Monday, May 07, 2007

Breaking news: ArchaeoBlog staff never 'get any'

I can see what a large portion of ArchaeoBlog readers are thinking at this very minute: "Tell us something we don't know. They're a bunch of dweebs blogging about an arcane and esoteric subject; you were expecting James Bond in tweed? Puh-leeeeze."

Not to quibble with that sentiment or its supposed outcome, but that's the general thrust (heh) of this article that's been making the rounds of the blogosphere:
Unlike the world of newsprint, there are no rules out there in the blogosphere and that makes it a very confusing place for the consumer. I have no objection to reading my Sunday Times on the Internet because I know the content has been through the same process as the print edition. I do, however, object to some anonymous, scrofulous nerd pumping meaningless drivel into cyberspace at all hours of the day and night simply because he can’t find a girl to sleep with him.

Really a silly column that simply oozes ignorance from every pore, but I am not here to go over it point by point, just to send off the link (Hmmmm, I wonder if he'll note the irony in getting several thousand more readers because it's being massively linked to from. . . . blogs?).

The best blogs IMO, at least for information gathering purposes, are those written by people who have a particular area of interest that they know well and can (and are willing to) spend the time to go into more detail on certain issues. Journalists are mostly generalists and one can't expect them to know all the ins and outs of every topic they write about. They have to write something on a deadline and then go on to something else. A good blogger can spend a few days looking into a topic, correct or clarify whatever it was the journo wrote, and the reader will know more in the end (and hopefully be able to follow links to source documents that all good bloggers supply).
Besides, journos and the entities they publish from have agendas -- not necessarily political -- that can bias their reporting in whatever direction. All the "multi-tiered detailed editorial layers" won't weed that stuff out if everyone is on the same page, opinion-wise. We're not journalists and we don't play them on the Internets. But then, journalists aren't usually lawyers or architects or historians or paleoanthropologists either, but that doesn't stop them from writing about it.

Addendum: Actually, you don't have to be a professional (i.e., paid) in a field of inquiry to rate expertise enough to blog. I'm thinking of things like ShaveBlog, written,coincidentally, by a journalist. Greenberg isn't in the shaving industry -- of course, if he was you'd have to suspect his motives on one or another product -- but how many dead tree (or broadcast) publications would give the space to detailed consideration of the shaving scuttle?