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Bloggers the Tech World's New Elite?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the narcism-at-its-best dept.

The Internet 224

Carl Bialik writes "Wall Street Journal tech columnist Lee Gomes says that the top tech blogs 'aren't part of some proletarian information revolution, but instead have become the tech world's new elite. Reporters for the big mainstream newspapers and magazines, long accustomed to fawning treatment at corporate events, now show up and find that the best seats often go to the A-list bloggers. And living at the front of the velvet rope line means the big bloggers are frequently pitched and wooed. In fact, with the influence peddling universe in this state of flux, it's not uncommon for mainstream reporters, including the occasional technology columnist, to lobby bloggers to include links to their print articles.'"

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224 comments

SETI? (-1, Offtopic)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205303)

SETI?

Re:SETI? (0, Offtopic)

tzot (834456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205322)

No, SIWI (Search for Intra-Web Intelligence).

Re:SETI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205449)

Lost cause if there ever was one.

"Bloggers new tech elite" ... how far-fetch can it get?

Is "lol wtf xboxx360 >>> PS3 fagz0r" now a comprehensive review?

singularity shockwave rider! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205615)

Is google Wintermute or Neuromancer?


And when do we find the alienz?

Re:SETI? (1)

tzot (834456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205674)

Next time I'll use smileys and/or straight comments, like How intelligent you have to be to post a reply to the correct forum?... I had no points to mark the parent Offtopic, therefore I used sarcasm.

Re:SETI? Parent is Slashdot Goof (0, Offtopic)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205329)

The parent is a Slashdot goof. This was supposed to post under the next article about a new statistical technique for finding information among a large flood of data. Instead Slashdot first invoked the 20 second you-type-too-fast rule, then put it here.

Sorry, and I had to be modded down for their problem [sigh].

Re:SETI? Parent is Slashdot Goof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205668)

> Sorry, and I had to be modded down for their problem [sigh].

No, you're modded down for being a First Post bitch.

Slow news day (2, Funny)

waterlogged (210759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205309)

If all the the WSJ has to write about it a virtual-print article about a virtual-print logging service

Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205314)

Who writes this garbage...oh yeah, idiotic bloggers trying to make themselves feel important.

Pandering to idiots (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205572)

Some bloggers have a large following and thus have powers to sway a lot of people.... a bit like Opra etc and their egos swell the same way. If you give them a bad time then you might get problems. Pamper them and you can get good PR.

The biggest problem is that the masses love being told what to do and blogging provides something for everyone.

If you define 'Elite' as... (2, Funny)

FrankieBoy (452356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205315)

...totally boring, usually incorrect, massively ignored, whiners...then yes.

Re:If you define 'Elite' as... (1, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205392)

...totally boring, usually incorrect, massively ignored, whiners...then yes.

Wow, a completely ignorant comment from someone that didn't RTFA and hasn't been keeping up w/the rapid changes taking place in the "industry".

Actually, recently, those that author some of the largest blogs are starting to do it as their full time job (we've seen articles on Slashdot about that), this article mentions that people are going directly to the authors' homes to try and pitch their idea/technology to get a write up on their website, and now blog authors are getting the red carpet treatment where only traditional journalists used to.

The difference between the old media elite and the new blogging elite is that the latter gets redefined much more frequently. All it takes is attracting links from other bloggers.

Re:If you define 'Elite' as... (1)

FrankieBoy (452356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205502)

I did read the article and I stand by what I said. Most blogs are complete wastes of time. As a Director if IS&T it's my job to keep up with the industry and I don't see people giving cudos to idiots who blog well as important to my function.

It's not ignorant, it's just a different opinion than your stupid statements. :)

Re:If you define 'Elite' as... (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205459)

They're just being fadded to death by people who don't understand the technology OMG BLOGOSPHERE OMGOMG!

What it comes down to is reliable respected information sources. Some blogs are excellent, but most are crap...this is to be expected with the low barrier to entry.

Print tech reporters have had it too easy for too long...you had to be print first, which means that the tech reporter for the WSJ or the NYT has to have been in the business for quite a while, and is probably not exactly tech savvy, and certainly not hip. Now those fossils are competing with bloggers, and some of those bloggers are hip, articulate, AND extremely tech savvy, so, of course, they're getting beat down.

What's their conclusion? Is it, we need to hire people like that to do our tech column? No. It's OMG OMG BLOGS RULE BLOGOSPHERE OMG! Blah blah blah. Eventually they'll stop missing the point.

Re:If you define 'Elite' as... (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205470)

...totally boring, usually incorrect, massively ignored, whiners...then yes.

I'm not sure I'd go that far, as some of the bloggers in Techland do seem to have a grasp of the fundamentals. Whether I would call them members of the "elite" is debateable. If news organizations are losing out to bloggers, what does that say about the newspeople? And if these bloggers are the "elite", doesn't that mean they'll eventually fall prey to courting by big interests (Microsoft, Oracle, etc.)?

Everyone has an opinion. Anyone can start a blog. Chaos ensues.

Re:If you define 'Elite' as... (4, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205600)

When "Elite" and "Blogger" are used in the same sentence, you know we are in more trouble than any of us want to believe.

Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205316)

In fact, with the influence peddling universe in this state of flux, it's not uncommon for mainstream reporters, including the occasional technology columnist, to lobby bloggers to include links to their print articles.

Good thing Taco doesn't consider Slashdot a blog.

First blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205317)

Does those A-list Bloggers get to Post First?

Bloggers the Tech World's New Elite? (3, Insightful)

Valiss (463641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205328)

No. Next?

Re:Bloggers the Tech World's New Elite? (2, Insightful)

Ars Dilbert (852117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205438)

Get out of my head!

Bloggers the Tech World's New Elite? Huh? They are just a bunch of geeks capitalizing on the ignorant mass media who have popularized blogging as of late. Blogging will become a niche again in a couple of years when the media and the public lose interest.

Re:Bloggers the Tech World's New Elite? (2, Insightful)

Funakoshi (925826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205681)

How the HELL is "No. Next?" insightful in ANY way?

It makes no references to the article or the issue at hand whatsoever, and requires no thought at all. Thus, this comment I am making must ALSO be "Insightful" (although I would disagree :P)

Re:Bloggers the Tech World's New Elite? (2, Funny)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205732)

Agreed.

This journalist is in awe of other supposed journalists' (blogger's) new toy, then procedes to overstate the issue.

In other news, according to Cookie Monster, the cookie has been declared "best food ever." When pressed on which particular cookie was superior he declined any further comment.

Finally (4, Insightful)

NotoriousGOD (936922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205330)

The "world" (I use that word loosely) is realizing that it's not only the automatically appointed elitists who's opinion or viewpoint is important. It's coming down to the intelligent individual, who can give a less biased (or sometimes not) and always informative opinion and update on important subject matter to everyday persons. I'd much rather read blogs than find out who Jennifer Aniston is dating now in the latest People.

Please stop using that word (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205331)

I read a lot of blogs, but I'm ashamed to admit it in public. The perception is that all blogs are just like LiveJournal/MySpace self-absorbed bitchfests.

"Blogosphere" sounds even worse. I will never utter that word as long as I live.

Re:Please stop using that word (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205501)

"Blogosphere" sounds even worse. I will never utter that word as long as I live.

Do we know who coined that word? And if so, do we know where he lives? Because I have a great helping of beat-down reserved for the person responsible for it.

Re:Please stop using that word (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205699)

Interesting. I was asked in a recent interview what non-personal blogs I read on a regular basis.

Some blogs are just online journals. (LiveJournal, MySpace, etc)

Others are online news sites. The software behind it simply enables non-tech users to host and maintain their own news websites. Slashdot is a blog of this sort. So is A List Apart (http://www.alistapart.com/ [alistapart.com]). In addition, there are plenty of news-as-blogs that use the blog format for an otherwise common and acceptable medium.

No. Next question. (5, Interesting)

solios (53048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205334)

Add commenting capability to a website, update it regularly and SUDDENLY, OH NOEZ ITS A BLAWG!!!!!.

Bloggers are hot shit the same way desktop linux is hot shit. Everybody doing it thinks it's the coolest damned thing since the toaster. Nobody else gives a shit.

(disclaimer : I blog [deadcityradio.org].)

Re:No. Next question. (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205515)

Bloggers are hot shit the same way desktop linux is hot shit. Everybody doing it thinks it's the coolest damned thing since the toaster. Nobody else gives a shit.

Sure, but wait until I have Linux running on my toaster! Maybe I should blog about it...

Re:No. Next question. (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205724)

Everybody doing it thinks it's the coolest damned thing since the toaster. Nobody else gives a shit.

And yet... these people that nobody else "gives a shit" about are apparently getting front-row treatment. Interesting way to be ignored.

Not that your pithy comment doesn't have some merrit - there's a lot of hubris around blogs that need some reality checks. But let's at least try to do it reasonably. Obviously SOMEONE other than "bloggers" care. But one point is that posting up a blog doesn't buy you in to this newfound interest any more than getting an article published by your local community newspaper and calling yourself a "reporter" gets you national press credentials.

Fine by me (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205336)

Thats ok with me. Much harder to bribe 1000 different bloggers, than to bribe a single news organization. It will return to status Quo if the bloggers organize into some tightly nit network.

Re:Fine by me (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205617)

Much harder to bribe 1000 different bloggers, than to bribe a single news organization. Bullshit. Bloggers have far less to lose, not having spent the last 100 years building a reputation. Most can probably bought for a few trinkets. Microsoft is already paying bloggers for favorable press. Basically, bloggers can be bought for pennies compared to the price of traditional media. With traditional media, you've got to buy millions in advertising space to get them to lie about how good your product is...

Re:Fine by me (3, Insightful)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205640)

Really? I'd think it's much cheaper to buy off 1,000 small-time bloggers than to buy off a news organization. The freebies that companies send out impress Some Blog Dude way more than a jaded tech journalist for a mainstream newspaper.

Plus, if your blog is exposed as a shill for tech companies, just shut it down and open two others! You can live off the corporate freebies and AdSense revenue forever, and you can even purport to count yourself among the "world's new elite."

Bloggers can be friends (3, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205340)

The reason bloggers are courted is because they can put a personal touch with communication with their followers. Thus if they plug a product, then advertisers will get more bang for their buck, even with smaller reading audiences.

My mostly unread blog [only about a dozen regular readers who aren't family or close friends] still has people finding it, and using the information on it. Unlike a newspaper, they aren't as shy about asking me a question about my content, and I'm more likely to give a personalized response to a request for additional info.

Ummm... No. (3, Interesting)

sczimme (603413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205361)


aren't part of some proletarian information revolution, but instead have become the tech world's new elite.

No - no, they are not. Mayhap the person(s) forming this opinion should venture into the "tech world" one of these days.

bloggers:tech_world_elite::script_kiddies:security _world_elite

The Difference... (3, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205364)

The difference is anyone can open a Blog, with little or no skill and a web connection. While you can get a column in the WSJ with little or no skill, you need a whole lot more than a net connection.

Maybe there's anoter reason. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205368)

Maybe the bloggers being wooed aren't elite. Maybe they can just be bought off more easily.

Therein lies the flaw (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205556)

Whats more credible/acceptable/believable?

An overly large corporation with the media power to bring a government to its knees?

Or...

Anonymous Coward blogging whatever the hell he wants with the ability to 'disappear' from the government?

This shouldn't surprise anyone (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205369)

There's a reason why a few of these bloggers are the "ones that matter": they had the best and/or most popular blogs and got the most hits. Period. It's the same deal with high-profile tech sites like Tom's Hardware. Getting the hits results in attention from the industry.

In time, any "A-list" blogger who becomes too influenced by industry sources will be discredited and shunned by the community of "proletariants" that made them a success in the first place. Honest, unbiased(or less-biased at least) bloggers will take over. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Is it just me, or is this another case of a bitter main-stream media player taking swings at bloggers?

Does it matter if they're bloggers? (3, Interesting)

AthenianGadfly (798721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205381)

It seems to me that a lot of these things are simply a factor of how much someone's material is getting read. Traditionally, the mainstream media is given special treatment because they have a wide audience. If there are bloggers with a wide audience, then it only makes sense that they would get the same treatment, and it's no secret that the audience for blogs is large and probably growing. It doesn't seem to me that it's a question of ideology or even what format writes in. As the summary says, it's an "influence peddling universe", and people are going to go after whoever controls that influence, whether blogger or reporter.

Self proclaimed Elite (3, Insightful)

otisg (92803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205382)

Bloggers are not necessarily the world's tech elite, but they are certainly the loudest, the most outspoken and, yes, most of them are the early adopters.

The same (early adopters bit in particular) can be said about social bookmarking users. For instance, less than 1/3 of all Simpy [simpy.com] users use IE, and over 40% of them use Firefox. If we assume that early tech adopters are also Firefox and not IE users, then yes, bloggers and social bookmarker are early adopters. But does that make them the elite? Does Linus Torvalds have a blog? Not. Yet.

Re:Self proclaimed Elite (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205481)

Sure Linus blogs. Only wimps use a central site to blog. Real bloggers attach code to their comments and allow the world to publish it.

Seems like the same old story to me (1)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205596)

but they are certainly the loudest, the most outspoken and, yes, most of them are the early adopters

Isn't that the case with the "elites" in all media? They often tend to be the biggest loudmouths, and/or they usually have something new/unconventional to say or a new way of thinking. Think A-list actors that pose nude for PeTA or shock-jocks like Howard Stern...

For instance, less than 1/3 of all Simpy users use IE, and over 40% of them use Firefox

So what do the remaining 30 percent or so use for browsing? They must be REAL avant-guarde...

But does that make them the elite?

Well, yeah it often does. Early adopters have "first mover advantage". Those that pioneerred blogging are not the most established, and have the biggest following and thus the most influence...an elite by definition is someone with power or influence who is highly regarded (or very hated by those who lack power and influence).

Human nature again remains resistent to technology (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205386)

Our wonderful brave new world of equality is dashed again. Some bloggers are going to be better writers and more prolific. They will become more influential than others. They will be courted by the system. They will be given praise and glory. They will garner preferred ad rates. They will be given free bling. They will come to depend on these things. They will subconsciously be changed by all this. Rather than changing the system, the system changes them. Stop harboring the delusion that the thin veneer of technology will change the millions of years of ape-men inside us.

Blossom, you Slashdot whore (1)

DrSbaitso (93553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205402)

In fact, with the influence peddling universe in this state of flux, it's not uncommon for mainstream reporters, including the occasional technology columnist, to lobby bloggers to include links to their print articles.'"

Oh the irony.

Bloggers are important? (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205403)

The blogosphere is just a huge collection of idiots blabbing and feeling more important than they did when they did in bulletin board systems. There isn't a single blogger I read often. In fact, I only read the blogs of my friends and I've been a Linux/bsd/programming geek for 6-7 years now. I'd much rather read the docs than the opinion of some (typically) misinformed moron who read the first chapter and thinks they're an expert.

All groups have elites (1)

katana (122232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205406)

As Robert Michels [wikipedia.org] noted, all groups tend toward oligarchy, or if you prefer, elite formation. That's not an interesting question.

The interesting question is, to whom are these bloggers elite? TFA indicates that the readership numbers aren't really that big compared to mainstream media, so probably they're not the elite for everyone. Nor are they necessarily elites in terms of the "tech world," especially since it's difficult to define what that might be (all tech consumers? producers? tech press?).

So we're left with a pretty basic observation, which is that some tech bloggers are considered elite in the world of tech blogging, and that some people outside tech blogging also recognize them. Well, duh.

Blogs Are Here To Stay And The Impact Will ODeepen (3, Interesting)

Ted Holmes (827243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205407)

Blogs are here to stay, because they represent the evolution of the Web page, and by extension, of digital media.

The biggest reason Blogs have become so very popular, and why they are here to stay in growing numbers is because they made publishing online easy for everyone. Blogs don't require you to know HTML before you can publish your ideas online. Just type your thoughts into a form, and the software builds the code automatically.

So, Blogs dramatically reduced the "friction" to publishing online. Millions of non-geeks now have their say.

If you mentally replace the word "Blog" with "Home Page" in any article you read online, it'll seem like you've stepped back in time to the dawn of the Web. That's how people talked about the web a few years ago.

Blogs have accelerated grass roots democracy, leaching the "Mass" from Media, splintering it into untold numbers of demassified niches. The impact is very big and will deepen.

I recently finished a piece on the impact of new digital media upon the mass media called: " Mass Media, By And For The Masses [blogspot.com]. It makes the case that the london transit bombings represent the birth of emergent mass media and will force mass media in all forms, to take it's rightful place as another niche.

In a nutshell, Mass media will be good for mass events. But Blogs represent the birth of grass roots media. Aggregated through RSS, they'll soon out-perform mainstream.

Re:Blogs Are Here To Stay And The Impact Will ODee (5, Insightful)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205467)

Get off your high horse. It's people like you, who write on the Internet and think they're special for it, that are pushing the whole blog thing. Everyone's excited and writing about it, but also linking to their blog at the end of everything they write online now. So what, you wrote some stuff... It's probably just as homogenous as everything else that's written in any other form.

Re:Blogs Are Here To Stay And The Impact Will ODee (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205545)

Oh jesus, not Simple Ted again. YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND! That's not a "piece", it's a delusional ramble. Blogs haven't affected "grass roots democracy" in any way. Tacking buzzwords like "aggregated through RSS" onto a ridiculous claim about the decline of the media doesn't make it true. Nothing is "leaching" anything from the media, "demassified" is no more a word than "blogosphere", and like you, most bloggers' writing borders on unparseable.

There is no revolution here. This is just a new device to make loud narcissists louder and more narcissistic.

You fucking toolbag.

Deja vu all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205620)

It's like 1995 all over again. People who want to make money have noticed that these blog thingies seem popular and are all trying to figure out how to turn all those hits into cash. Very few people succeeded last time and I can't imagine it's going to be any different this time, but that won't stop lots of them trying. I can bet there a whole bunch of people out there dusting off their old business plans and replacing every instance of 'java' with 'blog' and waving them in front of VCs on the hope they get some cash thrown their way. If we start seeing IPOs with such crazy valuations as price-to-hits ratios and eyeballs-yeild then we know the cycle is almost complete.

Re:Blogs Are Here To Stay And The Impact Will ODee (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205726)

If you mentally replace the word "Blog" with "Home Page" in any article you read online, it'll seem like you've stepped back in time to the dawn of the Web. That's how people talked about the web a few years ago.

And how do people talk about "home pages" now? They redicule them for wasting bandwidth on worthless content. The few highly popular blogs will stick around, but the rest will be thrown on the ash heap of history, with the rest of the geocities pages.

Why bloggers are better. (1)

ImaDikWeed (936992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205411)

The bloggers have this image of NOT being tainted by advertising, equity ownership, etc ... In other words, they're considered as folks who are untainted by $

Marketers LOVE Bloggers (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205424)

This goes back to an old Marketing method that says the marketer basically finds and persuades people who are a powerful influence on many others. Celebrities and whatever gadget they may carry is a perfect example.

This practice has basically moved online. Since the publication needs to attract eyeballs, its published as the most double-extra powerful tool ever in the history of the world.

I just want to get on the list for all that free stuff.

The Honeymoon Is Over (2, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205436)

The dream was nice while it lasted, but I'm afraid the honeymoon of blogging is coming to a close. The Marketers have found it now and blogging will never be the same again.

From TFA:
Mr. Rivera estimates that roughly 12,000 people read his blog every day. In the great big real world of mainstream media, 12,000 is a rounding error. But in the new blog order in the tech world, that number is big enough to include the entire universe of decision makers, thought leaders, first movers and all relevant wannabes and hangers on.
I think the message is clear. Blogs may not offer quantity of suckers^H^H^H viewers, but they do offer quality of viewers. With one link in the right blog, the marketing man can pay to reach the exact people he could only hope of catching by chance in other media. This isn't just a marketing pipe dream. Bribing bloggers is about to become big business.

One could hope that the blogging community will be steadfast enough to resist the oncoming corruption, but it's hard to be steadfast after some oily marketing representative has just stuffed your face in a nice restaurant and shacked you up with a four star hotel room.

Be prepared. A lot of blogs, not all, but a lot, are about to pull a great big "Driver 3: 9/10" on various items. I'd guess the form this will take will be hyping new technologies, languages and frameworks, rather than blatantly plugging products. Think the hyping of Java, only for whatever new tech rolls around next time.

If the marketers are really good, and they are, the bloggers may not even know they've been bought.

Re:The Honeymoon Is Over (1)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205610)

The only problem I have with this theory, I think, is: Why would all the high influence people continue to read a higher influence person, if it's clear that they're just repeating corporate influence?

It seems to me like you would need to pay off 12,000 more people, because they have nothing to gain by repeating that piece of spam, just on their own. In fact, they lose credibility with their readers, if they do so.

Re:The Honeymoon Is Over (2, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205644)

The Marketers have found it now and blogging will never be the same again.

OK, we'll be needing a new word for "blog spam". The obvious candidates are blam and splog (or spog). I'll vote for blam! (with the exclamation point). I should register this as a trademark...

Re:The Honeymoon Is Over (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205709)

Let it happen. We can always replace them with people who arn't bought off.

Remember when the entry price is free to all blogs and theres hundreds out there, you will find one which suits your needs better. Smart people won't listen to idiots who have clearly been bought off any more then we listen to magazines or celebrities.

narcism-at-its-best? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205445)

maybe, but given that this is /., it's spelign at ist wrost, as usual...

Blogs are more immediate (-1)

PromptZero (936799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205460)

It's interesting to see the reactions from people who still associate blogging with LiveJournals and angst-ridden teenagers. While 90% of blogs are crap, to borrow from Ted Sturgeon, 90% of everything is crap.

Blogs offer a huge amount of valuable information. Blogs helped fuel the fire in the Trent Lott affair. Blogs debunked the CBS Bush-ANG memos hoax [rathergate.com] [rathergate.com]. There are blogs being written by Iraqis [iraqthemodel.com] [iraqthemodel.com] that offer a perspective into Iraq that you would never get anywhere else. Blogs are proving their worth in the tsunami relief efforts as well.

Blogs offer a level of immediacy that the media does not. Rather than allowing a few selected gatekeepers to control the flow of news, blogs offer a wide range of views in a system that acts as a kind of meritocracy. Bloggers tend to be voracious in taking ideas apart. Something like those crudely-forged Bush documents that Dan Rather flogged for weeks were almost immediately debunked by bloggers. Stories that don't have merit are filtered out and stories that wouldn't normally be widely disseminated get far more readership through blogs.

Blogs are nothing less than a distributed form of newsgathering that is having a major effect on online journalism. They're much more than just vanity sites.

Re:Blogs are more immediate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205633)

I, for one, am not bothered by the angst-ridden teenagers and gossipy livejournals.

It's the self-proclaimed "A-List Bloggers" that are the true garbage of the web, with loud, googlebomb-loaded blogs filled with inane, buzzword-infested, narcissistic radio static. They maliciously and ruthlessly game search engines to promote their unreadable posts, diluting the quality of the web and adding nothing to any discourse of any significance.

A blog is a vain, one-man spew of senseless noise, not some kind of cog in the wheels of media revolution.

GET OUT. No one cares what bloggers have to say, and we're tired of our search results containing anything at all from blogs.

The fallacy of blogosphere egalitarianism (5, Interesting)

RomulusNR (29439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205475)

Anyone who hasn't noticed this already [ljseek.com] either is already in the elite, or is content being a fanboy:

The digerati are cheering the blogosphere, hailing it as the falling of the final barrier to the open public medium that the Internet was supposed to be -- in much the same way that the creation of the Wiki is seen as the long-awaited achievement of the knowledge-network that the hypertexted Web was supposed to be.

But of course the digerati are cheering the blogosphere -- it's their personal domain.

As the theory goes, the blogosphere makes it so anyone at all can put their interests, views, and discoveries on their blog, some portion of the Internet masses (especially blog-readers) will see it, share it, spread it around. Each person can be their own broadcast tower, theoretically equal in visibility and reach potential to anyone else.

Except it's not quite like that (bandwidth and space limitations being only part of the antithesis). There is a subtle, unspoken but implicit "popular Darwinism" that occurs in this process. As it is the digerati that does much of the reading and spreading, it is the digerati that ends up doing the saying of what gets read and spread.

Certainly a few well-placed blogs have launched otherwise typical netizens into the ranks of the digerati -- Rob Malda, Philip Kaplan, Drew Curtis to name a few off the top of my head. And to some extent, they deserve some sort of recognition of being the first to come up with certain online concepts.

As a result, though, they also each help hold the keys to the gate of the blogosphere. And despite being independent, free-willed individuals, capable of making their own value judgements, a barrier to entry into the slipstream of the blogosphere manages to form among them. Despite being controlled in only limited amounts by individual people, only certain elements make it through this cultural elite.

Of course, not all of the "blogerati" are on the mountain because of their blogging pluck; some are there because they have always been there, in the digerati circles, which is doubly reflexive: being in the digerati means, by definition, that they will try to be on top of any new "hip" Net development; and by being digerati, they will get an boosted amount of attention when they do so.

It would be wonderful if the blogosphere was truly an open community. The thought that there really could be an open exchange of information (casual or otherwise) that people could contribute to, and that information be assessed and categorized, and be available to those who were looking for it or had an interest in it, is one that brings forth feelings of true community, egalitarianism, and diversity. Instead, it is a sort of random quasi-natural selection, where some are in, and some are out, and there is no real reason to it.

You had a better chance to get read in 1997 by posting to Usenet than you do in 2005 posting to Slashdot.

Re:The fallacy of blogosphere egalitarianism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205514)

Your buzzword-saturated ramblings make my eyes bleed.

Re:The fallacy of blogosphere egalitarianism (0, Flamebait)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205631)

Let me guess, your proposed solution to this "problem" is to legislate or otherwise force people to be equal, right? Funny........ but stupid.

By the way, you should be shot to death for calling Rob Malda part of the "cultural elite" (no matter what the context).

Re:The fallacy of blogosphere egalitarianism (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205670)

$ grep 'erati$' /usr/share/dict/words
Liberati
foederati
illiterati
literati

Putting "erati" after any arbitrary word or neologism doesn't make you cool, intelligent, or Italian. It makes you look like Wired rejected your freelance essay on blogging.

The only people who find bloggers important... (5, Interesting)

rtphokie (518490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205479)

are other bloggers.

Re:The only people who find bloggers important... (1)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205727)

Right, but if everyone were bloggers than only the bloggers would be outlaws... er... important...

I pretty much agree with the article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205487)

Bloggers are the revolution; freedom of speach in the hands of the people, even speach held in one jurisdiction originating from the jurisdiction of another country that would vindictively prosecute it if it were posted there. I suppose that is why the 14th amendment "citizens of the United States" is unlike the State Citizen by not "respecting the national origin" of somthing so as to prejudice it. In effect, there are both favorable people and then there are odd-ball people that reach safe-haven in the United States that would have been persecuted in their original country.

I can see any online diaries, journals, and active forums such as Slashdot and Kuro5hin become the center of much prejudice because they allow the free unhindered movement of information. Wether you love it or hate it, it is supposed to be free and if you don't like it then you should not have asked about it. This could lead to bloggers, or particularly any dynamically contributable website or forum, to incur regulations to classify the content in attempt to regulate it based on scope. I'm not a fan of pornography, though we can consider the recent 2257 regulations as an attempt to recognize freedom of speech in certain classes, perhaps to allow people to not be tempted to just ask for any freedom of speech but to ask for the content of that speech. I think that is an abuse.

If someone wants to be 2257 compliant, then they already lossed their freedom of speech. The regulation is truly voluntary, but it encroaches on the voluntary application by the same governmental entity recognizing that freedom and forcasting services at intently incompetent service costs to persuade the people to subscribe to them despite losing certain freedoms. An example of this is the spread of surveilance equipment into cars by the insurance companies respectively advertising those solutions at a lower rate without proportion to the responsibility and good standing of the operator or driver or gasp "helmsman" that is directing that vessel.

But there is one thing for sure: If I went to Toys'R'Us to look for a pink balls for a toddler, I wouldn't want this [beastdating.com] to appear on the search results. An immature and incompetent person that is often dependent on someone else to be the government-on-his-shoulders on his behalf would complain for more regulation, whereas an polite and competent person would ask for a guide to no-one elses' bereft or indirect enfringe or apply some common sense and use a trusted source. Cut the cord to your mother, but don't tether your cord on someone else. Grow up, don't grow old like someone that thinks retirment is where you go when you are tired of working; whereas retirment is the beginning of the most difficult work to survive at the hands of the verry people you had payed someone else to raise.

This is posted anonymously, for said effect.

You have to already be elite... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205505)

...in order to be an elite blogger. You have to already know something in order to comment effectually. You have to already know something for people to want to read your blog. Just starting a blog isn't enough.

On the other hand, I do think that blogging is the future of news media. All we need is one site to rule them all, one site to bind them... into something like a traditional news outlet so you don't have to go hunting for them all, since there's lag time on a google index.

Misdirected Anger (3, Insightful)

Kwirl (877607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205511)

There seems to be a lot of flack towards the author by the slashdot (holds his breath waiting for the collective gasp of surprise)community. In particular seems to be a lot of revulsion towards his use of the word 'elite'. What some have touched on, but people seem to overlook, is the fact that in a sense these people are very much the 'elite' of the information providing world.

Nearly the entire world has a collective distaste for the majority of the established media. However, A-list bloggers, as he describes them, provide an alternative and often informed opinion about specific subject matter. Do I care what ABC news says about the war in Iraq? Not at all. But that blog from a squad commander on the front line in Uzbekistan(sic) about the day to day life of the soldiers under his command and his struggles with his superior officers is damn sure getting a bookmark in my favorites. Maybe I don't care what CNN thinks is the next new gadget to buy. But I DO care what an MIT professor blogs about as exciting projects among his graduate class.

The ultimate difference is that blogging is journalism by the people, for the people. Much like the real media, it is saturated with non-accurate information, but it also has the occasional trade expert who can provide us an internal view on how things actually work, and THAT is elite. Hate the slang, hate the excess, but remember that those kids writing about their D&D games online now will be talking about their business start-up plans in 10 years. There is a lot of room to grow, a lot of room to tangentize, but simply put it is more than a fad. More than a trend. It is a way for people to connect with other people who actually care about something.


PS - I'm not perfect, my opinions are my own, but I share them with the community. Do with it what you will. I did.

I am sitting down and your blog is in front of me (1)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205516)

I'd like to comment but I am too busy reading tech blogs. Only another 96,546 to go, each one so very very interesting and important.

Why are some people so obsessed with other people's opinions? Opinions are gone like the wind. Would you prefer to invest in a company run by someone who worked hard and knew his own mind or who spent all day reading blogs, fearful that he didn't?

Blogs are a great argument for internet-enabled lavatories since they are the modern equivalent of loo books. No one need feel any great urgency to join that particular A List.

l33t (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205519)

bloogers being called the new elite by the tech columnist of the WSJ are a classic example of why the tech columnists of WSJ are not exactly what i would refer to as technical or l33t or even cool or even knowledgeable.

Doesn't this assume... (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205522)

...that the Tech World's 'Old' Elite were:

Reporters for the big mainstream newspapers and magazines

I'm not sure many would agree with that either.

I'm really confused (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205526)

So is this guy a columnist for a major newspaper complaining that bloggers are horning in on his territory?

Or is he a blogger bragging that bloggers are hot shit right now?

there's a reason they're in front of the line (2, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205531)

And living at the front of the velvet rope line means the big bloggers are frequently pitched and wooed.

Companies place at the front of the line whoever talks about their product or service in the most flattering ways. "Web loggers" are well known for floofy, heavily biased stuff- and they don't have all that training in nasty things like ethics that get in the way of corporate agendas. Further, I'd guess the percentage that report to an editor to be in the realm of less than 1%, and I'd guess that 90% of that 1% are "mainstream" journalists working for "mainstream" media.

I find it absolutely no surprise they're placed in front of journalists.

And no, "web loggers" are NOT journalists. Journalists CAN have a "web log"- there's a very important distinction there. "Web loggers" love to complain about "traditional" or "mainstream" media and often compare themselves to "mainstream" media figures nobody takes seriously, in an attempt to legitimatize themselves. The extent to which they willfully discredit a profession is absolutely atrocious. When was the last time you hear someone complain about "mainstream" mechanical engineers, for example? There is a reason we educate people in professional fields and place stock in those educations. They're not infallable, but far as I can tell- they're a lot more reliable and trustworthy than the "web logging" community as a whole. For example, I've found numerous instances of "web log" entries linked to by slashdot which have had circumstantial ties to the subject of the entry- usually some company's product. Another linked posting was by a guy who was closely tied to an "online marketing expert." I think there is quite a bit of astroturf in the "web log" arena- much more so than in "mainstream" media, I'd bet.

IMHO, journalists are people who go to school and study it, train under the wing of a mentor, and report to an editor. Bloggers are "some Joe with a webpage."

Dvorack retiring???? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205536)

Maybe, just maybe, with all these bloggers the media will be turned upside down, and we can get rid of some of the lessor ones. Dvorack is one who should have retired more than a decade ago. He was interesting in the 80's (reminded me of news.com's declan), but by mid 90's, he had lost his edge and I would argue he is gone. The nice thing about the bloggers is that they will do for the tech media what mp3 is doing for the RIAA/artists; freeing up the providers of content and rewarding them. In fact, if tech media was smart they would try to lose the vast majority of their writers and bring on bloggers on contigency basis.

One other group who could stand to do this, is the analysts. Think about how often Gartner and IDC are incorrect. The vast majority of their predictions are so far off base, that the general tech community does a better job "analyzing" then they do.

noawetr is a loser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205542)

noawetr jax: can you post a comment to slashdot for me? jax noawetr, no noawetr the discussion is over whether bloggers are the new "tech elite" noawetr someone? please? jax NO noawetr here's the comment: noawetr Isn't that like being the 'leader' in your group of nerd friends? I mean sure, you have the last word in your little groups "star trek: the next universe" debates, and no one is going to question you're judgements on Japanese anime animation, but honestly, I would rather be the football-scholarship sociology major than have socialize with a bunch of nerds. Because even though College-Jock has a future bagging groceries, he's way more "elite" jax s/you're/your jax retard jax and "Japanese anime animation" is redundant noawetr no shit noawetr you pedantic loser noawetr Isn't that like being the 'leader' in your group of nerd friends? I mean sure, you have the last word in your little groups "star trek: the next universe" debates, and no one is going to question you're judgements on Japanese anime animation, but honestly, I would rather be the football-scholarship sociology major than have socialize with a bunch of nerds. Because even though College-Jock has a future bagging groceries, he's way more "elite" noawetr "japanese anime animation" is supposed to be there. noawetr it's called being disengenuous jax noawetr, it makes you look like an ignorant fuck, contrary to what you were trying to achieve jax but that's mostly because you ARE an ignorant fuck cakedrink beep timecop no abuse jax and none of the attempts at intelligence on /. in the world can change that noawetr oh god, please don't make me look ignorant in front of a bunch of nerds jax then why bother posting? noawetr anything but that jax if your trolls suck, you suck.

bloggers != real reporters (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205550)

bloggers (and some reports for that matter) write heavily opinionated /lowly researched CRAP. It bothers me with a passion that google news includes blogs in the search. Blogs are not valid news sources and should not be treated as such.

Suck up and get good press... (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205563)


Or maybe its just that bloggers are more likely to return the favour of a free pass/meal/hotel etc with a good review than traditional journos... half of good press is quite probably knowing who to bribe.

Blogging (1)

shmotlock (827592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205577)

The word Blog is newer than the concept it represents; for many it is just another new buzz word, but the hype and recent improvements it blogging software has brought the non-technical community into the same realm as the rest of us. I resisted starting a blog for the same reasons most of the people above have already stated, but it really looks blogs are here to stay. To lump all bloggers into the same group as tech writers is a gross misconception, but the tech writers using blog technology are quickly gaining a following. Blogging should not be looked down upon. The number blog hobbyists are only going to increase and eventually there will be a better term to differentiate the hobbyists and crackpots from the pros.

Blogs can be useful (1)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205578)

One thing I've found blogs to be very useful for is to get hands-on reviews of products and services. The tough part is seperating out the wheat from the chaff and learning who's actually interested in writing a review to help other people out and who is being a shill for the manufacturer.

I've posted some reviews of products and services on my own web site (I too don't care for the word "blog") and I've had some good feedback because I am not being paid by anyone for my opinion.

This new boss ain't like the old boss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14205586)

As far as I can tell, this article is just the manifestation of rich guys trying to come to grips with what is happening. "It's all a game of kings & queens," they're saying to themselves in the head. "It's the same evil game it's always been."

They want this to be the case, because they've sold out already, and they're trying to justify what they did, to themselves. They sold out to evil at some point in their life, and they don't want to feel guilty when this new thing comes along. So they go, "Oh, those guys are evil too. Yeah. You were just as good when we were the guys in power. So, don't get all happy about these new guys. Fuckers. You were losers in the beginning, and, haha, you're still losers. Wannabes."

Here's the refutation to his underlying argument: With blogs, we get to choose what we see. In the bad old days, we didn't. There were like, what, 5 news channels? 1 or, maybe, 2 newspapers? Yeah: Some diversity. But now, we have much more say over who we get our news from. We have much more power in the system. Which means you have to address what we're saying, and what we care about. If you don't, we're outta there. In many cases, we're literally writing the news. WikiNews? I'm talking K5. [kuro5hin.org]

"The difference between the old media elite and the new blogging elite is that the latter gets redefined much more frequently." No, the difference is that we can now tell fuckers like you, that we don't give a damn, and ignore you.

Blogs (2, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205607)

I have a blog. It's mostly full of random thoughts, notes to people and reviews of things I like. It's read by 20 or so of my friends and that's about it. Does that some how make me an elite person or does it just mean I'm using a blog to get thoughts of my head and run them through?

Anyone who thinks blogs are a resource worth listening to and appealing to beyond any other basic news site clearly doesn't understand blogs. They're not some sort of revolution in ways of reporting news, they're not the newest way to make money. They're simpaly social circles written down, in the past I'd tell friends about new games I was playing, now I just blog about them and they can read it if they wish.

The way most blog systems are set up is very simple and easy. You click a button after you've done typing and it's done. It's like having a geocities site with no limit on bandwidth and no need to waste time designing a layout. Maybe a few more links and a few less images but this isn't anything special, just another resource for the average person to use.

Re:Blogs (1)

amrust (686727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205735)

Finally, someone that GETS IT.

People don't mainly blog for others, they usually blog for themselves. So they don't have to tell the same "what I did on vacation" stories to each and every family member. But others can get some enjoyment out of them, too. Your family can all read about your travels, interests, what the kids are doing, etc. You get the advantage of only needing to tell the story once, they get the advantage of telling all their friends in their own social circles about how "my nephew has his very own web page on the Internet, see here?".

It's fun for everybody. I hate when people take blogs too seriously.

What's the difference? (1)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205619)

They just used to call them reporters, and they used to have an editor to answer to. Now they write abotu what they feel like or what the public wants to hear, and we call them idiots. Oh I'm sorry. bloggers.

"World's New Elite", I Don't Know About That (2, Interesting)

hzs202 (932886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205661)

Wall Street Journal tech columnist Lee Gomes says that the top tech blogs 'aren't part of some proletarian information revolution, but instead have become the tech world's new elite.

I don't know... I tried to cite a handful of reputable and well known bloggers (I won't mention any names) in an essay that I wrote last year for a science class at uni. However, my first draft was handed to me with red lines through each reference to a blogger in my bibliography, along with a comment to include "real sources".

Do people generally feel that bloggers are not reliable sources or was that a personal bias from my professor?

Pfft. (2, Informative)

millennial (830897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14205662)

There's nothing elite about bloggers. They're just minor celebrities, like the guy that invented Cheetos.
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