: I started reading Fimoculous’ year-end State of the Blogs address nodding my head in agreement:
Before anyone tries to talk you into uttering senseless historical inanities, let’s just clear this up: 2004 was not “The Year of the Blog.” This was not the year of Howard Dean’s bold online campaign, nor was it the year of dismantling Trent Lott. It wasn’t even the year of the Paris Hilton tape. That was all last year, and while we have plenty to celebrate about ’04, it’s best to approach the past 365 days wearing a new look: maturity. In other words, this was the year blogs grew up.
Don’t mistake that assessment as a suggestion that blogs are slipping into a rheumatic slumber. To be sure, it was a good year, one in which we (may I use the royal first person?) booted a tiresome TV anchor, sparred with the FCC, pre-reported Ken Jennings’ demise, and discovered an entire radical music movement. Excellent work, and that’s not even counting the intrepid analysis of Tara Reid’s nipple.
But this was a landmark year for independent publishers not so much because of Lewinsky-size scoops, but because the internet came into its own as a medium for experiencing news events. Think about it — look how many events didn’t necessarily happen first online, but seemed to exist because of the blogosphere. The moments that best defined culture in ’04 — the best political debate (Jon Stewart pouncing on Crossfire), the best sex media scandal (Bill O’Reilly raping a falafel), the best TV moment (Janet exposing a Super Bowl nipple), and the best music video (Ashlee Simpson lip synching on SNL) — were all probably delivered to you via blogger keystrokes. These media events all somehow felt, if you will, “internety” — somewhat like how Jon Stewart’s Daily Show has that intangible quality that makes it feel like television’s version of a blog.
In other words, 2004 was the year we became the medium that mattered….
And then I scrolled down to find something I didn’t agree with, but it’s damned nice of him anyway. You’ll see….
: MORE: Uh-oh, there are more year-end wrap coming. I hate year-end wrap, except that they make the last week of the year easy for reporters and editors. That is why they exist.
: MORE: Lileks does his year-end wrap (no mayo) on blogs:
Full disclosure: This writer knows the Power Line guys, and has a Web site of his own. Good thing, too; the Internet is going to make gigs like this obsolete, once enough people realize that some guy in his basement is capable of turning out commentary as insightful as a tenured eminence who was handed a column 30 years ago and has spent the last 10 coasting on a scoop from the Reagan years. It takes dynamite to get some writers out of the paper.
In the new media, however, a clever blog can spring up overnight and get 100,000 readers in a day. That number can quickly fall to zero if the blogger gets a terminal case of the stupids….
In a sense, blogging is so 2004. The next big thing will be videoblogs. You can fit a rudimentary TV studio in a suitcase — a laptop, a camcorder, a few cables, and a nearby Starbucks with Wi-Fi you can leech onto to upload your reports. This too will be good. One hundred thousand pairs of eyes looking high and low, versus CBS’ staring monocular orb. We’ll all turn to the nets to see what they think we should think. And then we’ll hit the blogs for the rest of the story.
I second that motion.