Baghdad “blog”

Baghdad “blog”
: A site called the “Baghdad Blog” is up to promote Salam Pax‘s book.

Doc is right to complain that it’s a “blog” without a single link. He urges them to add a few, just for appearance’s sake.

Get a load of the art on the site? What the hell is that: Scary American soldier in gas mask with big gun and stars superimposed standing in front of an Iraqi dude bent over in pain. Oh, I see, the site was created by the Guardian.

And the site gives us a PDF of the first chapter that illustrates one big problem of producing a book from a blog: no links. When I tried, unsuccessfully, to pitch a book on this blog, post 9/11, I dealt with that by quoting from the linked-to sites; that would have led to copyright hassles and cost more ink. Salam’s book deals with it with plenty of footnotes, which is distracting.

The blog is its own form. It requires links so you can see more if you want to. And it’s immediate in every sense. The writing of it grabs immediate thoughts (so when I translated my post on the PBS WTC docuganda — get it? documentary propaganda? stop me — I had to translate immediate thoughts into mature paragraphs and leave out stupid asides like this). The reading of it fits in with the immediate news.

Blogs are a higher form of media — immediate, interactive, generous — but that’s precisely what makes it difficult to translate their content into other media.