Do Not Debate It, Not Here, Not Now

Yes, so very predictable indeed this response to Nicholas Carr’s piece:

Predictably, the backlashers are trying to make their marks and get
their linkjuice by arguing that this web/citizens/blog thing just ain’t
what it’s being blown up to be. But so much of the antihype is even
sillier than the hype.

This the lede on Buzzmachine.  I guess if someone asks good, hard, provocative questions, or questions they hype of the day, they’re just "curmudgeons" seeking "their linkjuice."  I, for one, appreciate Carr’s piece and found it provocative.

Jarvis is right about one thing — in the end, the market should determine who wins out in the media space and we the customers should (and probably will) decide.

Here is my "customer" feedback so far:

  • For general news, political commentary, political analysis, essays on current events, I find that traditional media remain the most satisfying by far. And let me be clear, by "traditional" I don’t mean print; I am talking about the "form factor" and I mean linear, narrative and even didactic forms of media, whether fulfilled by newspapers, magazines, and the like, in print or their digitized versions online. Exhibit A right of satisfying reportage for me right now is Dexter Wilkins piece in this weekend’s NYT Magazine. I keep looking for material on the top blogs that is as engaging and informative, with little success so far. (For what it’s worth, I wrote about this somewhat in this post earlier.)
  • I find Jarvis’s blog, and others like it, a little bit like popcorn. Fun to consume while I’m doing something else, but not very filling at the end of the day. I think it has something to do with both the nature of the medium (breezy, conversational, hyper-linked) and the bloggers’ choice of topics. In general, I find most of the blog writing by top "general interest" bloggers like Jarvis self-referential, both in choice of topic and presentation. "I-am-a-flack" for me and my friends.
  • I find the best industry and trade blogs, particularly those that focus on the industry I’m in (digital media) invaluable and far better than what I get through traditional trade media. I could provide a long list here, but I’ll cite Om Malik as he does it best.
  • I enjoy the occasional, personal blog that offers interesting observation and information of the kind I just wouldn’t find anywhere else. Again, too many examples to list here but top of mind is a post I saw on Matt Webb’s blog this morning.

I continue to find much satisfaction as a reader consuming well-crafted, informative, narrative reportage. I don’t see that kind of material being produced by blog writers now, and until that happens continuously and reliably, I hope the institutions that produce it will find a way to survive.