Now Journalists Can be Bloggers, Too

5 Aug ’06

Some time ago, amid the brouhaha over whether bloggers were journalists, I wrote a post about PayPerPost, a new service that proposed to automate the paid placement of (presumably favourable) reviews in blogs, and, in a reference to the tendency of many in the media to take money and the like for their work (junkets for critics, and so on), titled the post “Now Bloggers Really Can Be Journalists”. (I half-expected Mathew and Mark to come after me for that, but after moving to Panama and living under a pseudonym for several weeks I escaped unscathed.)

The new Business Week has me wondering about the pot calling the kettle black. After all, the blogosphere has often been credited by journalists – those who toil in the temples of truth – with being too quick on the trigger, too liberal with the facts and altogether too fast-and-loose with unattributed opinion. All in all, they’ve told us, we’re an unruly, noisy mob, not to be taken too seriously, and to be written about with a healthy dose of skepticism and often, outright scorn.

What then to make of Business Week’s shabby attempt to pimp its cover with a patently false but oh-so-saleable claim that Kevin Rose of Digg has now made $60 million with that quirky but still very much illiquid venture? And what to make of a magazine that asks us to accept it as a serious bit of writing about business, but which seems determined to stoop to this level – to the level (gasp!) of mere blogs – to shill for some extra sales? Techmeme has the buzz from the usual suspects, who do a job on the numbers that BW was itself unwilling to undertake.

For myself, I’m starting to think that maybe now, journalists can finally be bloggers, too.

Update: Chris Pirillo gets all semantic on the issue, and makes a meal out of the word “made” in BW’s title. Uh, OK. But his larger point seems to be that the $60M number is understated, largely because, as he says, “community like this does not disappear”. Until it does, of course. Demographically, Diggers come from the least loyal group of ‘customers’ out there, and my sense is that when the next cool thing comes along they, just like every other group of them the ‘net (or anything else, for that matter) has ever seen, will evaporate in a heart beat.

Previous post:

Next post: