Friday, June 08, 2007

A Blogger Answers A Few Questions

At tonight's Atlanta Press Club event, many questions were asked and due to the format some I feel remained unanswered. I'm not being critical of the format because it was excellent. But as Grayson told me later, we could have been there for hours if the parking garage had not closed at 9:00.

So, I think I will take some time to answer a few of those questions. These are my personal answers and in no way apply to others. I feel certain some will come along to agree with some things and disagree with some things. But that interaction is what we want and expect so have at it.

So, my fellow bloggers? Please pardon my meta.

Why do you blog?

I think this is the issue which puzzles most in the traditional media. For most in print and TV, I'm sure it is a labor of love but as Annie Savoy in Bull Durham pontificates, it's also a job. For me it is not a job, although I wouldn't object to it being a job.

I blog for three reasons: a passion for writing, awareness of the world and interaction with other viewpoints. I've always written but blogging allows me to pour forth whatever enters my mind. Writing daily also develops discipline. The format allows what any writer craves; instant feedback. As a political commentator, I also hear different viewpoints and have on occasion had my mind completely changed.

How do you make money?

Well, unless your name is Erick Erickson or Kos, you probably don't. It doesn't mean you won't eventually. But despite the technology existing for almost ten years, this is still a relatively new field. People will find a way to make money. I have always believed if you provide compelling content you will attract readers/viewers and the money will follow. But I do not do this for money. I do it because I love to write.

Not that I'm against making money. If anyone wants to sling a little cash this way, please contact me. Toot sweet!

Who is your editor?

In the day to day operations I am. I decide what I want to write about and what angle I will take. I wouldn't mind having a copy editor though. I hate proofreading and see it as a necessary evil.

But the better answer is you are. A blogger's editor is the blog's community and the larger blogosphere. If you get something wrong, you will hear the screams of indignation immediately. It's a self correcting system. The days of someone presenting utter lies and fabrication are mostly in the past. In plain language, if we screw up, there are hundreds of other predators in the internet sea who will gleefully rend at our flesh.

A lot of people talk about credibility. Well, let me tell you, publish one false story and see just how fast credibility that took months and years to build flies out the window.

Is citizen journalism possible?

Yes. But like most anything, it is easy to do but very difficult to do well. Journalism is a craft and those trained in the craft must do it well every single time. Bloggers, excluding journalist bloggers of course, are not usually trained in that craft. But that does not mean they cannot report compelling content and report it well.

I'm not saying it's common. It's actually pretty rare. But when it does happen, it's a sight to see. And despite the beliefs of some, it is not always just "eyewitnessing".

Look, I'm not a journalist. I'm just a monkey with a typewriter. But if those who would poo-poo the idea that an ordinary joe cannot report an event with accuracy will pardon a little personal chest thumping, I challenge you to browse this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this. Oh and this one might really knot your knickers.

Enough personal chest thumping. There is other original reporting out there. It ain't hard to find if you are willing to look.

End meta.

That's about all I got for the moment. I hope it clears up a few things about my perspective. No matter. The comment section is open so let the free for all begin.


Amber Rhea said...

I smell a meme!

griftdrift said...


Okay, well tag Rusty first then. You know how much he likes that.

One thing I forgot mention under the reasons I blog is the sense of adventure. You have to be sort of a pioneering spirit to go to the federal court house without a press pass or walk up to some crazy street preacher or even attend an event at the APC where you possibly will encounter hostility.

If it wasn't for all this, I would not have met Rusty and Amber, would not have been interview by Wilson Smith, probably would not have journey to Johns Creek to interview a porn mogul.

A big part of this is the unknown. And I know that's scary for some people. But I just don't know wherea this is going to take me next but I can't wait to find out.

Amber Rhea said...

If it weren't for blogging, Rusty and I wouldn't have met! Awwwwww.

Sid Cottingham said...