Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

A sting from a dying wasp – question is who is the wasp?

December 20th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Blogging, MSM, Social Media

John Burn’s writes in today’s Sunday Times about blogging in Ireland and asking where have all the blogs gone like there is some sort of crisis afoot, that it really matters in the state of things, or more like he wants us to think that newspapers were always right about the ‘amateurs’ and indeed are making a comeback.  He also has a chance to slag off colleagues in the mainstream who blog including Michael O’Toole for not writing frequently like it’s a crime itself!

Many in the media refuse to accept that there are people who enjoy writing and thinking about issues and don’t want to get paid for it. There are many others who like to read these opinions and statistics from Google show that people search for information on everything from news to sport to receipes to reaching out to other parents of children with disabilities. Bloggers don’t need to write everyday because they don’t want to! Yes we don’t have an editor standing over their back making us do so.  It does not matter how many there are or who is reading them. Or that bloggers give up, start again or decide to do something different instead.  How this makes us any less valid or indeed worthy of the continual jibes and comment from the mainstream media won’t be keeping me awake.

The fact is that blogs still exist and things change as technology and people’s interactions change.   Many express opinions and exchange information on Facebook – indeed I often get more comments on blog posts I write on facebook than on the blog itself. My posts are shared on facebook amongst many others who would never visit the blog.  I don’t know what Burns’ problem with niches is either.

Be it on blogs, facebook, twitter or elsewhere people are talking to each other and they don’t need to hang on to every word typed by a journalist or a columnist who is paid.  They thought Guthenberg was mad – some would like to see all bloggers and online researchers and commentators as eejits, that’s fine by me.

Damien Mulley publishes the email correspondence between himself and John Burns on what seemingly started out as a piece on political blogging in Ireland. It’s a shame he didn’t stick to writing about political blogging and the reasons that it is not as developed as in the USA or elsewhere. The party political system, difficulty in accessing information through FOI’s and control freakery of political parties about what their candidates do online, or the positive experiences parties and candidates have had in interacting with readers would all have been interesting discussions to have.

Burns refers to a ‘tipping point’ in 2008 on my blog re Sarah Palin and how we have not had one since. I’d love to know what his tipping point meter consists of.  In the next week or so I will be reviewing my year online and I think we’ll see different.

Did you read the last sentence?

An important absence in Ireland are leading players from business, the arts, education, politics and property who write honestly and revealingly, giving an insight into their sectors. Instead, the blogosphere has been left free for “amateur? commentators and journalists. While some are entertaining, not one continually demands our attention. No Irish blog is important enough to read every day. Until that changes, you’ll be getting your news and comment on paper.

It made me laugh a lot given I had read the story online and rarely get my news on paper. I know I am not alone. I now less frequently get all my ‘news’ from old school newspapers online either.

Ireland as a nation is still too small to be able to resource internet only professional media. However a joint venture between those paid and unpaid may be possible – the so called and often belittled ‘citizen journalists’ without whom people in the Sunday Times and other places would spend a lot of time not finding things out or being able to write articles about.

Last week the Huffington Post held it’s staff holiday party – the crowd was over twice the size that was at last years party, and easily three times the size present in 2007. Love the jumpers by the way!  I wonder what Murdoch bought his staff for Christmas.

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