The Watchful Eye of the Blogosphere

By March 21, 2006General

Just wanted to pass this along, a little exchange that might have eluded you, since it took place in the comments, below, an object lesson on the blogosphere.

We posted a short piece on the recent Billy Joel concert on Thursday night in Washington. The post ran on Friday morning. In the post, we listed probably 20 or more songs that Joel performed during the show. Within an hour or so of the post hitting the blogosphere, one sharp-eyed reader wrote to say that a song we had called, “In the Middle of the Night” was actually called “River of Dreams”. We stood corrected.

So what’s this got to do with the blogosphere? As we noted in the comment that we posted in reply, we often find ourselves in debate with our ersatz friends in the mainstream media (MSM). They typically gripe about the blogosphere (big shocker there), and almost always have the same complaint: That any irresponsible blogger can post something that is completely untrue — that they might even know to be untrue — yet there it sits out there in the blogosphere for all to see.

Our friend, fellow traveler and blogger extraordinaire Mike Krempasky always says that that blogosphere has a “low BS factor” and he’s right. The handful of times we’ve posted something that was factually incorrect, it’s almost always corrected by a reader within a few hours. By the same token, if you read or see something in the MSM that is factually incorrect — happens all the time — what do you do? What window do you go to in the hopes of having it corrected? A letter to the editor? Good luck.

Again, this particular exchange was on a fairly minor issue but we note it only as an object lesson for the blogosphere. It is interactive and readers are not shy about posting comments and corrections, pointing out their philosophical differences, or factual errors. It’s what makes this a great medium, and why — to quote another fellow traveler and outstanding blogger, Eric McErlain of the NEI blog — every blogger is a termite that eats away at the MSM.

Every day, millions and millions of people engage in the blogosphere — both right and left — and in so doing create the trend away from MSM, the drop in readership that they are experiencing. Blog readers do so precisely because they can engage and because the chaff is sorted out from the wheat in real time. They do so because — as blog god Glenn Reynolds points out in his new book aptly entitled, “An Army of Davids” — they are empowered and their voices are heard.

Somebody better tell the New York Times.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Pat,
    I was delighted to find your blog, if only for a selfish reason. Over the years I have work with close to 100 national and regional associations. I find not many communicate through blogs. Some corporation execs have started, but there seems to be great hesitation and confusion as to the benefits blogging can bring.

    Your blog has been up for almost a year and a half. If you have just a moment, would you share your thoughts regarding the following few questions.

    Why did you start writing a blog, when you have a viable website?

    What are/were your goals regarding your blogsite?

    What benefits has your blog provided your organization?

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
    George