Thursday, February 24, 2005

Talon News, Atrios, Blogging, the Universe and, Everything...

Somebody sent Atrios an e-mail; and Atrios repeats some stuff he's said before. Some of which bears reading. Some of which doesn't. Here's one thing I'd like to riff on, and I want to riff on it via the other recent news about Talon News:

One things blogs do is act as news aggregators/filters and places for discussion. You may be an excellent news aggregator/filter, but that's a pretty crowded market. That's one place where being an early entrant helps. If you want to distinguish your blog, you need to have some additional interesting original content.

Now it's clear that Talon News, as others have noted by now, wasn't really a "news" organization. It did not have "reporters" creating content, but rather paraphrasers (plagiarizers?) copying other reports.

Now Atrios could say that he's like Talon News (or vice versa,) but there's a difference: aggregation doesn't imply intelligence.

What blogs really do usefully is they juxtapose information in ways that would otherwise not be juxtaposed. They subvert an order that would otherwise be dictated from a concentrated media that "manufactures consent," albeit mostly unconciously, or with a profit motive inmind.

The notion of Glas comes to my blurring the boundary between news and opinion, between news reporting and newsmaking, between the notion of active versus passive users of media, between transmitter and receiver, by pushing notions of what facts, ideas, opinions, sights, sounds can be pushed against/along/with/on each other, we can create a critique of who and what we are that truly informs, innovates, and if not enlightens, then entertains...

Which is to say that if I write "The New, New Talon News White House Correspondent...," and post a picture of a geisha, it means something, it is a critique, it is an attempt at being funny, and to talk about it becomes far too pretentious. It's just an exploration of "Talon News Reporter as geisha," for chrissakes.

One other thing: I have never met Atrios, nor almost all bloggers, but you know what? When he says, "try to be interesting," it sounds like "Don't be boring." With all due respect to Atrios, I don't think of him as an arbiter of what I should or should not blog.

I have other advice: Don't care so much what Atrios thinks. Truly. If you do that, you'll not see what you need to see nor see other gems out there... I even think Atrios would agreee with me.

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