Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sometimes the newspapers are very kind to us. Here's an article in the New York Times, Sunday Magazine today, called "Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail." It addresses the question of whether or not blogs are journalism (it runs under the tagline: "Are bloggers ruining political journalism or recharging it?"). This is one of the evaluatory "positions" (so-called after Eve Sedgwick and her new work in Touching Feeling) on blogs that I discussed in my recent AoIR 5.0 talk and which I'll be talking about again in Perth, Australia later this year.

It's no surprise that the article asserts (with blinding self-obviousness, ala Althusser and interpellation) that "successful" blogs are blogs with lots of (quantifiable) readers, which already, in just that inconspicuous, seemingly uncontentious claim, does the major work of defining 1. what a blog is (a vehicle for self-promotion, therefore authorially aligned with an Author), 2. how it works (by seducing readers into acts of consumption), 3. how it succeeds and fails (see above; thereby asserting THAT success and failure are relevent or applicable terms), and 4. how it operates at a cultural level (by disseminating itself like websites or books or newspapers or "regular" journalism, etc.). The rest of the article is colouful detail and repetition of claims.