March 02, 2005

"Ethical Spectacle" webzine and blogging

Jonathan Wallace wrote the following mini-essay for the letters page of his webzine Ethical Spectacle. I'm going to echo it, since I do have a blog, and think it's worthwhile and not quite the same bloggy crowd.

[Disclosure: I've had essays published in the Ethical Spectacle, and he's written some nice things about me]

Letters to the Ethical Spectacle

January was the tenth anniversary of The Ethical Spectacle. There are times when it is the most compelling activity in my life, and others when I feel tired and have considered hanging it up, but I just can't stop. In the early days, I frequently wrote several essays per issue, so a rough estimate is that I have written about 200 pieces for the 123 issues of the Spectacle. Some continue to bring me monthly email years after publication (An Auschwitz Alphabet, essays on Kent State, God, pornography, and lying) while others sank like stones (some deservedly). Many email and web publications I followed when I started-- Computer Underground Digest, the Network Observer, the Journal of Mediated Communications-- have all gone away, but I'm still here.

Part of the experience has been watching the successive waves of hype wash over the Internet. The latest is blogs. To put them in perspective: if instead of a monthly publication, I posted text every day or two; if instead of full articles, I put up random factoids and musings, and lots of links elsewhere; then the Spectacle would be a blog. Am I missing something?

So all the talk about the blogosphere is amusing. It is nothing more than fragmentary, frequently updated web pages (which have always existed) plus marketing. On the other hand, anything which increases the visibility and influence of Internet-based journalism is a Good Thing.

Of course, fractured communication, frequent updates, lots of links is a format practically dictated by the medium (which, once again, is the message). I am aware that the Spectacle format, a monthly issue aping print, is an archaic way to use the Web. But I plan to continue doing it that way anyway.

Jonathan jw[at]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on March 02, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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