So, You’re Just Going To Keep Blogging, Then?-From The Nieman Journalism Lab: ‘Predictions For Journalism 2014’

Full series here.

You know what they say about predictions and the future…

Jason Kottke from ‘The Blog Is Dead, Long Live The Blog:’

‘Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice. Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs.’

Blogging is still a no to low-cost way to share ideas and reach an audience.  Twitter, however, (water-cooler for many a journalist) and other platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram are fulfilling similar functions that made blogging such a great diving-board for many to make the leap from print.

What about virality?  No news outlet (nor marketer, really) can afford to miss out on viral content and the latest buzz, but, as Felix Salmon notes in ‘The Veracity Of Viral,’ this can raise other questions:

‘The reasons that people share basically have nothing to do with whether or not the thing being shared is true. If your company was built from day one to produce stuff which people want to share, then that will always end up including certain things which aren’t true.’

Successful sites like Buzzfeed and Gawker have managed to harness the power of viral content and the latest buzz, drawing big traffic and ad revenue, but they haven’t always figured out exactly how to connect their model with other duties that, say, your local newspaper may have fulfilled:  Actual reporting, reporters on the beat etc.

Not such a big deal, unless, of course, you’re tired of reading everyone gossiping about viral content and the latest buzz, and everyone offering their opinion on a blog by linking to other blogs (addition: a reader points out linking is fine, it’s actually many bigger outlets that troll the blogs then often don’t link back to the blogs).

This reminds me of discussions I’ve heard for years about Craigslist, EBay, and Amazon, which hover around a common theme:  Build the platform, app, or service first, and draw people away from the classified ads, flea-markets, bookstores and bring them online.  Go from there. There are niches and people to reach, but it can be hard out there for a blog.

As to journalism and the punditocracy, I’ll leave you with this quote found here, by Andrew Potter:

‘In a philosophical debate, what everyone involved is trying to get at is the truth. In contrast, what is at stake in the political realm is not truth but power, and power (unlike truth) is a “rival good”—one person or group can wield power only at the expense of another. This is why politics is inevitably adversarial. Political power is ultimately about deciding who shall govern, and part of governing is about choosing between competing interests’

Classic Yellow Journalism by malik2moon

Remember The Maine! The good old days…by malik2moon

Related On This SiteFrom io9 Via An Emailer: ‘Viral journalism And The Valley Of Ambiguity’

From The Nieman Lab:-An Oral History Of The Epic Collision Between Journalism & Digital Technology, From 1980 To The Present.

Charlie Martin At PJ Media: ‘Could Amazon and Jeff Bezos Make the Washington Post Profitable?’…‘Sorry, Jeff Bezos, the News Bundle Isn’t Coming Back

Michael Kinsley At The New Republic Via Althouse: ‘A Q & A With Jill Abramson’

From Slate: “Newsweek Has Fallen And Can’t Get Up”

A Few Thoughts On Blogging-Chris Anderson At Wired: ‘The Long Tail’

You could do like Matt Drudge, but the odds are stacked against you.

A Few Links On Free-Speech, Duck Dynasty & Gay Rights

Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty, may have beliefs with which you agree or disagree, but he’s managing to push a lot of buttons.

Addition:  As a reader asked before, are we talking about legal and constitutional definitions of speech and case-law, or some broader ones?

For my part, given where I live, I’m accustomed (numb, really) to the excesses of the PC crowd.  Some people really want to control public debate and silence opposition, which ought to be assurance enough they shouldn’t be controlling public debate nor telling the rest of us what we can say without serious push-back.  The discontents of the New Left, and more Left-of-Center movements promising liberation from oppression and ever more rights for all (conveniently granted by themselves, their leaders and their ideological commitments) can often drive such debates.

It’s worth noting that it’s not just social and religious conservatives, but often people more familiar with the turf, who are pushing-back against these particular groups:  classical and free-speech liberals, more non-communitarian and non-collectivist constitutional liberals, neo-conservatives, libertarians, and folks like Christopher Hitchens.

-Camille Paglia, Catholic-leaning child of the 60’s, argues that gays and lesbians might want to take pause before joining a mob which could eventually turn on them:

“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,” Paglia said. “This is not the mark of a true intellectual life

-Nick Gillespie, at Time magazine, makes a broader argument about celebrity, technology and instant feedback which levels authority.  We still want more speech, not less (libertarians tend to see both Right and Left as having authoritarian bases which threaten individual liberty):

‘Between the suspension by A&E of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson for anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ, the firing of actor and MSNBC talk-show host Alec Baldwin for his own homophobic ranting, and the Food Network’s cutting ties with chef Paula Deen due to racially insensitive remarks that came to light during a lawsuit, it seems like it’s open season on celebrities.’

Here’s a quote I put up just last Sunday from Peter Berkowitz on Leo Strauss, which strikes me as quite reasonable.

“As Strauss understood it, the principle of liberal democracy in the natural freedom and equality of all human beings, and the bond of liberal society is a universal morality that links human beings regardless of religion. Liberalism understands religion to be a primary source of divisiveness in society, but it also regards liberty of religious worship to be a fundamental expression of the autonomy of the individual. To safeguard religion and to safeguard society from conflicts over religion, liberalism pushes religion to the private sphere where it is protected by law. The liberal state also strictly prohibits public laws that discriminate on the basis of religion. What the liberal state cannot do without ceasing to be liberal is to use the law to root out and entirely eliminate discrimination, religious and otherwise, on the part of private individuals and groups.”

And Hitchens still makes for compelling and interesting listening on speech: