While we’re on the subject of news and blogging. I came across some articles on CNN about blogging related to the war in Iraq.
The question of course is … can these blogs be trusted as a source of news? Both sides seem to be actively blogging about the war. There’s the case of a much-talked-about blog from a guy called “Salam Pax”, claiming to be a 29-year-old architect living in Baghdad ( “Salam” and “Pax” both mean peace in Arabic and Latin respectively, in case you’re interested). Pax is blogging about the bombing, life in Bagdad and his family’s reactions to it all … the only thing is, how do we know this is for real? It probably is, but how would we know for sure? If you’re interested, go visit his blog on his blogspot or just do a search on google for “Salam Pax”.
Another interesting part of the article is about the bloggers that work for the big news companies themselves, like CNN for example. Quoting from the article: “CNN Correspondent Kevin Sites was chronicling his experiences in Iraq until last Friday. According to his Web site, he is “Pausing the war blog, for now.” A CNN spokesman told The New York Times the company believed the blog was a distraction from his reporting duties.'” Well, so much for blogging the news. I guess he had to stop it because CNN wasn’t getting any advertising dollars for his blogs. Hey, it’s the tough laws of economics. 😉
Another interesting one is “soldier blogging”. Have a look at sites like www.blogsofwar.com, www.sgtstryker.com, www.rooba.net/will and www.lt-smash.us … interesting alternative news sources. Well, if you can call it news of course, but hey, someone’s venting an opinion (let’s hope it’s not the dog). Seems they’re even faster than CNN sometimes. Betcha CNN doesn’t like that … maybe they’ll have to stop doing it too, start fighting some more and get CNN advertising dollars?
So many people are jumping on the bandwagon of explaining the whole blogspotting, so I felt I had to add my two cents too. Let me offer a different view from all the “wow cool” stories: it’s overrated! Just like the other trends we’ve seen pass over the years. Remember the Bonzi Buddy, those cool big free first Tuesday parties, or this one: PointCast and their push technology .. That last one actually disappeared … click here for the story of their demise. It’s not a nice story, I can tell you. But they were hyped as ‘the next big thing’ back then too.
I do hope that it goes differently for Blogger, but I’m always cautious of things being blown totally out of proportion and heralded as ‘the next big thing’. So people can now take their views and nonsense unbridled to the web… so what? I’ll visit some if I want to have a good laugh, or read some interesting viewpoints… but that’s about it. “Reshaping contemporary media?” Hell no, I’ll still go to the CNN and BBCNews websites to know what’s happening in Iraq, not to Saddam’s Blogpage (click it, it actually exists).
And it is not an earth-shattering new thing: it’s just existing technology repacked in a shiny new wrapping with a big ribbon around it. The technology to update webpages like this has been around for some time, just not everyone thought about using it like that… well, some people did: news sites who let their journalists update the site using web-bases forms, and let people react to these articles. Thanks to Blogger now every man and his dog can get their stuff on the internet (and judging from some writings, some dogs have done just that).
Let’s make some controversial statements here: I don’t think blogger is a strategic inflection point. (if you don’t know what a strategic inflection point is, click to purchase “Only the Paranoid Survive” , a good book about recognizing, overcoming and even profiting from the inevitable ground shifts in commercial life that, by changing the fundamentals of the business environment, shake established enterprises to the core and raise newcomers to power and wealth (quite a mouthful, huh?). And for those to lazy to go there, a strategic inflection point is like a paradigm shift: a moment in time when circumstances shifted on you and you have a choice to make between two alternatives. At that moment two alternatives are very close to each other but in time they will take you very far apart, they will diverge. That moment in time is a strategic inflection point. Are we there with blogger? Is this the start of a whole new thing? I don’t think so … but then again, time will prove who’s right.
My advise: ride the wave, but don’t forget your Mr. Zogs sexwax. 😉