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The Trouble With Blogging

April 19th, 2007 by Bob Bly

Two things blogging evangelists tell me make blogs a superior communicatino medium:

1. Unfiltered content — straight from the writer to the reader … no pesky editor, proofreader, or fact checker.

2. Instant communication — have a thought, make it available online to millions in seconds.

But do we really need information in the blink of an eye … especially at the expense of accuracy?

With blogging, that happens all the time.

Example: when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was slow to rise after a recent hearing, a blogger instantly noted Ginsburg’s seeming frailty on her blog — giving rise to rumors that the judge was will and would soon retire.

Had the blogger, an ABC legal reporter, bothered to ask Ginsburg about the incident before reporting it, should would have discovered the truth: the judge’s shoe had slipped off under the table, and she couldn’t find it!

An article in The Week (4/27/07, p. 14) observes that speed of the Internet is forcing people “to make important decisions without any time to think and reflect.”

Result: a flood of false assumptions and rash words “now flashes around the world in a nanosecond.”

How about you, dear reader?

Do you want your news, facts, and analysis fast — or do you want it good?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2007 at 6:05 am and is filed under Blogging, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

87 responses about “The Trouble With Blogging”

  1. strongblur said:

    I strongly agree with what you post. The readers (thats me, and you) need to make an extremely quick decision, either to say yes or no to the information.

    No matter how much we want to think, we just don’t have enough time to do that with zillions of information flowing into our brain…

  2. John Platt said:

    I find it interesting that the backlash against Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” (advocating split-second decisionmaking) has recently begun. See this week’s Newsweek.

  3. Sean Woodruff said:

    As I mature (i.e.- age), all things are better good than they are fast. That may seem like a broad generalization but I can’t think of anything that it doesn’t apply to.

  4. Jeanette Cates said:

    I agree – most people would be better served to stop and think before opening their mouth or penning their blog. We have too much “instant” everything. Since we as bloggers *have a choice* I think we need to exercise. It will cause our readers a lot of stress in having to filter thru rubble for the good stuff.

    Jeanette

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  6. Sean Woodruff said:

    Comment number 5… the irony is hilarious.

  7. Pam Gitta said:

    I firmly believe that the fall of our Roman empire will come squarely on the back of broadcast-it-now-24-hours-a-day news reporting.

    Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but I assure you: only slight. Gettingthestoryoutnownownow has taken over vetting sources, confirming details, and proofreading.

    Because journalism is such a high-profile profession, it should be setting a good example. It definitely is not, and its bad habits will spread throughout our world like Ebola on steroids. We’re doomed.

    (And Sean, I couldn’t agree more. Best giggle I’ve had all day.)

  8. Brett said:

    I want it right and fast! Is that too much to ask?

    I believe blogging is simply exposing those who can or can’t think fast and do it grammatically correct. I think it will also shift power to those people, and increase the importance of writing.

    But I also think it will change grammar. More and more people will make sentence structure work for them and their voice, and it will be accepted. In fact, I think it will be favored.

  9. Frank Catalano said:

    Right and fast isn’t too much to ask, Brett. Unless you want it thoughtful, too.

    I’ve worked in all-news newsrooms (where “right and fast” is the gospel). But I’ve also done weekly newspaper columns. And sometimes, the best perspective comes when one’s subconscious has time to cogitate on connections that aren’t obvious. It’s the difference between strict reporting and analysis.

    Instant news (via blogging or the dreaded 24-hour cable news channels) is great for the facts, but not for analysis in most cases. Human biology and psychology has yet to keep up with technology.

  10. Susan Martin said:

    Strongblur, I agree, there is way too much info out there these days.

    But is it true that we don’t have time to think? Perhaps what we need to do instead is do a better job of filtering, eliminate what’s not important so that we have time to think and act on those things that are.

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  12. The Trouble With Blogging : My Netrepreneur said:

    […] The Trouble With Blogging Two things blogging evangelists tell me make blogs a superior communicatino medium: 1. Unfiltered content — straight from the writer to the reader … no pesky editor, proofreader, or fact checker. 2. Instant communication — have a thought, make it available online to millions in seconds. But do we really need information in the blink of an eye […] […]

  13. Time to post: Do you know where your editor is? | BlogRivet.com said:

    […] put it plainly, having an editor provides an essential filter between the blogger and the reader. In some cases, of course, editors can cause unnecessary delays […]

  14. Morgan said:

    Take most of what you read in blog “news” sites with a grain of salt.

  15. Jack Mower said:

    Actually, that’s how bloggers work. They just want something hot/popular discussion that can drive more visitors into their site/s. The downfall of which is that they don’t really verify the truthfulness of the news first before blogging it.

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