Problems in the Blogosphere

As I sit on my bed, computer in my lap, trying to think about what to write next, I can’t help but think about the countless roadblocks ahead.  Why is no one commenting?  Am I simply a news aggregate, am I not coming up with anything original?  Can my research, reporting, facts and figures be trusted?

I am first off well aware that on most of theses posts I am simply talking to myself.  I hear my reporter voice over and over again in my own head and there is very little interaction.  That is what reporting in the 21st century is all about, interaction and dialogue.  It is hard to have a conversation of one and I am beginning to feel like I’m suffering from schizophrenia.  Though peers who post articles on their facebook pages seem to get an unheard of number of hits.  Maybe it’s the medium, or maybe it’s the message.  According to Marshall McLuan, they are one in the same.

The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.  (NY Times)

Even if a particularly witty lead grabs someone they will rarely click past the headline, even less will read the while article and no one will comment. I will admit I fall victim to it as well.  With my busy schedule I rarely read past the headline of a tweet.

My cell phone doubles as my alarm clock, so that’s the first thing I pick up in the morning. Once I have it in my hand, I log into Mediagazer to see if any news broke overnight or if I can snooze for a bit. Then I check my email inboxes (personal and work), then my Twitter account to see if there are any stories that haven’t yet been picked up by our algorithm. Then I check Foursquare, to spy on where my friends were the night before. After that, assuming I haven’t had to switch to my laptop to deal with something urgent, I stumble out of bed and to the closest coffee. (The Atlantic Wire)

Jared Keller seems to hit the nail on the head with this one.  I must say we have virtually the same wake-up and to-bed routines.

In the evening, before I go to bed, it’s pretty much a reverse process from my morning. I’m on my phone, checking Foursquare to see where everyone is, Twitter to make sure I’m not missing anything, email for more personal messages, then Mediagazer to make sure the site is adequately prepared for the hours I’m offline. Then set the alarm and put the phone back in its charger. (The Atlantic Wire)

On that same hand, why would the general audience read my blog?  I admit that I am clumsy with tags, sloppy with presentation.  I do not come up with my own content nearly enough to be particularly enriching.  Most news fronts seem to posting similar content anyway.  Front pages, or home pages, are starting to look the same.  Even when I glance at my twitter feed, I see the same story over and over again.

On that same note, news aggregators seem to be flourishing.  Yahoo News and Google News rarely, if ever, come up with original content.  They will search and filter news results and will then point you in the right direction without ever bringing you to the source’s webpage.

I speak for many people in my generation in saying I was ecstatic when Napster was created and I could share music peer to peer without paying a cent.  Why would news be any different?

In a time of such widespread citizen journalism legitimacy and accuracy is another problem in the blogosphere.  Who is to say anyone is not making up sources, events, quotes and details.  That I may be simply playing a practical joke and someone misconstrues it as fact, or visa versa.  On twitter there are a plethora of celebrities that ‘die’ one day, but tweet the release of their album the next.  I’m not the first person to say it, and I most certainly wont be the last; you can’t believe everything you read.


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