Bloggers Unite!

This is a bit off the topic of software development, but I findit fascinating, so please excuse the detour.

Bloggers bemoan Yahoo’s role in writer’sarrest. Blog: There’s lots of buzz out thereabout a media watchdog group’s claim that Yahoo providedinformation that helped Chinese officials… [CNETNews.com]

That’s so funny – one of the features of Radio Userlandis that it lists current news stories from several major feeds,letting me perform a single click and turn it into a blog post.Voila, I’m a pretend newspaper!

Personally I find this a bit disturbing – are people signing upfor feeds from bloggers to allow them to be their news filters,carefully applying their bias to whatever stories they want peopleto hear Are we in a world where there are half a dozen sources ofinformation, and there are vast armies of Winston Smithsmanipulating feeds to fit their perspective?

Secondly, this story above details how “bloggers bemoan”(including some snippets from blogs, which is a pretty fragilebasis of a news story), as if “bloggers” are some sort ofcollective consciousness (which has been a bit of a mantra in themedia as of late). Bloggers, as a composite, have very little incommon with each other, and this constant portrayal of someunderlying binding thread is ridiculous. Having, or writing in, ablog is universally accessible. There is no great skill, sacrifice,or motivation in being a “blogger” (why blogger is being linked isa mystery to me – it’s just the word in quotation marks. Sort ofannoying). Furthermore, I’ve been seeing some readership numbersfor some of the most popular blogs, and man are they a world lessthan you would think. Many of them were less than 1% of the dailyreads that I would have expected given the perspective ofblogs.