Weblogs Are Dead? My Ass!

I wonder what Greg Knauss thinks about the subject now.

It’s not to say that Weblogs are going to replace journalism, but they have fairly well taken off.

I think the dumb thing to do with marketing any emergent technology is to say, “This will replace X!” Few things are truly ever replaced. Vinyl and cassettes still happen [though 8-tracks are severely niche these days]. Radio didn’t die [although sometimes you might wish it would]. Cable and satellitte didn’t kill the Big Three … in fact, it’s now the Big Four.

All media for expression—whether commercial, artistic, personal, or all three—overlap. They rarely, if ever, replace. Technology might change the delivery, but change is rarely, if ever, revolutionary.

3 comments

  1. I think it’s fascinating to watch how web logs impact the face of journalism, often changing it (if slightly). I don’t think that they’ll replace “big media” – but it’s foolish to say that they haven’t influenced it. Mind you, I haven’t seen media outlets around these parts picking up this “new” technology yet – but I have checked in to some papers in other parts of the country that are hosting community bloggers on their sites. Interesting. I enjoy my role as a journalist (albeit at a campus paper) who also writes a web log. For me, they’re generally two completely different forms of expression. Anyway…

  2. Any new medium for dissemination of information always modifies previous media. I’d say that each new medium generally reduces the importance of the previous ones.

    There was a time when newspapers were the dominant [and really only] medium. Consider the Federalist papers.

    When Marconi’s invention came along, the authority of hearing a human voice–rather than simply reading a written word–gave people another choice. Consider Roosevelt’s fireside chats.

    Then comes TV, and the ability to see and hear comes along. Consider the variances in opinion between those who watched Kennedy-Nixon and those who only listened to it.

    The huge difference has been, of course, barriers to entry. It costs money to run a paper, broadcast radio, or produce TV. [In fact, costs increased with each new medium, although interesting radio has gotten very cheap of late.] The barrier to entry of a Weblog is pretty low.

    The other difference is the feedback mechanism. Weblogs are still somewhat broadcast in the one-to-many sense, but they also typically have feedback mechanisms that provide immediate response.

    However, the quality of the feedback is diminished by barriers to entry, too. Don’t believe me? Go peruse Little Green Footballs or Slashdot and see the issues with low barriers to entry. You get what they’re not paying for. [/. has a much better mechanism, providing barriers-to-entry for the reader. Standard Weblogware doesn’t have that, typically.]

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