Sunday, January 23, 2005

Fear not blogosphere

Ed Cone does a great job of explaining why traditional media should welcome blogosphere:

Second -- and this is even more important, because undeniable empirical evidence will correct the misperceptions noted above -- part of the value of blogging lies in exactly the aspect he sees as its weakness: the blog as hub of a tiny community. But small communities are valuable, the people in them care deeply about the church or kids soccer team or, yes, the cats involved. To compare these communities to mass-market media is to miss the point. And to ignore the possible economic value of these tiny sites when aggregated is to write off an enormous potential market.

Small communities and individual perspectives can help mass media by providing them more information, more sources, more references and links, than they could possibly generate alone. At Harvard on Friday, MSNBC president Rick Kaplan said blogs help improve ratings for his programs, and New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson -- not undefensive, but not uncurious -- listened to the amen chorus singing. As Jay Rosen puts it, "the forces of denial are in retreat."

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