April 30, 2004

More on the "what the hell is blogging and is it important" conversation

Both of these posts are from Allison of An Unsealed Room, one of my favorite bloggers out there. (I'll stand by a fellow Rhode Islander any day!)

Anyway, a couple days ago, I read this post of hers:

My Womb or Gaza: Which is More Interesting?

Allison is a journalist, she lives in Israel, and she is pregnant. Her interests are varied and diverse, and yet she has felt torn about which way she wants her blog to go. What do her readers expect from her? For readers who only want to hear about Israel - will they get annoyed as she tells tales of being pregnant? For pregnant women who read her, will they get annoyed with the constant news of Israel? What is expected of us? Do we have any obligation to our little teeny niche audiences?

And then today, comes this great post on the whole bloggers vs. traditional media conversation (that only interests bloggers, probably):

One More Time: Journalism vs. Blogging

I was particularly struck by her analogy, which seems pretty right on to me:

The following is a crude analogy, but I've used it before and I'll use it again.

Journalism is prostitution and blogging is recreational sex. When you blog, you do it when you want it, how you want it, and on what topic you want it. It's all yours. You hope that others are getting off on what you write, but your livelihood doesn't depend on it. It is all about putting yourself out there, satisfying your own writing needs and proving to yourself how clever you are. If you don't feel like doing it, you don't have to do it. You are free.

With journalism, and other forms of professional writing, you have a lot of people to please and prove things to. You have an editor and a newspaper owned by a big company to please. You have to write about what that editor and that newspaper considers important. You have to do it in a manner that pleases them. And you have to do it all day, every day, except for weekends (if you're lucky.)

Go check out the rest of the post. It cuts through a lot of the self-righteous crap I hear coming from the mouths of a lot of bloggers and a lot of journalists as well.

Oh, and Allison? Go ahead and blog about morning sickness, blog about your cats, blog about Gaza - it don't matter to me. I'll visit you every day regardless.

Posted by sheila

I blog to get things out of my head so that I can stop thinking about them. It is the moral equivalent of putting clutter on a shelf, except that in this case the shelf is visible from the street and I hope that the clutter is interesting enough that people will want to look at it.

Posted by: Ted K. at April 30, 2004 01:33 PM

Great post.

I'll have to borrow heavily...

Posted by: mitch at April 30, 2004 02:01 PM