language. For instance, "chat" has taken hold as the French word for Internet chatting. But the Academie Francaise, in its infinite wisdm, declared the artificial word "clavardage" (a hideous mutant splice of the French words for "keyboard" and "small talk") to be the Pure French Word to replace it. The worst part is that some people have begun to use it. We shouldn't ascribe that kind of power to the so-called "authorities".

'blog (4, Insightful)

BreakWindows (442819) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657262)

A "blog" is an online diary. Just because it's a "journal", doesn't make it journalism, by the practical definition. Hopefully, this school is teaching the difference.

My first reaction is: "Great, just when I thought the trend of whining bohemian teenagers was on the decline, more fascinating online drivel about how the Offspring sold out". Rethinking it, though, maybe the internet will take more shape as a source of alternative media. Televised news is a joke, newspapers almost all suck (besides the Indypendant or the National Review, I can't think of any worth a read), the clearchannel or the radio, whatever it's called, is getting more silly by the day...maybe a large group of "bloggers" seeking out stories and drawing the lines between them will form a perfect source.

I mean, the WTO protests in Seattle a few years ago had TV/radio/Newspapers reporting protestors rioting, and cops using almost no force against them. Personal accounts contradicted this and soon after, video and photos turn up on the internet of cops firing rubber bullets into crowds of people sitting on the sidewalk, tear gas canisters flying and even one cop ripping someone's gas mask off to pepper-spray(?) him. Who would know, if not for the fact that individuals spread the word independantly, that quite a few innocent people had been lumped in with the couple of assholes that kept showing up on CNN?

You can't take an individual's opinion as fact, but the same could be said of major news outlets. Similarly, you can't expect those major news stations to fess up when some stories don't add up, or are mysteriously omitted. If enough people start reporting what they see, eventually we'll get a much larger idea of what is really going on around here.

Re:'blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657350)

Until we fall in a state of collective hallucination over some funny random phenomenon. Then it becomes really dangerous because everybody starts believing stuff because everybody believes it. No news, just gossip.

Blogosphere (5, Interesting)

webword (82711) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657268)

There was a pretty good article about the "blogosphere" a week or two ago. Very long, and relatively interesting, especially if you are interested in blogs, journalism, news, and that sort of thing. If you have a blog, you might like it too. If you are interested, I've got interview questions sent off to John Hiler, the author of the blogosphere article. I think he'll be getting back to me in a few days. I'll have the interview posted on WebWord.com [webword.com] soon after that.

There was also another story making the rounds about a week ago about making a living from blogging. I was expecting a lot more from it, i.e., some real details on "how to do it", but it was still a reasonable article. It might give you some ideas. Mileage may vary.

Last link whore comments: If you haven't seen Blogdex [mit.edu] or Daypop [daypop.com], you might want to check them out. Very nice tools to see what it hot in the world of weblogs.

hmmm (5, Insightful)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657276)

"most respected journalism schools "

I dont know about you... but I dont have much respect for journalists - nor berkeley...

I find that journalists have about as much integrity as lawyers and politicians. I guess thats why those groups run the world... little cunning bastards that do anything for a buck.

Re:hmmm (1)

HR Pufnstuf (18095) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657372)

Here here! And just as anyone can blog, or take journalism classes, they'll let just about anybody teach jouranlism classes (unless you are sharp, have integrity, and other qualities such as being able to identify George Washington's bust in Monticello).

Journalists, lawyers, politicians vs. computers (3, Insightful)

texchanchan (471739) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657467)

Re their integrity, sure--there are some bad apples in every bunch. However, one way journalism is like science is that journalists' output can be checked against the real world. They constantly check up on each other, not out of altruism of course--possibly the reverse, but as long as it works...

As for teaching them to blog or use computers in any way, I don't envy the teachers. Journalists, like lawyers, politicians, preachers, writers, and some/most teachers (the "word-oriented professions"), live and work in a conceptual world that is non-physical.

There seems to be a natural antipathy between word-oriented professionals and machinery. Most word-oriented professionals could, or imagine they could, do their job as well in a non-technical society as in ours. I think it derives from the ancient Greek division between philosophy and work.

This is only a theory. But if you've ever tried to provide tech support to a bunch of reporters you know it's about as easy as convincing cats to become amphibious.

"Blogs" are not journalism (5, Insightful)

Raunchola (129755) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657291)

First of all, Michael is right..."blog" has become extremely overused, much like "P2P." But that's besides the point.

Merely linking to news does not equal journalism. Slashdot isn't journalism. Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] isn't journalism. Yahoo's Full Coverage [yahoo.com] site isn't journalism. Hell, Fark [fark.com] isn't journalism. They are link farms. They find and post links to actual news stories across the world. While this makes for an easy-to-read digest of news and information, it does not mean the site becomes a seeming bastion of original journalism.

Real journalism, IMHO (speaking as one), is going out, researching a story, interviewing people, and putting together a concise unbiased story (keep your media bias arguments until the end of class kids). Journalism is not posting a link to a news story elsewhere, and then adding your own personal opinions or thoughts. While the Berkeley school is trying to avoid this, putting a "blog" label on it won't make any difference. Major news sites, like the New York Times [nytimes.com] and the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] already post their news to the Internet in real time. Some even include "Comment on this story" links as well.

Take away the personal opinions and rambling links, and you don't have a so-called "blog." You have an online news site, just like the big boys. Calling it a "blog" doesn't give any more "hipness" or credibility.

I wish everyone would get over this stupid "BLOGS ARE THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM" crap. You know what? They aren't.

Re:"Blogs" are not journalism (3, Insightful)

smoondog (85133) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657370)

Slashdot isn't journalism. Kuro5hin isn't journalism.

You make some pretty broad statements here, and, IMO they suggest you either make these statements too lightly or you really don't understand journalism. On some level articles written by journalists are simply an array of collected facts, organized in such a way as to tell a story.

/.'s (and to a lesser extent k5) problem is that often the story is one fact and the link is simply to a single other piece of journalism. When multiple links are collected, as is also often the case, the story enters a gray area.

I am not a journalist. I am a scientist. I have, however, written several stories for the stanford daily [stanforddaily.com] as an interesting side project.

K5 stories are often researched and contain many facts pulled together into a new and interesting way.

Just because you link something on the web doesn't make it *not* journalism. BTW - As much as some /.'ers don't like to admit it, Jon Katz is the closest thing /. has to a journalist.


Re:"Blogs" are not journalism (2, Interesting)

bshanks (520250) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657384)

your denotation may be correct but the connotation is misleading. "link farms", i.e. content selection and summary, is as important as the reporting of original news itself because information is plentiful and an individual's time is scarce. Maybe it is not "journalism", but it is certainly important enough to have classes and even whole courses of study analyzing how it is done and how to do it better.

perhaps "Blogs are the future of news distribution" would be a better slogan (although personally i believe that something even more P2P, probably more like wikis than blogs, are the future of news distribution)

oh, and i agree that Slashdot is not a blog -- i like to reserve the word "Blog" for things either more personal (like online journals) or for "web logs", i.e. lists of interesting links that someone or some group has visited. I like to call Slashdot a news discussion board.

Re:"Blogs" are not journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657388)

Real journalism, IMHO (speaking as one) [....]

Ah, and this is why we have real editors. All pretty much speaking as one, I'm going to guess.

Re:"Blogs" are not journalism (2)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657488)

I agree wholeheartedly. The average personal weblog (can't stand the word "blog") these days is mostly personal rantings. Those that still have the interesting-link approach are still not journalism. If you hold something up (especially someone else's news story) and say "Look what I found!" it's not journalism.

If you talk to people do your research, and assemble a balanced report to inform the people, that's journalism.

So, basically, I agree with everything you say. Huzzah.

Slashdot a Blog? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657335)

This [wilwheaton.net] is a Blog. This [slashdot.org] is a website with "mindless links" to other news sites and threaded commentary.

Is it marketing or journalism? (4, Informative)

webword (82711) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657339)

This isn't exactly related but then again maybe it is....Is it marketing or journalism? [userland.com]

It can be tough to decide how to define something. A blog is a blog is a blog. The material posted by kids about their lives might mean nothing to you but everything to that kid and his/her peers. If you don't like it, move along. Call it a journal or call it something else. Call it a blog, or not. Fine.

On the other hand, there are some "industrial strength" blogs out there. At a minimum, this is going mainstream, for better or worse. For example, there are blogs written by folks that are employed by Macromedia. Examples...

Mike Chambers (Flash MX):
http://radio.weblogs.com/0106797/ [weblogs.com]

Vernon Viehe (ColdFusion MX):
http://vvmx.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Matt Brown (Dreamweaver MX):
http://radio.weblogs.com/0106884/ [weblogs.com]

And then there a blogs by the professional folks at MSNBC [msnbc.com]:

Eric Alterman: Altercation
Michael Moran: World Agenda
Cosmic Log: Alan Boyle's Diary
Chris Matthews: Hardball
Jan Herman: The Juice

Re:Is it marketing or journalism? (1)

dgulbran (141477) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657501)

This isn't exactly related but then again maybe it is.... Is it marketing or journalism? [userland.com] [userland.com]

I think it's ironic, that in an article about journalism, by someone who's always touting the blog (Dave Winer) there is a *retraction* because he failed to do his basic fact checking!! That, right there, sums up why blogs, and I do like them, are not "journalism".

Besides, I can't read an article about "Mr. X" with out thinking of Homer Simpson... :)

"blog" over used (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657342)

i think that the word "gay" is the most ill-used word in 2002. and 2001... and 2000 and perhaps 1999.

fandango! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657361)

I'm here for the blog.

Mr.Blog sent me.

There is a wild Blog loose in the theater...RAR!

All distinctions are false (+0, Zen) (2)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657433)

I think that it is good that they are not presuming a hard, definite distinction between the various things people call a blog and "real news."

After all, a journalist who writes a story is just commiting their own observations to print. Is this so very different from linking to what someone else wrote? By placing the links in a certain order, by carrying certain stories (but never the ones I submit :)), and not carrying others, the person who simply maintains a links page does a very similar service. What other people are saying, even if the thing they are saying is news, is news in-and-of-itself. Calling it mindless link propagation as Michael does, reflects an unjustified contempt for a whole avenue of expression.

Personal experiences in a personal journal are news to somebody. After all, NY Times Editorials are definitely news. I don't see a hard distinction here.

Discussion sites may not reflect public opinion in a "scientific" fashion, but they do reflect public opinion, and public opinion is news. Anecdotes, often shared on such sites, are also news. They can also propogate links and contain excerpts from people's personal ruminations (like what you are reading right now.)

Since all of these things are news, they are all webpages with news. Having temporarily accepted Michael's sub-division, I now reject it, and from hereon out I will just say blogs.

They'll also debate whether blogs are "a sensible medium for doing journalism, and what does that mean?"

Feh! What horseshit. Who cares? I think people should spend less time debating what things mean, and more time being ironic. If you can wildly contradict yourself in a single sentence, that is best, but cognitive dissonance can only be a good thing, however long your text may run.

If it isn't a legitimate medium for doing journalism, we need to find a way to legitimise it, because people are going, increasingly, to be getting their information from blogs. Unless you want to take the stance that what people read and think is not legitimate (common in academia) you've got no choice.

Blogging is journalism, but not always acceptable (3, Insightful)

mesozoic (134277) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657445)

That a journalist's work has to first pass through the scrutiny of his peers and his editors is a key factor in assuring the quality of published information. Blogging might be journalism, but it's Rambo-style -- one man for himself, whatever he writes, gets published. When you're talking about something like the BBC, CNN, or the Wall Street Journal, letting reporters publish on-the-fly might give individuals too much control over what sort of information makes it to the public.

Now with the Internet growing as a major distribution point for news, perhaps the future will bring us a merger of 'traditional' journalism and web logs: real-time news that, while still going through the standard editing channels, is published as soon as it's put in. The idea of releasing news each day may fade away from the Internet entirely, leaving us with news sources that publish news as soon as it happens. It'd be one more (small) step towards a truly networked form of human civilization.

Slashdot is a Discussion Site (2)

sasha328 (203458) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657454)

Slashdot is not a "blog"; neither it is a news site. It is a discussion site. It is a meeting place where a group of people with, mainly, similar interests come together to talk about certain issues. The meeting is usually moderated, and people with good things to say are heard, and those who wish to troll a shouted down. All news items are "links" to others' news stories. There is no news on Slashdot. The only news comes from the "comments" of the participants. Besides, not everything mentioned on Slashdot is anywhere close to "news".

My 2cents.

Boggles My Mind (2, Insightful)

mr. phantastik (202943) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657474)

How the editors seem to think that everyone who reads the post automatically knows what they're talking about. How many others had no idea what "blogging" meant?

The Jury's Still Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657476)

With so much crap out there, the emergence of blogging (and hell yes, I think Slashdot is a blog, insofar as it is an aggregator of information gleaned from other people's web sites, with opinions about that information tacked on to lend credibility) -- the emergence of blogging has helped create a layer of information above the glut -- meta-glut, you might say, but eventually you come across a site or two (or ten) that you actually trust (like this one), and chances are those sites are likely some form of blog -- some kind of aggregator of information you use to determine what you might actually want to spend your time reading. Statements like "a blog is a diary" are just silly at this point; a blog is what a blog is, and I think we're still learning what that means. As for blogging as journalism -- Nobody but Druge is Drudge, but sadly, most people would like to think of themselves as Drudge or Drudge-like, so you get what we've gotten. As a journalist myself, I'm hesitant to call blogging (even at its best) journalism; at most, you might call it op-ed.

Blogs (and /.) are most definitely journalism! (3, Informative)

isaac (2852) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657490)

Please, take a look around at your mass media outlets. Really read the articles closely and look for sources. What do you find? Much, if not most of what passes for news comes from official statements and press releases. Sometime's it's damned difficult when reading a news article to find the actual source - it's usually an off-hand clause like "Foo, according to a report by such-and-such organization" or "According to General So-and-so, bar" buried somewhere in the third or fifth paragraph. Frequently, stories may be based off of other stories - "According to the Associated Press, ..." - particularly in TV news. This sort of reporting is no better than what Slashdot provides, and I am, consequently, disinclined to call Slashdot something other than journalism.

My hunch, in fact, is that considering the various reviews, interviews, and articles, Slashdot's percentage of original content compares favorably with lots of so-called mass media outlets. In fact, it's got a big leg up on mass media insofar as one often finds the people mentioned in the stories, or people with a personal connection to the story, posting comments, giving readers a different perspective on the article. I'm not prone to hyperbole, so I won't call slashdot "visionary" or "groundbreaking" but I do call it "really cool" and, most definitely, "journalism".

Blogs, too, are journalism. Personal diaries may be the most trivial form of journalism, but it is, at least, reporting. It may not be up to the standards of Columbia, or conformant to the AP style guide, but I've read a lot of crap in "real" news outlets and a lot of informative, if non-traditional, reporting on blog sites. In any case, I'm leery of refusing to call blogs journalism, as it plays into the hands of those who would separate "journalists" from the rest of the public and confer upon them rights that are (IMO) properly invested in us all - particularly freedoms of speech and of the press.

Consider the case of Paul Trummel [seattleweekly.com] who has been jailed for refusing to take down articles on his website, on the grounds that he is "not really a journalist." Understand why I'm not so keen on drawing a line between "journalist" and blogger?


"Journalism" isn't all that easy to define, either (3, Interesting)

Prof.Nimnul (583515) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657502)

After all, is it a set of standards and proceedures for reporting information, or is it just the actual presenting of information that one discovered/uncovered/learned/etc.?

An editoral or opinion piece in many major newspapers are good examples, as some of them have the writers actually out covering some sort of story, whether it be government corruption or international tensions or what have you, but the only difference between the editorals and the articles is that the editorals have the author stating their own personal feelings about it, rather than "Just the Facts, Ma'am." Their opinionated pieces are basically the same as something the a guy posts on his website regarding something important to him.

Similarly, let's say I'm wondering about a topic, so I go out and ask around with some people connected to it, check what records I can find, do fact-checking, and then post my findings on my personal website, would that be journalism? I'm not a professional, and it's posted on a site that's not claiming to be a source of hard news, but all the same, if I followed the same proceedures that any other reporter does, what's the difference if it was read in a newspaper or on the web?

Very few people believe all the read on the 'Net, for good reason. Similarly, very few people believe all they see on TV, as well, also for good reason.

The whole concept of what "blogging" really is seems to a rather pointless debate. News can be reported in any format by any person, really -- the means doesn't make the difference. Teaching blog at a school just seems to me more or less showing students one way that a web site can be run, and not an exercise in some new "cutting-edge" journalism technique.


This is titled incorrectly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3657505)

It should be titled "Blogging IS for dummies".

Slashdot real journalism?Well, if you have to ask! (1)

g_bit (253703) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657513)

...whether blogging, such as Slashdot, is real journalism or not. I still haven't made up my mind.

Well, if you have to ask then you're still not sure of what your definition of "reall journalism" is yet!

Really though, I think /. technically qualifies as real journalism because not all of the stories are from other sites and sources right?

You're right, I have no clue either.

Pac-Man: All about (-1)

Burritos (535298) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657528)

The anatomy of Pac-Man is very simple if one does not consider how Pac-Man moves, sees, hears, melts, etc.. The primary function of Pac-Man is, of course, eating.

Body - Pac-Man is exoskeletal. The "skin" is actually a thick yellow shell, which in addition to offering protection to predators, allows Pac-Man to hide unseen in a box of jawbreakers or Nuprin. Mouth - This is Pac-Man's only visible external organ (unlike some of his clones and successors, who had the luxury of eyes.) Some believe that the opening and closing of the mouth, in addition to allowing Pac-Man to eat everything around him, also propels him forward. Brain - Pac-Man's tiny brain helps him distinguish dots from ghost monsters, keeps his mouth moving, and does very little else. Jaw Muscles - Pac-Man's only muscles are located in his impressive jaws. They are strong enough to move rapidly for long periods of time without any noticeable fatigue, and allow Pac-Man to injest blue monsters that are the same size as he is! Appendix - Pac-Man's appendix doesn't do anything, but hasn't caused him any problems yet. Stomach - This is Pac-Man's largest organ, taking up nearly 90% of his body, and is basically a storage space for dots, fruit, ghost monster flesh, keys, etc. until it can be digested. Pac-Man's digestive system, amazingly enough, actually utilizes EVERYTHING he eats. No waste is generated. Update: Pac-Man has gas! It creates phermones that attract ghosts. Also, Pac-Man can't eat ghost eyes.

I read Blogging for Dummies (1)

Daimaou (97573) | more than 11 years ago | (#3657549)

It was a good book, but mostly just a remake of The Idiot's Guide to Rogering.
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