Tech & society

Vanity Fair On The Blogosphere

The current edition of Vanity Fair contains a map of popular “blogs” showing relative “news v opinion” content and “scurrilous” v “earnest” tone. Many of these “blogs” are media properties that have blogs (such as Salon or Slate) or are simply media properties (Pitchfork Media) or organizations that rest on blogging software (Blogcritics, Huffington Post). And then there’s Drudge, which isn’t a blog — no RSS feed, no archived entries … just a bunch of links (mostly).

The blogs I read regularly are in the upper-right-hand quadrant: “news/earnest”. No big surprise, there! In fact, I knew all but two of the blogs labeled “earnest”: Just Jared (a gossip blog on the “earnest” side of the chart?) and Apartment Therapy. But I was familiar with only one (1!) of the “blogs” in the lower-left-hand quadrant (scurrilous + opinion): Perez Hilton (courtesy of a student). [Yes, I know both Pitchfork Media and Blogcritics, where I sometimes, but not very often, syndicate my content. But neither of these are “blogs” although BC at least has RSS feeds. But it calls itself a magazine.]

It is Vanity Fair, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how many are gossip/celebrity sites.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

2 replies on “Vanity Fair On The Blogosphere”

VF has always struck me as the embodiment of old media, the old guard, the bastion of the producers vs. consumers model. After all, people read their magazine to see what “the insiders” are thinking and doing, correct? So it’s interesting to see their take on news & gossip blogs.

I also see they’re still a bit clueless in the tech department, as that page tried to take over my browser and maximize the window. Very much fits into the we-know-better model rather than the user-knows-best model of content delivery.

Interestingly, the only 2 blogs on there I actually subscribe to are on opposite ends of the bottom half (GFY and Sartorialist). But I do read a lot of the blogs in the upper right quadrant, usually via aggregators.

Actually you’re right, and you should be surprised. Vanity Fair usually does a whole lot better research in their magazine on non-fashion aritcles, and it’s good that you’re calling them on it. To repair their credibility as experts on the topic they could publish a reader-generated list. They could even incorporate celebrity opinions on their top ten blogs and do a whole issue. If they do it, make sure you get your cut. ;)

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