Internazionale is a very interesting magazine and offers tons of inputs for better understanding what’s going on around the world. It helps putting pieces together.
The number last week collected the following three articles on blogging:
- Why I blog by Andrew Sullivan,
- Who killed the blogosphere? by Nicholas Carr, and
- The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady by Emily Nussbaum.
Reading them, one after the other, made the scenario of blogging quite clear. What is the point and the trends these people are highlighting? Well, the blogosphere is alive but it is deeply changed.
Starting form Andrew Sullivan’s point of view on the importance and beauty of blogging:
a blog, unlike a diary, is instantly public. It transforms this most personal and retrospective of forms into a painfully public and immediate one. It combines the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has ever been exposed before.
it is clear that blogging gave voices to millions of people that haven’t had any chance to express themselves, at least not writing. But Nicholas Carr’s put in evidence the evolution blogging had in the last years and the strong differences existing today between myself, a personal and pure blogger, and blogs like Engadget, treehugger or The Huffington post, where tens of people are “producing” the postings just as a normal online newspaper:
I was a latecomer to blogging, launching Rough Type in the spring of 2005. But even then, the feel of blogging was completely different than it is today. The top blogs were still largely written by individuals. They were quirky and informal. Such blogs still exist (and long may they thrive!), but as Boutin suggests, they’ve been pushed to the periphery.
And here we come with the third article, about a young generation of innovators and “nerds” who are trying to pump life into The New York Times, transforming its website from a simple repetition of the paper version into a web 2.0 tool producing data and information, in the most different and various ways.
The point is that this is happening in the house of an old, famous and very influential American newspaper:
It was a radical reinvention of the Times voice, shattering the omniscient God-tones in which the paper had always grounded its coverage.
API, widgets, web applications and everything else to produce news in a different ways is being adopted by the NYT. Interaction is the key as well as people’s participation. Many different ways to create a platform where journalists, on one side, and surfers, on the other, give life together to the “information” and the data about which we all will think and reflect, after reading. Some examples? “The word train” and the “Casualties of War: Faces of the Dead“.
Two examples of how data, people’s emotions and information can be combined inside an ancient and autoritathive newspaper in the era of collaboration.
And how this can influence the blogosphere? The fact is that the border between journalism and blogging is getting thinner and thiner. The result is that if people posting on a blog like Talking Points Memo can be “classified” as journalists, commenters of the NY Times today can be considered “bloggers” (e.g. Paul Krugman’s blog on NYT) as their point of view is now open to comment, replies, discussions as any other blog on the Web.