Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Whither blogging?

A recent period of quite relaxed sifting of online information has led me to think about blogging (and I'm not alone; Auntie is looking over her shoulder). One of the reasons for haitus's on this blog is that things are really changing very quickly, and it's hard sometimes to decide what's relevant at any given time.

What prompted me in the first place was my experience of feeling abandoned by media like the BBC, and to a lesser extent by the Telegraph (which can do what it likes as far as I am concerned, and still produces the occasional interesting thing).

I blog to set myself the independent line which many media, especially State sponsored ones, would deny me, or rather, tried to deny me, and about which I am lastingly angry.

I also blog to give myself an incentive to examine the many fascinating and necessary things being said by people out in the new media.

What follows is a summary of current change, with personal notes.

Politicians taking hits, in a spin

That could be the summary point: on both sides of the Atlantic politicians are taking hits from the new media; at the same time, the old media is having holes punched through it by anyone with the widely available technology (and a clear sense of what they want to do with it. So not you then, ed- ed).

Look at what Michelle Malkin is doing with 'Hot Air'. It's very, very smart. She's such a clever little cookie in her little slippers, sitting pretty on the couch (sorry for the tone there, but isn't it fair to question how much her success involves sex appeal? Not that it matters in some ways). I've heard that she and her family have experienced death threats from some extremists, and I'm very angry about that.

I also found this item on USS Neverdock: a video on John Kerry's changing opinions which very much sums up the nonsensicality of Kerry's whole career. I think Marc has every right to get a bit hung up on Kerry's flailings. He's the very model of the modern major politician. At a time when leadership is needed, all we find is 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma', as Churchill said of Russia. Perhaps the key is John Kerry's desire for power and influence. But it's fascinating for me how our observations can be partisanly supported through the magic of video on a blogspot site. Carefully cut the video may be, but the cutting just removes the Kerry ums and ahs, the vanity, the window dressing- to leave the void, the nullity, wide open.

Kerry's career really is fascinating, in a sick kind of way.

Also fascinating, in a sick kind of way, the Blair Government's unravelling, almost I think heightened by their attempts to deflect attention away from incompetence and towards sleaze in the bulked up shape of John Prescott. All I can say is that I'm sorry it's come to that, and that the predictions I am sure many conservatives have made more frequently privately than publicly are coming to be fulfilled. I know in my family there was talk about this, and we knew it would be ugly. Can't get much uglier than Prescott in his current position.

But here again there is the role of the blogosphere in pushing the real stories into the light of day. I am sure, for instance, that the Devil in his kitchen is regretting not using a few more impolite words about Charles Clarke.

Guido Fawkes has been like a kindly wasp over John Prescott's affair, and here forces a senior BBC journalist to be honest and Ian Dale has been pushing the debate on sleaze in a number of directions.

What this means is that the Britblogosphere is on the move, and it will change rapidly from here on.

Will it become professionalised or retain an amateur integrity? Those with greater experience, in the US, are likely to be of assistance here.

In the disappointed corner I'd say, we have Donald Sensing

In the optimist's corner we have Anne Althouse. I'm with Anne on this.

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