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.


  1. The "official media blogs" are more sanitized for mass appeal, more boring than ours.

    me-ander used to get some strange googled visitors looking for "ander wear" and things like that.

  2. i agree with batya... i've read some blogs from official media outlets and as interesting as they can be, they are 'safer' in terms of their content.

    what i actually think is that these blogs are the modern day newspaper opinion or serial column. amusing or editorial or analytical, it gives the author an outlet that is similar to publishing daily or weekly in a newspaper but with a blog they can get feedback instantly as opposed to waiting for letters. in the entertainment section of the newspaper we get there is a weekly column that has now been renamed a 'blog' instead and can be read online (with links and more details). so i think that their association does give them credibility but, as you say, limits them as well.

  3. The Washington Post, I think is doing the blogging thing right. They actually hired a Republican blogger who started today.

  4. Funny you should ask this, because I actually stopped by that MSNBC blog-style column and noticed the "Kosher carnival" there. I was going to click through and say hi, and point out the link in case you hadn't seen it. But apparently you did.

    I generally don't look to those columns the way I would for a blog. They occasionally post a funny video though. It was a pleasant surprise to find that your blog had somehow snuck through their safety filters.

    Well done!

  5. I like the comparison to the weekly columns... that is what they seem like, although with the added links.

    The Washington Post is wise in focusing on using Technorati to track who is discussing that which they're already writing about; it gives an added dimension to regular news stories. That's a bit different than a specific blog of a news outlet.

    Thanks, everybody. Gavriel - I'm not sure how I got in, actually... :)

  6. i just did a search on msnbc and found that link to the kosher cooking carnival! cool... 15 seconds of fame outside the jblogosphere!! :p