Another ass-backwards story on blogging, now in the New York Times. Bob Tedeschi is no Luddite, nor is he unfamiliar with Internet culture. He knows technology. So I ask how he wound up with a Ecommerce story on blogging which opens with a recital of the statistics and then a practically open dismissal of blogging's future (damning through faint praise, I guess) before addressing the business side.
Further, his choice of a journalism figure blogging away on their own dime wasn't Doc Searls, Paul Andrews, Dan Gillmor, J.D. Lasica, Jim Romenesko, Deborah Branscum (or even yours truly), but Dan Perkins, a cartoonist who does This Modern World. I like the cartoon and Dan is a political thinker. But he's no journalist: he's an essayist and advocate. He doesn't write reportage. Joe Bob says, blog fu.
I don't mean to trot out the usual suspects every time someone mentions blogging and journalism, but we have some folks who are doing the real deal: reporting on their site, writing analysis, interviewing people, creating something bigger than synthesis involving new facts. Commentary is good and interesting, but it isn't Big J or little j journalism. (Journalism's tradition only spans to the late 1800s, if that, in its current form; commentary stretches thousands and thousands of years.) But another way: journalism is asking other people why things work the way they do, and trying to ask enough people to paint a picture of the truth; commentary is asking yourself.
Of course, in the way of these things, the central part of the article was quite solid, showing quantitative and qualitative interest, and the development of business-oriented blogging. Tedeschi missed mentioning that Pyra (Blogger.com) had a strategic investment from Trellix, which has a business software business. I found that omission odd, especially since Trellix leads us to Dan Bricklin, a business-software pioneer.