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Ripples in the Blog Pond

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Couple of things I came across in the feed reader and elsewhere concerning bloggers — one sort of funny (but with a serious point) and one that looks great on first glance, but less great on second glance. First, the funny: PSFK, the marketing and fashion blog, points us towards a rant from celebrity chef Mario Batali at the blog Eater.com about foodie bloggers. The great man says that:


Many of the anonymous authors who vent on blogs rant their snarky vituperatives from behind the smoky curtain of the web. This allows them a peculiar and nasty vocabulary that seems to be taken as truth by virtue of the fact that it has been printed somewhere.

Batali goes on to mention some scurrilous rumours that were picked up by blogs (after being reported in the New York Post) and spread far and wide.

“This bit of shoddy journalism will be picked up and promulgated by the rest of the gray zone and march its merry way toward the center of the road. Eventually these blog posts become factual information lost in the sauce. But, in the end, I do not hate the blogger. I just expect, and want, more from many of them.”

Points to the chef for the use of the word “vituperatives” — nice work there. And he raises a fair point about blogs and the desire for gossip. But it seems as though Batali’s real issue is with the New York Post writer, not the bloggers. Tabloids have been dishing out questionable gossip since newspapers were first invented.

The second tidbit came from the sporting world, where the New York Islanders have set up a “blog box” for bloggers to cover their games (a slightly different approach from college baseball, which kicks bloggers out). Anyone can sit there provided they want to write about the game, and this seems like a great way to get fans involved in a game that seems to not have a very big audience in the U.S.

The only question in my mind is: Why a special box? Why not just put them in the press box? Presumably that would irritate the real journalists — although as Deadspin (which has an interview with the Islanders about the idea) noted in a post last year, bloggers should count themselves lucky they’re not in the press box, for a whole bunch of reasons.

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