: In a comment on my list of the relationship between weblogs and established media here, Dann says he wishes all media personalities — authors, pundits, hosts — had their email addresses on the Web. I respectfully disagree, having once had a large audience and having received too many letters to answer. And, besides, since I was always bad at sending thank-you notes to my aunts, I could be assured to be worse at it with people who didn’t know my mother.
But the spirit of the comment is exactly right: Interactivity is good for both sides, especially for media personalities, for they get to know what their audience is thinking, they get to know they have an audience.
That is why weblogs are great for such people. It is a way for them to interact with their audiences without having to write individual letters. It is a way for them to answer the same comment or question from many people at once. It is a way to enter an actual conversation. And better yet, we all get to watch. I far prefer it when people leave comments on my blog vs. sending email, for, again, I am a bad email correspondent (sorry, Uncle Richard and all the rest of you!) and I prefer to have the conversation in public.
So Bill O’Reilly, Tom Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Dan Rather, Paul Krugman, John Podhoretz, Stephen King, Charlie Rose, Oprah — and, yes, even Andy Rooney — you should all start weblogs to interact with your audiences. If Dave Barry can do it, so you can. And you’ll be glad you did.