Ten Things Radical about the Weblog Form in Journalism:

1.) The weblog comes out of the gift economy, whereas most (not all) of today’s journalism comes out of the market economy.

2.) Journalism had become the domain of professionals, and amateurs were sometimes welcomed into it— as with the op ed page. Whereas the weblog is the domain of amateurs and professionals are the ones being welcomed to it, as with this page.

3.) In journalism since the mid-ninetheenth century, barriers to entry have been high. With the weblog, barriers to entry are low: a computer, a Net connection, and a software program like Blogger or Movable Type gets you there. Most of the capital costs required for the weblog to “work” have been sunk into the Internet itself, the largest machine in the world (with the possible exception of the international phone system.)

4.) In the weblog world every reader is actually a writer, and you write not so much for “the reader” but for other writers. So every reader is a writer, yes, but every writer is also a reader of other weblog writers—or better be.

5.) Whereas an item of news in a newspaper or broadcast seeks to add itself to the public record, an entry posted in a weblog engages the public record, because it pulls bits and pieces from it through the device of linking. In journalism the regular way, we imagine the public record accumulating with each day’s news— becoming longer. In journalism the weblog way, we imagine the public record “tightening,” its web becoming stronger, as links promotes linking, which produces more links.

6.) A weblog can “work” journalistically—it can be sustainable, enjoyable, meaningful, valuable, worth doing, and worth it to other people —if it reaches 50 or 100 or 160 souls who like it, use it, and communicate through it. Whereas in journalism the traditional way, such a small response would be seen as a failure, in journalism the weblog way the intensity of a small response can spell success.

7.) A weblog is like a column in a newspaper or magazine, sort of, but whereas a column written by twelve people makes little sense and wouldn’t work, a weblog written by twelve people makes perfect sense and does work.

8.) In journalism prior to the weblog, the journalist had an editor and the editor represented the reader. In journalism after the weblog, the journalists has (writerly) readers, and the readers represent an editor.

9.) In journalism classically understood, information flows from the press to the public. In the weblog world as it is coming to be understood, information flows from the public to the press.

10.) Journalism traditionally assumes that democracy is what we have, information is what we seek. Whereas in the weblog world, information is what we have—it’s all around us—and democracy is what we seek.

1 thought on “Ten Things Radical about the Weblog Form in Journalism:”

  1. I read this article about DeAngelo Bailey attempting to sue Marshal… for the song Brain Dead. I grew up in Roseville, went to school with DeAngelo and I can tell you this… DeAngelo was one of the most scantless people I have ever been around… he lived off of Lawndale, right behind the Roseville Fire Department, by Frazho and Gratiot… I met him in High School… His house was delapadated, green and his family had nothing to offer him… He would push people around and take their money all of the time… he would steal, lie… what ever it took to make a buck… he use to say… I;m a get Mines.

    Now I use to Manage Royal Transmission, Utica and 12 mile… Marshal had problems with Kim’s red car… Trans went out. We fixed the car and every time I talked to Marshal, he seemed very mouthy, but I could tell he had been a defensive person by trade.

    I will say this… DeAngelo would fit perfect in that song… and if it is about him… then I will say this for Marshal… that is the best therapy you can get my man… it’s better then being another DeAngelo…

    I am not siding with Marshal because of who he is… that doesn’t impress me… I knew him when… His mother brought me a demo tape, once… I had a Radio show and I DJ’ed all over the place… I listened to the tape… it had something about chopping up Kim and dumping her in the water and stuff… didn’t like it.. thought he could rap like no one I had ever heard, but he was very angry…

    I guess I can’t blame the guy… DeAngelo is a big Guy, not tall but really Big… I was larger then he was, taller and Bigger, but he was a little crazy, where I had all of my Brain power intact. Morris Houston will agree with me, he lived right by D’ and he use to say he was nuts… so did Robert Chatman, who is now in Prison for Murder on that B-Ball court over in that hood…

    So if a Murderer would run from DeAngelo Bailey, what do you think a Normal angry young man would do…

    I’m Glad you won Marshal… keep your money, you earned it.

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