Trying to cure blogorrhea

The echo chamber of the blogosphere is concerned about too much derivative content lacking in original thought. Fortunately, the crap usually sinks to the bottom of the data pool.

The echo chamber of the blogosphere is concerned about too much refactored content and a lack of original thought in the raging river of blog posts flowing into feed readers and Web crawlers (see Techmeme). There are many worse problems in the world than what is sometimes unpleasantly called blogorrhea. You could be a blogger in China dancing around government censorship.

Internet and Web 2.0 technologies have allowed anyone to be a writer, publisher, and pundit just by clicking the publish button. Along with the flood of interesting and insightful content comes the boring and feckless.

Matthew Hurst

It's up to individuals and algorithms to sort out the more useful, value-added content. Hopefully, it floats to the top. You can complain about me-too, derivative content without much value add, but we aren't going to have a priesthood that decides who is allowed to publish. blogorrhea in a democracy is incurable. We should continue to celebrate the blog revolution and vote with our gestures of attention.

Covering the technology industry is similar to covering sports or other topics that have a passionate core of fans. There are teams (companies), players (personalities), games (competing products and services). Tech information moves at fairly high velocity. Blogs that can deliver the play by play and color commentary with accuracy, authority, and speed will be valued by fans. That's what we try to do every day at CNET News.com.

The debate over whether a blogger is a journalist is a dead end. The basic principles of journalism--like fact checking--should be a benchmark for both blogs and so-called mainstream media. Many of the popular technology blogs are staffed by experienced journalists. Many bloggers without formal journalism training have earned their stripes, although some play too loose and fast and don't add enough to move the conversation forward.

Moving the conversation forward is what the blogosphere does best. It starts with an original thought or angle, a scoop of perception, and others add their own perspectives and discoveries to the data pool. You end up with a rich "web" of information and links about a particular item.

Dealing with the blogorrhea factor--the overflow of rather useless contributions to the data pool--is problematic, but don't blame Techmeme or your feed reader. In an ideal world, the crap sinks to the bottom of the pool.

 

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