Blogging Times

Blogging Times
: If I were editor Len Apcar or president Martin Nisenholtz or NY Times Public Editor Dan Okrent, I’d feel like the only atheist in Alabama: bait for every evangelist in sight. We bloggers are going after them with religious fervor, trying to get the Times to blog, trying to convert them to the Church of Blog (what are we, Bloggists?).

I’ve personally gone after all three of them. That might seem odd; you’d think I’d want to keep this living-in-two-faiths, big-media/nanomedia schizo thing to myself and a small fraternity of fellow religionists. But no, like any evangelist, I subscribe to the view: the more the merrier. Once The Times blogs, we won’t have to explain what blogging is anymore; we won’t have to put up with conference-haunting journalists dismissing this phenom as a fad; we’ll all get more readers and more to read. Once The Times blogs, everyone will. And no, that won’t coopt the form; that will explode the form. That will be good for blogging. And what’s good for blogging is good for the citizens.

(I’m just a Populist in the temple of the Bloggists, you see.)

: Now Jay Rosen goes after Okrent to start a blog as the perfect form for his ombudsmanian duties. Rosen’s right: A weblog lets Okrent note and respond to (or not respond to) criticism and comment about the Times: “The weblog becomes the place where voices from the reading public, and voices from the editorial staff, are placed artfully into conversation by the presiding voice of the editor.” I can see that the blog also presents a few issues for someone in that position, for every word will be dissected (a frightening prospect in a medium of such immediacy). Weblogs are a personal medium with a personal voice and that needs to be squared with speaking for an institution (and an industry). But I agree with Jay: Weblogs are a good way to meet the public editor’s and The Times’ goals. Weblogs are also the right voice for a public editor, as I advised here. And Okrent would be an awesome weblogger because he’s damned smart, has a great voice, and lives in interesting Times.

: A prediction: I’ll bet you’ll be seeing weblogs from The Times sooner than you think….