Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What's Bringing People Here

I don't normally do this, but I found it a bit strange when I saw what was sending people here today. First, there were a couple of weird searches: "valerie krum pork" (I'm the first hit) and "let children smoke" (where I'm third - the exact quote is "NOT to let children smoke", but whatever...). I'm honestly not sure which is more disturbing, so I'll let y'all decide.

More interesting was a link I received from MSNBC. Apparently, MSNBC has assigned someone to find interesting links in the blogosphere, and put them all on their website. The latest edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival is what this writer stumbled on, and I'm curious as to how that happened, but it brought to mind a few questions about the blogosphere and its relationship to the mainstream media. Here's an excerpt from an e-mail I sent this writer:
If you don’t mind my asking, I’ve always been curious – do the blogs of traditional media outlets get readers? It seems as if most bloggers would be somewhat ‘distrustful’ of such a blog; instead of viewing it as just another blog, with more behind it, they seem to view it as “just another wing of the MSM, disguised.”

While people respect the news outlets themselves, or blogs themselves, they don’t seem to like the combination of the two. When a post I wrote was put into Opinion Journal [this post, here], it got respect (and hate mail :) ). And obviously, bigger blogs have their own respect, even if most of it remains in the blogosphere. But blogs such as the one the WSJ created, and this one [the MSNBC blog], seem to be somewhat unknown. Is this the impression you get as well, or am I way off?
What are your impressions of blogs that originate with major news organizations? The only one I can think of that is very popular and well-read is James Taranto's Best of the Web from the Wall Street Journal, but according to Taranto, that's not really a blog. Does being attached to a major news outlet limit the ability of someone to be a true blogger while working in that capacity? To me, it both gives them credibility and limits them at the same time. I wonder how most people react to a blog like that.