Blogs are a lot more than parasitic.

I, like Robert Niles, have always found it deeply irritating to hear reporters and editors refer to blogs as parasitic. Unlike me, Niles did something about it. He wrote a column that debunks the idea.

One of the problems, I think, is that many MSM types know only a handful of political blogs, or have seen only blogs that linked to their work, or have come across one or two personal journals, and subsequently jumped to the irrational conclusion that such a small sample size reflects the whole of the blogosphere. As they say, you can’t see the forest for the trees, and you’ll never see the whole ecosystem of the blogosphere by concentrating on just a species or two.

The best way to understand blogging is to blog. That’s why I say: All journalists should blog. You can’t get modern media without understanding blogs, and you can’t understand blogs unless you do it.

UPDATE: John Robinson adds some worthwhile thoughts on his own blog.

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10 thoughts on “Blogs are a lot more than parasitic.

  1. So true. In 2005, I posted a list of tips to journalists, including: “Don’t judge blogs or citizen journalism based on what you read in the trade press. Spend some time visiting sites. Leaves some comments and see what happens. Decide who and what you like. If you think blogs are all alike, just self-styled experts spouting opinion, gossip, and wild conspiracies, then expand your blog reading list because, well, you’re wrong.”

  2. If extending a journalist’s hard work and engaging readers in an online conversation about a reporter’s story are “parasitic,” then I suppose I am a parasite. Part of the pleasure of blogging is the ability to share my observations with others based on what I stumble upon in MSM

    I think one of the benefits of blogs is that it keeps stories alive and relevant.

  3. Today I got an email that said this: “The thing about these blogs, is they might come back to bite you…you may be biting off more than you can chew.”

    The “These blogs” comment reminded me of a politician who once said something to the effect of “You people,” when talking about an ethnic group.

    Howard, I love when you’re on your soapbox for the cause. You are RIGHT. We’re not freaks. We’re just bloggers.

  4. I dont suppose anybody ever gave a thought to the fact that maybe some of the bloggers view journalists as parasitic (nothing personal).

    I’ll fully admit to being a freak whats wrong with that? We need freaks, freaks are good, freaks make the world interesting half the people showcased on Nicks blog are freaks.

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