July 17, 2005

Meta-"London Bombings and Blog Evangelism"

Guardian Onlineblog - "Ambulance chasers?":

There's a little controversy spreading around the blogosphere over the past week, for the usual reason: somebody's said something bad about blogging.

It originates in the response to the London bombings, and some people worrying that some weblogs have been a little too self-congatulatory. First up was Shelley Powers, who warned "don't used this event to promote weblogging". Seth Finkelstein continued the theme by saying "there will always be a certain percentage of the population that will take self-promotion over solemnity".

Then, and probably most importantly, The Register's Andrew Orlowski stirred the pot with a piece headlined "For ambulance-chasing bloggers, tragedy equals opportunity":

No human disaster these days is complete without two things, both of which can be guaranteed to surface within 24 hours of the event. First, virus writers will release a topical new piece of malware. And then weblog evangelists proclaim how terrific the catastrophe is for the internet. It doesn't seem to matter how high the bodies are piled - neither party can be deterred from its task.

He puts the boot in fairly strongly. And hey, the Guardian even gets a slating along the way (a reference to this piece, I think). The response has been varied, and there's been a fair bit of it. But is this genuine disgust, or just a fuss over nothing?

Further, deponent sayeth not.

Except that Dean Landsman's reply deserves a link.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on July 17, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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I worry that if the act of capturing a story via "personal media tools" makes it more "real" (this much has been said somewhere), then relying on the ol' media for a story-- such as 80 people killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq-- perhaps makes it more unreal.

Perhaps the schadenbloggers are trying to rebel against Baudrillard's postmodern assertion that Gulf War I didn't really happen as we only knew about it through television. Don't know. It's late.

Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at July 19, 2005 01:42 AM