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ALA President Not Fond of Bloggers

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the nail-hit-on-head dept.

Editorial 912

Phil Shapiro writes "American Library Association president Michael Gorman is not too fond of bloggers and blogging. '[The] Blog People (or their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of digitization and a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief... Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.'"

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912 comments

Duh (5, Insightful)

boola-boola (586978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774611)

Well yeah... blogs are for people to express themselves, not a place for them to write great literary works.

Think of your photo collection and music collection. It's just another extension of that (think DIARY).

Re:Duh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774644)

but who is to say that anyone gives a shit about the drivel that bloggers write? a waste of resources if you ask me.

Uh. (3, Funny)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774694)

You post to Slashdot, and you're concerned with a waste of resources? Bwahaha!!

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774675)

I bet you didn't even read the article.

When you read what this guy says... (0, Redundant)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774746)

...You have to think it in a voice like Bill Buckley's or the millionaire guy from Gilligan's Island.

Yes... Quite!

HA! (4, Funny)

NoData (9132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774612)

Don't let this guy read any Slashdot comments in that case.

Re:HA! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774626)

YoU cAlLing Us DuMB u tUrd BalL ?!?!?!

Couldn't be more true (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774613)

Caution: this post contains generalizations. Most of which are, unfortunately, true.

Bloggers think they're going to be the revolution of the press, and that they'll take the place of the New York Times and Washinton Post, and Newscorp will crumble at their feet.

Not with the half-assed misinformation and melodrama on the vast majority of the political and "news" blogs I've seen (to say nothing of the wild spitting and sputtering in the comments).

Not as long as they have no problem with their complete and utter lack of accountability of any type, and the vicious, one-sided partisan nature designed solely to incite vitriol in their groupthink audiences.

Not while they do nothing more than constantly pat each other on their virtual backs and reinforce their own worldviews and twisted near-conspiracy theories, ignoring any and all other sides of the story while simultaneously thinking of themselves as "open minded" and the only revealers of "the truth".

Blogs have a place in the world of information. And, like all sources of information, I'll concede that some can, in general, build a reputation for trust and accuracy. But many, particularly political blogs, have no regard for anything but the furtherance of their own agendas, taking things wildly out of context, and going on vindictive missions to build a one-sided case to paint the target of their ire in the worst possible light, without any consideration for any other motivations or other sides of the stories.

And they think they're the future of the media?

No fucking thanks.

Re:Couldn't be more true (1)

excesspwr (218183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774656)

Yeah, I'm sticking to The Daily Show.

Re:Couldn't be more true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774661)

Slashdot has pretty much replaced the NYTimes concerning "tech news" for me. And it's about the same as a group blog, spelling/grammar mistakes and all:P

Re:Couldn't be more true (3, Funny)

Heftklammerdosierer! (846009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774674)

*obligatory comparison to Fox News*

Re:Couldn't be more true (2, Interesting)

the real chahn (727189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774683)

While I doubt blogs will ever replace the traditional media, they do serve a valuable purpose. They have access to literally thousands of people who are interested in a topic and therefore can muster quite a bit of fact-checking/investigating, something far beyond the capacity of most "traditional" journalists to do when pressed with a deadline. This can both generate new information as well as track down leads more effectively than print media.

Lack of accountability is not necessarily a bad thing in this context, because it represents the pinnacle of the marketplace of ideas - literally any idea can be proposed and defended. There's obviously a great potential for this to support idiocy and fringe hate groups, but those groups will always exist. On the other hand, it provides a useful check on traditional media, who are too often losing their sense of objectivity and urge to find the truth because of media consolidation, need to maintain political access, etc.

Finally, blogs have a unique ability to cater to particular interest groups and focus discussion to a level not seen in traditional media. While you may see it as groupthink, many political blogs in fact engage in sustained debate over the best strategy for their base. If all we had were blogs, you'd be correct that groupthink could run wild. But, there's still the real world to deal with, and any community that wants to interact with others needs to find a way to do so effectively or they simply won't be listened to.

Re:Couldn't be more true (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774684)

News blogs are, in my opinion, really just the crude predecessor to WikiNews, which aims for NPOV more than most any newsblog, and that is enforced through collaboration. Give me a newspaper over WIkiNews most any day, though.

I find the best of both worlds for news to be Fark or Slashdot -- the posts are mostly links to legitimate journalistic endeavours employing real journalists, but people can still ham it up on the comments -- de facto fora on Slashdot, streams of consciousness on Fark. Perhaps a bit of biased commentary leading up to the link, and of course there'll be some noticable bias from time to time in the articles, but the actual pieces are written

Now mind you, the entertainment or geeky bloggers can be a fun read, and the I-had-a-mediocre-day-today-and-I-like-Beethoven Livejournal users can communicate effectively with friends near and afar, but for the news, give me an assortment of as many real papers as I can get aroudn to reading, with the help perhaps of aggregator sites such as GoogleNews or Fark.

Re:Couldn't be more true (2, Insightful)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774698)

And this is different from FOX News how?

Political Agenda is what that 24 hour POS news station is all about. Political partisan nature is what most news stations are all about.

Re:Couldn't be more true (1, Troll)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774751)

Go to http://www.foxnews.com/ and, outside of the opinion section, find me a story that is viciously partisan, or inaccurate.

Watch FNC during the day during "hard news" coverage (i.e., FOX & Friends, FOX News Live, Special Report, the FOX Report), NOT op-ed (i.e., Hannity and Colmes, O'Reilly Factor) and find any inaccurate or overly one-sided reporting.

FNC broke several of the anti-Bush stories, such as the Bush drunk driving story.

If all you believe about FOX News is what you read in blogs, you're part of the problem I'm talking about.

Re:Couldn't be more true (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774716)

looks like you could replace "Bloggers" with "Fox News" in the parent post and get an accurate description of fox as a "news" source

Re:Couldn't be more true (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774766)

Christ.

I should have gone with my gut and included what I was planning on including in my original post, which was something along the lines of "try to respond to this without some tired reference to FOX News".

In any case, see this post [slashdot.org] .

Re:Couldn't be more true (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774717)

DailyKos [dailykos.com] recently uncovered a fake reporter in the White House press core. I'd say that's a pretty striking accomplishment.

Consider that you are posting on Slashdot, Dave. And you do it quite regularly. Meaning you read it quite regularly.

BROOKLYN Re:Couldn't be more true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774742)

"Bloggers think they're going to be the revolution of the press, and that they'll take the place of the New York Times and Washinton Post, and Newscorp will crumble at their feet."

Who cares what they think? Some people believe that the messiah is coming and some people believe that trees have souls. Who cares?

"And they think they're the future of the media?"

You seem to be confident that they aren't simply based on thier opinions of where the future of blogging could go in terms of journalism, but it isn't journalism - it's the op ed page in all of the newspapers you mentioned above.

Who cares what bloggers that you don't care about think, say, or do? They're entitled to write - thank God - thanks to the freedom of the Internet. Let them express opinions - be it wrong or right, moral or immoral - because the more we hear thoughts from fellow humans, the more quicker we move towards progress for a better world.

Or did you not understand that?

Why is everyone so threatened by bloggers?? You're only giving them more credibility!

Brooklyn

Well considering they constantly quote the MSM (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774765)

Bloggers leach off the main stream and not so main stream media. Occasionally they find something original. Dan Rather, Churchill, and Easton Jordan all got their shove down the mountain from bloggers. Every once in awhile the MSM picks up a story from bloggers.

Their goal is not to replace the MSM, but to provide a single point of entry for people to get a wide range of stories that the MSM won't touch or simply glosses over.

Claiming that bloggers aren't real journalists is as retarded as claiming people who work on open source aren't real programmers.

The only difference between bloggers and the MSM is that there are more independent bloggers and as such the quality ranges from very low to very high which the MSM has a pretty consistent level. Quality blogs issue corrections very fast based on reader input. The MSM occasionally posts corrections on page 100 in the corner fine print.

You can't go to Live Journal and make rediculous generalizations about bloggers. The MSM is just pissed that they're getting ripped on by "amatures" and people are losing their jobs because of it. The MSM is no longer an unchallenged medium. How often does the LA Times print objections to something the Washington Post wrote?

The goal isn't the be the new media but rather to complement the existing forms of media by bringing in a variety of sources to a single location.

It's a lot easier to go to a blog and see what's going on around the world than it is to visit a dozen different MSM sites.

I wonder if this was said of the first newspapers (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774767)

"Bloggers think they're going to be the revolution of the press, and that they'll take the place of the New York Times and Washinton Post, and Newscorp will crumble at their feet."

How about something like, "Ah, you give these guys a printing press and before you know it, everyone's on about the king. I say, hang 'em!"

After all, it wasn't long ago that most people got their news from CBS/NBC/CNN and in less than a few years THAT'S changed.

Elitism works boths ways methinks. Just a thought...

Re:Couldn't be more true (2)

jr748 (767465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774782)

that sounds kinda like slashdot, the mother of all blogs...

but the first post said:
Well yeah... blogs are for people to express themselves, not a place for them to write great literary works.
Think of your photo collection and music collection. It's just another extension of that (think DIARY).


If that's the case then nobody needs to know or cares about the contents of your diary because it's meant to be private.

daveshcroeder is right about the problems with news blogs, but unfortunately it also describes today's modern media perfectly.

Re:Couldn't be more true (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774789)

> And they think they're the future of the media?

I've still got an open mind on this.

Remember that a blog is replacing normal face-to-face conversation for a lot of people. Now I don't know about you, but a lot of the conversations I hear day to day are about idiotic things, by people whose opinions aren't worth that much IMNSHO.

Just like blogs.

However, there are people out there whose blogs are worth reading. Just as I'd make efforts to attend a public speech by these people, I make a point of checking their blogs every so often because I think they've got something to say that's of interest to me.

These people, few as they may seem amongst the enormous pile of blog sputum, are out there in their thousands, and I think there's a chance that they could form the basis of future media.

I suspect it'll all become clearer over the next year or two.

"Blog people" (5, Funny)

panth0r (722550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774614)

Look out! The "Blog People" are going to burn books!

Re:"Blog people" (1)

TheMotedOne (753275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774633)

What does that say? That paragraph was not small enough to read.

Re:"Blog people" (1)

Rai (524476) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774736)

Sounds like a movie the MST3K crew would watch.

I'm not wearing any pants! (-1, Troll)

bdbafh (851601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774621)

aliens stole my buick mr. T ate my balls

Re:I'm not wearing any pants! (2, Funny)

bdbafh (851601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774670)

meant to post anonymously. damn you, autologin.

Re:I'm not wearing any pants! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774719)

Be proud, don't hide, that was a fantastic post!

Random Facts (5, Funny)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774627)

It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.

Not sure what

a random

paragraph is. The temperature here is 33 degrees
fahrenheit. I took a walk today. My HP

doesn't like talking to CUPS.

There are 3,472 green M&M's in the

jar.

Re:Random Facts (2, Funny)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774666)

maybe he was using his internet explorer to view blog sites, where div tags were used with explicit positioning

This guy has no right (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774628)

I don't even understand how this person became President of such an organization. His writing styles is absolutely atrocious. He offers no supporting evidence for any of his points. He really needs to go back and take a basic college writing course. I would fail him if he was my student and turned in a paper like that.

Re:This guy has no right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774640)

He hates bloggers though. He can't be all bad.

Re:This guy has no right (2, Funny)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774665)

It's his opinion on the subject. Yes, he's just blogging about bloggers, and interestingly his need was met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.

Re:This guy has no right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774732)

> His writing styles is absolutely atrocious.

Re:This guy has no right (1)

Markos (71140) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774740)

He has no right... to voice his opinion... outside of a blog...

Awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774630)

See subject.

Complext Texts? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774631)

"I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts."

Read complex texts? Ha! /.ers can't even be bothered to RTFA.

what is blog anyway? (1)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774638)

i blog (log) my thoughts in an attempt to share them with others who might have a more insightful point of view, and in the end these are for me and not for you mr german. i was just about to read the da vinci code but hmm i might just not blog it instead so others out their wont know about it.

Big Brother (1)

baburas (811649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774642)

Something you can't control is always a bad.....

ALA People (5, Funny)

splatg (672684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774647)

I'm not to fond of these ALA president people. From what I have superficially seen they make broad sweeping generalisations and knee jerk statements about others who they do not take the time to understand. I also heard that they don't shower very often and are cruel to puppies. There was a rumour going around that they get their tertiay education from discarded tissue boxes and glue sticks.

Re:ALA People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774748)

Like any organization, the ALA has its share of idiots. There are many librarians who believe that the course the ALA has recently been taking is the wrong one.

Re:ALA People (1)

splatg (672684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774796)

I don't know what it is like in the US, but from what have seen here in Australia they public libraries are moving along with the times. I remember in primary school when our library had its name changed from the 'library' to the 'Resource Centre" to acknowledge the fact that is is a facility not just to house and catalogue books but to make all different types of information avaliable.

The local library also does many computer related things, like computers avalible for browsing the web and web interfaces for searching, borrowing and reserving books. There must be many librarians out there that are not as closed minded and conservative as this bloke, which is a good thing.

Re:ALA People (1)

Hits_B (711969) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774781)

From what I have superficially seen they make broad sweeping generalisations and knee jerk statements about others who they do not take the time to understand.

Yeah those bloggers are a crazy group.......

Shoosh!!! (1)

bain_online (580036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774649)

"[The] Blog People (or their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of digitization and a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief... ."

Took me two reads to understand that this is english he is speaking in.
This probabaly is the most complex sentence ever i read on slashdot.

"First they ignore at you ... " Gandhi (1, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774650)

This one strikes me entirely as Gandhi said "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, next they fight fight you. Then you win." It applies to many things.

I'm very sorry to see that the ALA Prez (an org I respect) cannot see past his dead trees. Yes, blogspace is hard to archive, and much of it low quality -- because it hasn't been selected [censored] by printing press owners. There are also some gems. He's a librarian, he should go look.

Re:"First they ignore at you ... " Gandhi (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774702)

God come up with an orignal thought please. God knows nobody on slashdot has use that before.

Passive resistance aside, Gandhi would punch you in the face right now.

Oh come off it Mahatma (5, Insightful)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774709)

In the case of bloggers: "First they don't read your blog, then they laugh at your blog, then that's pretty much it."

Comparing the "blogging phenomena" to the Indian independence movement is a fine way to illustrate your massive sense of self-importance, though.

Re:"First they ignore at you ... " Gandhi (1)

micsmith (861221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774738)

Dead trees? Try MURDERED trees!

Re:"First they ignore at you ... " Gandhi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774762)

......Now come on , You cant compare Bloggers to ghandi
Ghandi brought independance back to India

Bloggers on the other hand brough Reality TV to us in HTML form

now i love reading developers diarys , i hate shoving these in the same catogry as S3xagirl33 latest crush.

monkey analogy vs. gandhi analogy (1)

tetromino (807969) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774770)

I'm very sorry to see that the ALA Prez (an org I respect) cannot see past his dead trees. Yes, blogspace is hard to archive, and much of it low quality -- because it hasn't been selected [censored] by printing press owners. There are also some gems.

Let me counter your Gandhi with the traditional monkey analogy. If you have a couple million monkeys hammering away at their keyboards for a few years, undoubtedly they will produce some remarkable works. Not Shakespeare perhaps, but quite possibly e.e.cummings (which is still literature, of sorts).

The problem, of course, is that to get those rare gems of the blogosphere, you have to wade through seventy metric fucktons of monkey shit (99% of lj etc). I am not in the mood for such adventures. I wait for people or organizations whom I trust (/., boingboing, etc.) to give me the links. In short, access the blogosphere through a publisher.

heretics (4, Funny)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774652)

I do not have contempt for heretics who do not share my beliefs. I merely beat them mercilessly until they do.

share that is.

Slashdot ad? (4, Funny)

Romancer (19668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774653)

"It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs."

Kind of like slashdot readers?

Re:Slashdot ad? (1)

excesspwr (218183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774673)

My intellectual needs are met by hookers and strippers. So, yes, they are random but not necessarily facts.

Oh, the hubris! Oh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774654)

Wow, he really knows how to turn on the arrogance. Oh, the hubris! Oh!

How intellectually superior he must think himself. For though no doubt there are many who do not read as much as perhaps he does, I've come across many, many excellently written blogs that demonstrate scholarly rigor and intellectual discipline, the gems to be sifted from the sands of the blogosphere.

Relation (1)

Caj Darkmoon (862626) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774657)

a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief... At least he can relate with the idea, if not the reason.

OK... (1)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774658)

...how about he get a giant collection of journals/diaries from the 50s and 60s and see how they stack up?

A Blog is little more than a person's personal journal. Of course they're not put up against an editor or an ombudsman, THEY'RE JOURNALS. This guy's assuming that a blog is supposed to be held to some kind of higher standard.

Great to see (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774659)

Great to see a librarian laying it on the line. I've long suspected some of them feel this way. If it's out in the open, maybe we can have a good debate that reveals how librarians sacrifice the needs of users to serve their own interests of hanging onto their control of information budgets in academia.

Same fate, different era (2, Funny)

Pacifix (465793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774660)

News flash: A brontosaurus is not too fond of mammels and live birth. 'The mammels (or their sublcass who are monkeys) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of being small, having a relatively large brain and the ability to withstand, say, a large meterorite striking the earth. Given the quality of their roars, I doubt that many of the mammals are in the habit of thundering across the primordial plains. It is entirely possible their survial needs are met through hair, live birth and quick adaptability.'

Re:Same fate, different era (1)

One Blue Ninja (801126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774760)

Nicely put :-)

I do have to agree with the man, though: "most" of the blogs I've come across are nothing more than an online diary, with little focus on grammar, spelling, cohesive thought, or ANY thought. There's a reason that quiet voice in our minds that rambles on all day is quiet - nobody else cares, or wants to hear it. (Or is that just my voice? You all have voices too, right?).

It seems the term "blogger" doesn't distinguish between a high-quality blog to challenge any professional news service, and "OMG!!! This guy I like looked at me today. I'm totally in love! I think I'll dye my hair pink. EMO MUZAK RULZ!!!"

I think most of us would freely admit that just because someone writes something in an online journal, doesn't make them a "journalist" in the traditionally-accepted sense. Maybe it's time for that sense to change - but at the same time, I don't think some 1337 newz haxor is going to replace Stone Phillips anytime soon.

To that extent, the guy had a point - there are some good blogs worthy of regular reading as much as some "traditional", "reputable" news sites. But we have to admit, those are few and far between...

Work harder at uncovering the good ones (4, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774668)

Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts.

Yo is sure to get schooled from my mad skillz. Oh by the way, this 3l33t haxor had oatmeal for breakfast this morning. Oh and here's a picture of my cat.

It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.

On one level, blogs are intended for brief communications or thoughts that often revolve around a central theme, but not always. Often they are intended as a means for maintaining communication with family and friends or as a creative outlet. However, this guy has obviously not been very informed or is lazy about finding informative/interesting blogs out there like:

Kevin Sites [kevinsites.net] whose reporting pioneered the use of the blog in combat reporting.

Dan Gillmor [typepad.com] whose new efforts are targeted at grassroots journalism from sources exactly like blogs.

Or Chris Anderson's blog The Long Tail [thelongtail.com] which discusses businesses, economic, cultural and political models whose goals are to take advantage of the significant portion of those populations underlying the distal distributions of a curve.

And many others whose careful investigation, research, thought and reporting go into the content on their blogs.

Oh, and then there are the blogs like mine [utah.edu] ........

I'm not fond of journalists in general (0, Flamebait)

Joelphil (846067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774676)

newspapers suck and so does the nightly news. How about them apples?

Why has nobody bashed him for bashing Google? (1)

BobTheAtheist (805111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774677)

You realise he is also insulting Google.... Better smash him good

Unpossible! (1)

Nathdot (465087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774680)

... Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.'"

thats patantley fols.

He should be ashamed of himself (1)

xeniten (550128) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774687)

Blog people, hackers, coders, geeks, nerds whatever we choose to call ourselves are people that collect, store, and disseminate information electronically. And I dare say that we are just as fascinated and obsessed and as diligent in our efforts concerning computers and digital information as our ancestors were with the printing press. We are kindred spirits. And it's a great shame that a library association president can't figure that out.

The truth, for those who don't want to admit it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774688)

Is that blogging is all about attention. People who write blogs crave attention in the real world, don't get it, or not enough, and so use blogging to fulfill it.

These blogging communites are full of people just like that. Nobody cares about your inane rants except other socially inept bloggers.

I don't say it to be mean, but it's generally the truth.

Such a revelation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774690)

t is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs

He must be new here...

Honestly, what does he expect from a Journal instant-publish format? The only thing that even remotely compares to blogs would be an Opinion column in a local Newspaper, except you never have to retract anything.

He doesn't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774691)

It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.

The times are changing, get with it.

Question of Mixture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774695)

Blogs are famous to be independent, but they transport usually a very narrow point of view. If you don't like a fact, why would you blog it? Blogs are a perfect complement to mainstream media: They comment on facts that are easily overseen. They ask questions the journalists forgot. Sometimes bog contents go to mainstream.

Librarians (2, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774699)

Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.

Frankly, this assessment doesn't sound too far off to me. A major portion of understanding a field in depth is categorizing the raw data one has compiled in order to turn it into information. Blogs just aren't capable of doing something like this without sinking to the lowest common political bias.

A major strength of having access to a large library is actually having a librarian point out where to find a large body of information on the field you're interested in. But once you get there, the sheer volume of information precludes the possibility of a librarian introducing a political bias, though there might be a systematic bias in the publishing world.

Google is any Library Magazine's worst nightmare (2, Insightful)

bender183 (447302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774706)

As boring as it might sound...to me at least...my mom started from the ground up a yellow pages for librarians which was freely distrubuted and stayed afloat by librarian vendors paying to advertise in her free publication. She started it 14 years ago and She is selling it within the next two weeks because the market has run dry. The point of all this? Her buisness did just fine until google came along. Why do you need to go to a library and support them when you have a wealth of information at your fingertips? What is closer your pc which resides in your room, or the closest library? You do the math. This is just a case of someone who is bitter towards the "google" generation because it steals his buisness. Just ask my mom =|

You FaIL 1t! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774710)

case you wan`t to

Gotcha (1)

child_of_mercy (168861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774711)

Sounds like a classic (and rather well written) shot in a blog war.

You're one of us now Michael.

Enjoy the ride and don't worry, the blogger-shagging is great fun.

Well. (2, Insightful)

nsaneinside (831846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774713)

The majority of said "Blog People" don't give a flying rat's ass about saying anything important, and couldn't care less about "quality writing."

Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen
Yeah, he does have a point:
today was boring. i sat in class and wathhd out teh window and farted at the teacher. everybody laffed. then we ate lunch. OH MAN IM SO DEPRESSED I JUST BROKE UP WITH MY GIRLFRIEND!

Besides, I don't think we can trust the guy. Of course he sounds official. Er. Officious. He uses a lot of big words, like "antidigitalist" and "progressives" and "hubris" and "neologism" and "pillory"...

We are witnessing... (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774715)

the beginning of the web and blogs finally being categorized via the dewey decimal system. Quick, buy stock in card catalog cabinet manufacturers!

Librarians are bitter (5, Funny)

rrs (113451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774718)

He's just bitter because the idea of mapping IP addresses to the Dewey Decimal System never caught on.

Doctor, heal thyself (1)

subStance (618153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774721)

The similarity to the open source debate is too close to ignore. You have company/association using traditional cathedral model, relying on hierarchy structure for quality control, and home types using the bazaar model, relying on incessant peer review.

I think the fact that this guy is commenting at all is a sign that the cathedral model is losing again.

What do you think ?

I don't know that he is an antidigitalist... (4, Insightful)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774722)

...but he certainly doesn't get it.

My piece had the temerity to question the usefulness of Google digitizing millions of books and making bits of them available via its notoriously inefficient search engine. The Google phenomenon is a wonderfully modern manifestation of the triumph of hope and boosterism over reality. Hailed as the ultimate example of information retrieval, Google is, in fact, the device that gives you thousands of "hits" (which may or may not be relevant) in no very useful order.

If he is opposed to "inefficient search" then the Dewey Decimal system must infuriate him. Google is great for getting a rough idea of what is out there, occasionally it may lead you to something really worthwhile - but most of the time it only cuts down on the early legwork, something very worth doing.

BrooklynWrites:Pretty biased against Bloggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774724)

This guy is pretty biased, and sounds like a conservative.

But even conservatives in America - who aren't fascists - allow for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

If you don't want to read someone's blog - you don't have to. Apparently the seeming paradox here is that this well-educated and distinguised fellow spends his time reading the rantings of what he considers uneducated, pompous asses. Why waste your time, fool, if you really don't like bloggers? Why are you so threatened by a group of people - or one person - expressing themselves over a medium that YOU must subscribe to or go to in order to read? Why not just continue to read your high-society books and keep your head buried in the past?

I mean, after all, you're reading the rantings of someone who is below you.

Then again, he consdiders computer enthusiasts a "sub-class" of bloggers? I think he's confused and his anger is clouding his rational thought, if he has any.

He's more guilty of being a raving lunatic than those he points his fingers at. Sad.

I've not yet started to keep a Web Log, but I think that now I'm a bit more motivated by this self-righteous bigot of a man who belittles himself by attacking those he consideres his subordinates, yet gives them more airtime than his own progress in the field of communications.

Brooklyn.

Slashdot? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774726)

Hasn't he effectively described Slashdot?

Of course this guy hates blogs. They're forms of publishing that are outside the limitations of print and finally allow a marketplace of ideas for everyone to participate in and contribute to. Call it the "new media" if you want to. Someday our books will probably just be portable book-sized web browsers that access the book URI somewhere via wireless Internet3, with hotspots as common as streetlights. Here's hoping Slashdot has a new design by then. Hey, a guy can dream.

Evil digitization. (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774728)

Those all knowing blog poeple with their digitization... The searching algorithms are the tool of the devil! I can look trought 10 books a day and that's the way I likes it.

Gorman misses the point of blogs (2, Interesting)

Captain Damnit (105224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774731)

Blogs are to the media what open source is to software...if enough eyes look at a story, the odds of a critical piece of information slipping through the cracks is drastically lower, even if the prose in question looks suspiciously like the product of 20 billion drunken monkeys. Case in point: Guckert-gate. A whole room full of professional journalists, who no doubt possess grammatical skills far greater than the average blogger, missed the obvius fact that the schmuck in the front row asking questions was a GOP plant. Leave the creation of literature to the literati...blogs are at their best when they keep the "real" media honest.

Irony (1)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774734)

Didn't this guy write his blog-bash in a blog?

'antidigitalist' a new term? (1)

biftek (145375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774737)

Is this the first published online usage of the term in english? Google thinks so.

I am sorry (1)

billsoxs (637329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774741)

but Michael Gorman seems like he has something shoved up his sphicter. Blogs are not created for producing highbrow english texts anymore than surrealist painting is for portaits..... Each is a form of human expression and should be examined under that light

For a high-ranking librarian... (4, Insightful)

Sivar (316343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774749)

...He's actually a pretty funny guy:
For the record, though I may have associated with Antidigitalists, I am not and have never been a member of the Antidigitalist party and would be willing to testify to that under oath. I doubt even that would save me from being burned at the virtual stake, or, at best, being placed in a virtual pillory to be pelted with blogs. Ugh!
I hope he realizes that while most blogs aren't worth the bytes they are printed on in terms of content, there are enough gems that one can't write the entire concept off as a bad idea. In any case, judging bloggers by the quality of their writing largely misses the point--blogs aren't supposed to be a regulated, edited, meticulously researched medium of writing--they are a means of sharing thoughts with the world without having to jump through hoops. Whether the world listens, complains, enjoys the blog, takes offense to it, or feels that the author should have gingerly lucubrated every detail as if each entry were a Nobel Prize acceptance speech is beside the point entirely.

Ignorance breeds arrogance Wisdom breeds restraint (5, Insightful)

whjwhj (243426) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774755)

Haven't we all been in a social situation (out to dinner or a bar, for example) where a serious conversation starts up about a serious topic and what ends up happening is that the folks with the least informed opinions do much of the talking, whereas the ones with a more enlightened view say very little? There must be some facet to the human condition that predicates that ignorance breeds arrogance, and wisdom breeds restraint.

Our current U.S. political climate bears this out.

There are plenty of articulate and educated bloggers, certainly. But there are many many more who aren't. We should slow down and think more about the quality of our information, not just the quantity.

2/25/05 (1)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774756)

2/25/05
hay wutz up?? nuttin much happenin here. so some assclown from da ala said us bloggers suck like he wantz us 2 read moby dick or smth. funk dat. i type fine you can understand this right?? lol!!!

oh yeh anne sez that patty made out with some random guy after soccer practiz!!!!!! lolololololol i cant wate to im her with that chatting aim bot thing and pretend im him. i gots sum report due tomarow on some westing game book but i just googled it and got some kidz one. hahaha.

peace xoxo

Re:2/25/05 (1)

Sivar (316343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774771)

Words to live by.

Can't replace a good book (4, Insightful)

PingXao (153057) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774757)

"It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs."
Hey, it was good enough to score a few million for Ken Jennings!

But seriously, who thinks blogs are where great literatire is to be found anyway? The best blogs-with-a-purpose seem to be the ones that report news stories the mainstream media won't cover. The blurring of the Tinfoil Hat as it were. Anyway, when I want good literature I usually turn to a book. For example in the wake of last weekend's suicide by one of my favorite writers, Hunter S. Thompson, I decided to finally crack open a copy of Hey Rube given to me last year which I had not gotten around to reading. I found this in the Author's Note at the very beginning:
"What has gone wrong with our communication system since then? Why are we more ignorant and less informed today than we were in 1941? ... If World War III can start in a vacuum of silence and stonewalling by the White House, we are doomed like rats in a maze of fear. We are slaves to mendacity and hostile disinformation. Bread and circuses were not enough to sustain the Roman Empire and they will not be enough for the United States of America."
You don't need to wear a Tinfoil Hat these days to see that the plutocracy now in power in the U.S. controls the message and the media. Bloggers who attempt the lost art of Journalism can become a powerful force for truth and justice, keeping the old-guard media whores honest (if that's even possible anymore). But I don't think the ALA has to worry about dumbing down Americans' interest in literature. For 90% of the masses television finished that off decades ago.

this guy is hurting his cause (4, Insightful)

wintermute1000 (731750) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774759)

I'm no blogging cheerleader, but the patronizing tone he uses is bound to alienate a less enthusiastic booster of the blogosphere than I. He comes across as an arrogant prig who's using his (extremely limited) bully pulpit to bash those about whom he admittedly (and rather proudly) knows little. I have nothing but regard for the ALA and love my local libraries, but this mocking, snobbish attitude isn't going to win anyone over to his side.

What I got out of it is that the president of the ALA is afraid that his way of life and his preferred methods af acquiring information are becoming less relevant, and rather than changing the way he and his association do business, he figures he'll stand up and mock the people who are changing things in hope that others wil listen. Nice try, man.

Librarians don't like people (1)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774773)

Fact of life. People (yuck) often want to touch books! Books as we know hold _KNOWLEDGE_ as well as _HIS WORD_ and are thus sacred things that should be cared for by librarians and touched as little as possible by people.

I think most blogs suck too, while not being a librarian myself...

Who cares what he thinks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11774778)

Evidently, this man is somewhat, umm overly convinced that his opinion matters. Until this article I had never heard of him. How then, does his smelly opinion even matter?

like we care (1)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774779)

ALA President Not Fond of Bloggers Like we care...

Lazarus Long (2, Interesting)

jIyajbe (662197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774783)

The fortune at the bottom of the page right now reminds me of another Lazarus Long quote that seems appropos of bloggers:

"Despotism is the idea that one man is smarter than a million men. Democracy is the idea that a million men are smarter than one man. Who decides?"

Why should I pay attention to what any blogger has to say? And why does the fact that there are a million bloggers change the answer to that question?

And of course, there's the old saying about opinions and assholes...

I read professional sites/magazines/newspapers because I have reason to believe that, due to the training and experience of those who run it, and those who report for it, what is published has a good chance of being approximately true, and approximately informed. While it is true (before others point it out) that this belief is becoming increasingly unlikely to be true, nevertheless I have NO such expectation for any random blogger's musings, and so I see no reason to read them, except perhaps for amusement.

Blogs as the future of journalism? I doubt it. I certainly fear it.

He just sounds cranky :-/ (1)

Effika (517254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774786)

In the eyes of bloggers, my sin lay in suggesting that Google is OK at giving access to random bits of information but would be terrible at giving access to the recorded knowledge that is the substance of scholarly books. I went further and came up with the unoriginal idea that the thing to do with a scholarly book is to read it, preferably not on a screen.

I've found lots of useful knowledge through Google's book searching, although I've used it mainly to see which books were worth going to the library to check out. It's a lot easier to have a title and author in hand rather than trying to find the many places that books on flow cytometry might be found. The Dewey Decimal System and subject searches at the library are useful, but not for very specific things.

I do agree with him on some of his points-- one being that most blogs out there are quite horrendous-- but he's yelling at the wrong people to get his main ideas heard. If he wants Google to spend money funding libraries instead, talk to Google, not to a community of mostly-pissed-off bloggers.

Eh, he (kinda) has a point, but... (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774791)

...he's also being a bit of being a crumudgeon about it. For some people, blogs are a way to put out real information. For others, they are like online journals. Assuming this guy is married and has kids, I wonder if he ever went through his daughter's journals and wondered about her ability to read complex texts? Talk about being a fuddy duddy.

Anyway, in other parts of the article, he makes legitimate points (IMO) about using google link as substitutes for deep understanding. But then again, he may be living in a reality distortion field after all.

My piece had the temerity to question the usefulness of Google digitizing millions of books and making bits of them available via its notoriously inefficient search engine. The Google phenomenon is a wonderfully modern manifestation of the triumph of hope and boosterism over reality. Hailed as the ultimate example of information retrieval, Google is, in fact, the device that gives you thousands of "hits" (which may or may not be relevant) in no very useful order.

While I agree some things aren't as googable as others, quotes like this make me question whether the guy actually uses the Internet or just trying to make a career complaining about it. Regardless, Google, blogs, and the Blog Subhuman species he refers to all have done wonders to raise the profile of one Michael Gorman, President of the ALA.

Maybe it's just me (in fact, it's *probably* just me), but I can imagine Ed Tuft [edwardtufte.com] steaming in the background -- "Whining about the display of information is MY turf, pal! If you know what's good for you Michael, you will let this rest...NOW"

Can you generalize some more? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774793)

Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.'

Ooh, Michael Gorman, I see you have mastered the skill of making generalizations...

Glorification of Information (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774794)

...their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information...

Ranting against those who are interested in computers and the glorification of information?? Isn't he...erm...a LIBRARIAN??? The glorification of information, if I am not mistaken, is his JOB.

"Blog" (3, Informative)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11774795)

A blog is a species of interactive electronic diary by means of which the unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar, can communicate their thoughts via the web. (Though it sounds like something you would find stuck in a drain, the ugly neologism blog is a contraction of "web log.") Until recently, I had not spent much time thinking about blogs or Blog People.

The word "blog" has existed for years now and has become so ubiquitous that most news channels, TV shows, magazines, and newspapers don't even feel the need to define it, let alone pick apart a word that practically everyone already knows the root of by now. This is like a radio DJ ranting about MTV in the '80s and starting his speech off by defining the term "television".

If you're just now learning what the word "blog" means and believe that the people around you have no clue what it could mean or where it comes from, you're at least a couple of years behind the times, and are far less qualified than the average American to speak about the subject. If Tom Brokaw could regularly use it during the news coverage the presidential election a few months ago without even bothering to define it, it's pretty damn mainstream.
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