I've become way too involved with BlogCritics, a wonderful group of inspired, insane, outrageous bloggers. What started out as "a sinister cabal of bloggers" is emerging into one of the best known sites on the net with over 50,000 unique hits a day.
As one of the editors (unpaid, alas), I've begun to notice an interesting phenomenon that separates many bloggers from professional writers. What's odd is that that separation occurs in the head, because some of these BlocCritic folks are professional writers who write blog postings differently than they would an article, a story, poem, whatever.
The difference, I think, is that blogs started out as on-line diaries, and diaries are all about "I." It's me, my friends, my interests. There's a sense of freedom that comes with just letting it flow without worrying about editors, readers, clients...whatever.
Based entirely on anecdotal evidence, the best and most widely-read serious blogs don't fall into that trap. At the same time, it's important to recognize that there are very popularly blogs that are I-centric but so much fun and outrageous that people are drawn to them like bears to a wounded hunter. But perhaps the blogosphere is beginning to evolve into different genres, which is a good thing.
One genre that's emerging, which ironically overlaps with mainstream media, is where BlogCritics seems to be going: solid, well-researched writing about politics, culture, or doing a book, music, or movie review. That doesn't mean staid or New York Times or Atlantic Magazine style. The beauty of a great blog or group of bloggers is their sense of the absurd, of the outrageous, their outrage, and willingness to take risks, which should never change.
However, writing in this genre means being conscious of one's audience and how to draw them into your article (note, article, not post.) The more writers interject their personal feelings or life events into those pieces, the more difficult it is for readers to determine if they're reading a political analysis or personal diatribe.
The former is usually more interesting and more powerful, which means that bloggers have to think about the evoling blogosphere and what it means. No one doubts the power of blogs. Now what we have to concern ourselves with is the quality of them. It's time for a certain type of blogging to evolve to a higher level of writing. It would be tragic indeed if the ego-centric, grammatically crippled, "the hell with facts, I have my opinion" style of blogging not only continues but begins to infect mainstream media as well.
<a href=https://technorati.com/tag/writing rel="tag">writing</a>,
<a href=https://technorati.com/tag/blogging rel="tag">blogging</a>,
<a href=https://technorati.com/tag/blogosphere rel="tag">blogosphere</a>,
<a href=https://technorati.com/tag/mainstream+media rel="tag">Mainstream Media</a>