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Blogging has sold out and nobody told me

There’s a fascinating essay in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times about how a group of scientists are searching for the reasons blogs are on the verge of extinction.  It seems that they were once vibrant, snarky, and unpredictable, but now their “spontaneous eruption of populist creativity is on the verge of being absorbed by the media-industrial complex it claims to despise.” As a result of losing their evolutionary niche, some scientists say, blogs are being increasingly eaten by corporate megaconglomerates.  But as they fail to reproduce their own kind, some of their features are being absorbed by Enantiornithes, a fairly diverse group of mass-media blogs, mostly political journals; Hesperornithiformes, toothless mass-media blogs which are chiefly apolitical diaries; and the toothed Ichthyornithiformes, salacious sex blogs whose authors probably feed on fish.

According to one researcher, the “commercialization” of blogs’ “culture of dissent” has recently reached the point at which “media steer readers toward the top blogs,” and “the temptation to sell out to the highest bidder could become irresistible.”

OK, I knew I was coming to the party two or three years too late, well after most of the cool kids had left and the best hors d’oeuvres were gone, and believe me, I’ve had my moments of thinking, “man, Kurt and I put that blüsparx website together in the summer of 2002, why didn’t we convert it to a blog then?  I could’ve had my rumpled shirts and my cans of Genny Cream Ale profiled in the New York Times Magazine by now.” God knows I’ve tried to make up for that profound sociocultural mistake by pointing out repeatedly, to all who would listen and many who would not, that twenty years ago I liked Hüsker Dü before they sold out by signing that megadeal with TimeWarner in 1989 and agreeing to tour as Michael Bolton’s backing band.

But hell, if we’re already on the verge of extinction, that’s OK so long as there’s money involved.  I therefore declare myself ready to be tempted by the highest bidder.  So, Mr. or Ms. Highest Bidder, sir or ma’am, please identify yourself as soon as possible, since I have only recently learned that Blogshares is merely a “pretend” stock market, and that this blog is not actually worth $63,660.08 in real money.  Thanks!

Posted by on 09/27 at 10:57 AM
  1. hey michael, did you see this? http://www.nytimes.com/pages/politics/trail/index.html apparently the times, too, understands the importance of politics and hockey.

    Posted by  on  09/27  at  12:58 PM
  2. Actually Michael Fancy Name, I don’t think any one would tell you anything worth knowing for fear that no one would find it in your pomo-esque drivel. Just sayin’.

    Posted by  on  09/27  at  01:27 PM
  3. Posted by  on  09/27  at  01:59 PM
  4. I’m a bit confused by your parallelism with avian lineages; all the ornithoforms you mentioned are extinct. Shouldn’t we be comparing blogs to the Neornitheans? And shouldn’t right-wing blogs all be grouped with the Enantiornithes (look at their squirrely backwards coracoid/scapular connection! And they all died out in the Cretaceous! Ha ha!)?

    I do like your descriptions, though, and think I’d rather be an Ichthyornithiformes.

    Posted by PZ Myers  on  09/27  at  02:37 PM
  5. Posted by  on  09/27  at  03:08 PM
  6. Daniel, that must be why Howard Dean and Wesley Clark are on the ticket.

    Posted by  on  09/28  at  02:21 AM
  7. Dallas, it’s overstatement to say that “his liberal fanbase turned on him” - though that is undoubtedly what it *felt* like to him, and I agree with your diagnosis.

    What happened was a segment of said fanbase got pissed and did the usual newsgroup flamewar thing, complete with people attacking the mod, then with other people attacking the attackers, and the yet other people leaping in as pseudo-peacemakers to dump oil on troubled fires. Meanwhile the remainder try to go on having conversations around the ruckus.

    This is all old hat to anyone who spent much time on Usenet in the last 5 years.

    But I think that bloggers often aren’t in that category, and so it’s all a shock to them that yes, wow, people argue and bang on the tables just like they do in a real ratskeller, and sometimes you get brawls with people swinging from the chandeliers and thrown out through the saloon doors…

    Posted by bellatrys  on  09/28  at  03:01 AM
  8. Posted by  on  09/29  at  04:13 AM
  9. Buy direct from China. Secure wholesale online for thousands of products in cheap prices but excellent qualities.

    Posted by China Wholesale  on  02/20  at  06:19 AM
  10. In my opinion, many blogs now are thinking about making money only. Only few of them out there really interested with it’s content. I myself has some blogs. Only few of them are real others are just for commercial.

    Posted by Chicago Hummer Limo  on  10/22  at  03:51 AM
  11. Really wonderful content. all the ornithoforms you mentioned are extinct. I agree with your diagnosis. Thanks a lot dude. smile

    Posted by Ricky hassy  on  03/01  at  07:04 AM
  12. I just enjoyed it while I am reading this article. Many blogger are now busy to make money from the blog. I am kind of feeling sorry for that blogger. In other sense it’s very interesting incidents. Thanks for the nice allocate.

    Posted by jimy adems  on  08/03  at  10:32 AM
  13. Blogs will never be extinct. It gives people a sense of freedom by being able to voice their opinions in literally seconds.

    Posted by limousine service chicago  on  01/24  at  09:07 PM

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