The emotional clashes with the empirical

Adam Maguire jumps into the discussion about blogging and mainstream media and how blogging will replace traditional media. He makes a few statements that I thought I’d address.

It can’t help but concern me that the only thing bloggers really get going over is blogs; of course a multitude of issues are discussed across the community every day but none of them see the scale of interest that an issue of blogging does. The ‘conversational’ aspect of our media seems to be saved for incestuous discussions on ourselves.

He mustn’t be reading any of the Irish blogs that I read because like web 2.0, most bloggers don’t get going over blogs and the medium we use to converse. UI gets going over various issues that have nothing to do with blogs, Slugger is the same. The Limerick blogger cares and gets going about Limerick and Rugby. Red Mum gets going about her young wan’s bedroom and has written some good pieces on Bebo, though I’d have a different view on the site. Auds gets going about conservative issues and quality music. Suzy Byrne gets going about personal/political issues. The biggest “get going” in the past 12 months surely had to be the feminism debate. Some other big stories of late were Bertie and his makeup kit, Munster Rugby, Lordi and the Eurovision. There was a huge amount of discussion over the Danish Cartoons all over the Irish blogs. I don’t recall many “incestuous discussions on ourselves”. Still though, how is this “get going” measured? We all react differently to something and care or not care in different ways. What are the units of emotional reaction and discussion?

Adam, maybe you mean that it is easy to unite and piss off a great deal of bloggers by making general statements about what they do, such as saying they only got upset when a tech issue came up such as Tom Raftery’s or saying that they only talk in unity about blogging and not about anything else. I’m sure if someone made a sweeping generalisation that all polticians are illiterate, they’d all unite to address the issue and measuring their reaction would show that in total this issue was talked about more than other issue because as smaller groups and individuals they would generally be more passionate about different areas.

Adam went on:

Perhaps it’s not that blogging is being discussed too much in blogs but that other topics are instead ignored or contained.

The terrible price of freedom of speech and freedom of choice! Bloggers talk about what they want to talk about not about what they “should” or what others expect. As for ignoring topics, am I ignoring hurling because I blog about broadband? Ignoring something is not the same as having no interest in it. Bloggers don’t owe the world anything, they’re not the national broadcaster with some obligation to appeal to every area in society. There is no blog licence fee. We don’t have editors commissioning us to write about areas we might not be passionate about. Is there a bloggers civic duty to society?

I’ll also add a quote from Simon McGarr:

the proof of blogging’s relevance to its audience is that we talk about the things that engage us personally- not the things we’re told ought to.

Adam also stated:

but I do feel an opportunity is constantly being missed when people decide not to point out another blog or post or interest, decline to comment even when they have something to say or refuse to engage in a discussion for whatever reason.

To me, that sounds way more like print media than bloggers. God bless generalisations.

There’s lots of talk that bloggers are saying they’ll replace traditional media. I don’t actually see many bloggers saying that at all. I do read Jeff Jarvis who says old media is going to dwindle and wither unless they change their structures. The odd thing is that the people that talk most about bloggers taking over from paid media are those who say it won’t happen. It’s them that are talking up a non-issue. It’s like writing that the end isn’t nigh because some whacko on the street is saying it is. I don’t think the majority of bloggers think or care if they replace traditional media, they just get on with doing what they do. The same people who declare that the established media’s sky isn’t falling are generally the ones that seem to want parity between blogging and old media and almost demand we toe some invisible editorial line.

Thanks to my friend Matthew for the post title which he used in a recent convo.

5 Responses to “The emotional clashes with the empirical”

  1. Fact Checker says:

    More ferociuos navel-gazing

  2. Adam says:

    I’m reading plenty of blogs that don’t talk about blogs, but it seems that real conversations across the majority of blogs only happens when blogging is the issue.
    I think you’re missing your point when I talk about topics being ignored or contained, I’m not saying that each blog is ignoring a certain topic and should discuss everything that’s going on, but that the conversation that comes afterwards is usually contained to the single blog, while IT@Cork and El Paso was discussed on many number of blogs.

    I really am not making general statements, I’m not saying that each blog only discusses blogging or is ignoring everything else, but that the interaction between blogs seems to be at its peak for issues of the blog

  3. adam says:

    Damien, normally I’d think you were just shitstirring – it’s becoming par for the course these days, perhaps a new act is in order – but I actually think you might be blinded by all the social networking claptrap that’s going around. Can you really, truly not see that this /is/ an incestuous discussion about yourselves? This page, this post, that first paragraph where you started by quoting another blogger? Hello?

    Most blogging “conversations” (as Bernie and many others would insist on calling it, instead of using, you know, english) inevitably end up in these incestuous discussions about yourselves, about blogging, about bloggers, about who’s blogging what and who’s “bloging” who (so to speak); often ruining what was quite an interesting subject at the outset.

    It’s that word you like to use so much: Masturbation. Masturbation that’s both dull and maddening at the same time. When it stops, I’ll start calling my site a blog, but not before.

  4. annette says:

    I remember cross blog discussions on gender, publication of images (the political, ethical and legal considerations), the value of business blogging, and many arts and cultural related issues

    Am I missing something here?

  5. Adam says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I only see it when blogging is the issue.