Even the cNet article misses a key point: “blogger” is a meaningless phrase, as it rests solely on the technology. A person on LiveJournal writing for her friends is a “blogger” — so are my students who use WordPress to complete university assignments. So is a journalist — citizen or paid — who uses a blogging platform for publishing.
“Blogger” is a so-what term.
Much of the conversation Saturday morning revolved around “journalism” — although no one seemed to want to use the word, including Sarah (except when she was talking about herself as a “tech journalist”). There were questions about ethics (that word wasn’t used, either) and the advertising/editorial tension that’s always going to be present when writing is accompanied by money.
NONE of these issues are new. Well, they aren’t new to “journalism” … paid or citizen … although they certainly sounded new to “technical journalists.”
The lead journalist (<cough> blogger) for the West Seattle Blog sent me a tweet pointing to the June Media Giraffe Project as an example of a recent conference where these issues were discussed and called by their name.
The fact is that everyone is NOT motivated by money (see Wikipedia) … that “bloggers” who want to be journalists who are paid are going to have to exercise ethical judgment (dealing with PR, for example) or else they’ll lose their readers and their PR sponsors … and that it’s long past time to stop talking about the blog-space as though it’s a homogeneous whole. It’s not. Neither is your library. Or your cable (or satellite) TV line up. Or, come to think of it, YouTube.
Among other things, I think the “A-List” discussion should be retired. What do you think?
PS. For those of you at Gnomedex, I’m the person who expressed frustration at using the word blog, a technology, to describe a form of content, which can vary from personal promotion to journal, from academic writing to politics, from paid to political … far, far more varied that the very narrow “tech journalism” sector.