Scoble Defends Blogging Again

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Scoble Defends Blogging (Again), and He’s Right (Again)
July 27, 2008 — by Paul Glazowski — — 13 Comments

The topic of blogs and their authors and owners and what exactly defines their place on the ladder of the journalism industry never quite fully goes away. That’s because there’s always something or other that drives the commentariat to reflect on the present, compare it to the past, and try to forecast the future. Some of the latest noise to be made over the matter of “the great divide” has been sparked by Robert Scoble, a writer/videographer/journeyman for Fast Company magazine.

His position, which he reiterates on a fairly routine basis, as has very recently done so once again, is that blogs and the people behind them are largely “self-correcting”; that they comprise a medium that facilitates much more instant communications among writer and reader, and thus any errors or slander or anything in between can either be lambasted and fixed in relatively short order. The ultimate ends are thus a vetted product achieved in an amount of time that beats or supersedes the fact-check methods of traditional media in the days of print-only and Letters to the Editor, etc.

Scoble is correct, of course. At least in part. Blogs have done quite a bit of good with respect to the two-way-road ideal. Some may not enjoy an entirely liberal take on Web-based comment systems. (Scoble himself even recently explained his desire to do away with “trolls” and the like.) But I’m one to think a more open forum is better for the future fortunes of media than what was the standard for so many years prior to the Internet’s global mass popularization. As long as all individuals have the capability to offer perspective on matters, with as little regulation or moderation as possible, the so-called “community” will sort the baddies out.

Furthermore, the broader practice of blogging, which works into the mix a very generous helping of irreverence and strong opinion-making, is something that is also eminently healthy for the industry. Lines are no doubt crossed, sensitivities transgressed upon and so forth, and some observers consider the blog world strew with many a troublemaker as a result. Which is an accurate assessment of some in the industry, for sure. But there is also quite a lot of admirable and productive forward motion happening.

Now, some bloggers are venturing down the path of traditional journalism more and more, which is good, because there’s a lot to learn from old media. But one can clearly see that old media is also taking notes from the blog world, too. Old media is warming to the social, conversational way of the Web, for example. And the byproduct of this meeting in the middle of sorts is, I think, aptly explained by a simple adage: a rising tide raises all boats. Most boats, anyhow.

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