On the same day, but slightly grumpier…

You know actually, as I read the Evening Standard piece in its full published version, I’m a little less comfortable with it than I thought I was. It really does concentrate completely on the idea of weblogs as diaries, which I’m afraid they’re just not – people use them to talk to each other, to express their opinions and to invite response. So basically it’s a complete ‘here we go again’ of an article – the same article that the British press write every single time they think about weblogs. In fact it’s so familiar that I believe I’ve even written this kind of semi-stroppy response before. Several times. Here’s the most recent one: On how journalists write about webloggers. There’s no questioning about why millions of people would suddenly start writing diaries in public, no sense that other media can be organised chronologically. I can’t blame them for writing it in this way, but it is really kind of boring.

What I think I can get a little narky about is the description of this site as a place where I detail everything about my life, “accompanied by photographs”. Over the last few years, I’ve posted very little about my life at all. It’s just wrong. And it’s worse that it’s under a heading like, “Dear London, today I wore blue socks to work…” That seems to me to be just sloppy work with a little bit of fiddling your facts to fit your story.

Almost exactly five years ago The Evening Standard did its first article on weblogs and I contributed to that too. It was called ‘Blog On for an Ego Trip’ (the fault of the sub-editor rather than the journalist concerned) and I wrote about it here. It was actually a pretty decent article, much like most of this one. It got some stuff wrong, and the title was a nightmare, but these were early days when there were only a few thousand webloggers in the world. Now there are millions. The weblog world has moved on enormously and has had an impact in altogether unexpected places. I think it would be reasonable to expect that the press would keep up with these changes. Maybe I’m being mean. Dunno.

Anyway, for those of you who have found themselves on here for the first time and are wondering what to make of it all – it’s still great to have you here. I’m afraid I don’t write much about my personal life, so if that’s what you’re looking for I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. I tend to write more about the stuff I work around – social software, personal publishing, design and the future of TV and radio. If that stuff appeals to you, then we’ll probably get on quite well. And almost every day I get together a list of the stuff that I’ve found interesting on the web. Some people find that kind of useful.

9 replies on “On the same day, but slightly grumpier…”

The thing I found most annoying about that feature was unlike the Metro piece that that morning that they didn’t mention the Technorati research where they get the figures that “a new blog is created every second”.
On a personal viewpoint and I know it sounds churlish – they confused my main site with my blog, which will make it equally confusing to anyone who reads the article.
Hey ho!

Aren’t those readers going to get a shock when they come here expecting deeply personal musings interspersed with mating traffic cones – and instead get detailed, fascinating accounts of technology conferences!

This is what the Cambridge Evening News business section wrote about our blogging conference:-
“Bloggers can write what they like on their blogging website, and there is no one in the ether to edit mistakes or curb worst excesses. It’s almost like online graffiti, except it is not against the law, and doesn’t make a mess of your garage wall”
So that should really encourage the business folks to turn up!

it was a ludicrous article.
my wife handed it to me last night and i though ah interesting. and then read the farticle.
no attempt to get any sense at all for what a weblog is. it basically reinforced all the tarded stereotypes people have of blogs. terrible. and they showed you no respect at all. i mean fucking hell – a londoners day. un huh. and the only shot they could pull was the story about your natural father. you havent dwelt on it. i was kind of disgusted they did.
why dont you offer to write them a piece that actually explains what they are and why they are interesting.

I’ve yet to read a good article on blogging in the mainstream press (I don’t read the Guardian that often and I think they’ve got a handle on it). I was “interviewed” for a piece for the Scottish Sunday Times and lo and behold was the poster boy for smarmy “look at THEM and their weird little hobby” article. Not good at all.
Thing is, if they are doing ANY sort of research, why don’t they ask.. ohh I dunno… let’s pick a name… hey how about you Tom! they could ask YOU to write an article for them.
Radical thought, shoot me now.

Got to say – we over at Londonist felt a little…grubby after appearing in the Standard (especially as we slag them off at every opportunity we get).
But you can’t really expect much from Associated Newspapers, especially when even the BBC is putting out stuff like this:
Choice quote: “Technorati is like a search engine that keeps track of what is happening in the blogosphere.”
Who wrote that? A 5 year old?

I like James’ comment that it was “ludicrous”. It was. An abysmal piece of journalism. Goes a long way to explain why, given the choice, I now prefer to read blogs rather than newspapers.

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