Sunday, February 19, 2006

We're Doomed! DOOMED!

This Dan Drezner post had one of the scarier openings for me that I've seen ("Well, it's time for me to pack it in -- blogs are finished, caput, history."), but the post itself is very interesting (and yes, I'm pretty sure from the post text that the Drez isn't actually quitting). Essentially, its a collection of the latest media articles harbringing the end of the blogosphere. We'll never make a profit, our influence is fleeting, we're too white-male, we'll be co-opted by the hated MSM--oh the horror!

Like Drezner, some of this I agree with, and some of it I don't. I am skeptical that blogging will ever become a profitable activity for more than a few lucky souls. I think we'll continue to have influence, simply because there's a lot of us, because we offer fresh perspectives on the issue, and (perhaps more importantly) we've demonstrated considerable effectiveness at framing issues and (at least at some level) agenda-setting. I'm not particularly worried about corporate co-opting either--even if it does completely subvert the independence of those blogs (and I'm not convinced it will, look at Andrew Sullivan), the low entry costs mean that another 20 will spring up in its place. And while it is difficult to break into the top ranks nowadays, it can be done (both Glenn Greenwald and firedoglake are pretty new, as are PrawfsBlawg, Concurring Opinions, and BlackProf).

The blogosphere (at the top at least) clearly isn't diverse enough. I'm pretty happy with the amount of gender diversity on my blogroll, but I have virtually no racial diversity (Yin Blog, Half the Sins of Mankind, and BlackProf are the only minority-run sites I know of off-hand on my blogroll). To someone as interested in racial issues as I am, this is embarrassing, and I'd appreciate help in rectifying the situation. Booker Rising was the most glaring omission I can think of (since rectified), I won't link to Steve Gilliard after the Michael Steele smear (not that he needs my traffic anyway), and I was thoroughly unimpressed by Afro-Netizen.

But I digress. The point is that the blogosphere may not turn into the superpowered behemoth that (some) predicted it to be. But it still will serve some purposes, have some impact, and have some influence. Though it can be tough and stressful at times, I continue to love this blog, and all the people I've met(/"met") through it. I wouldn't give it up for the world.

1 comment:

Holly in Cincinnati said...

I recommend Pam's House Blend at http://www.pamspaulding.com/weblog/