Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Swarming blogger's newest tactic to thwart opposing voices

Oh, the fun of being able to express one's opinion. It can take many forms such as two-sided or more) constructive arguments. It can take the form of grass roots activism and it can also take the form of outright one-sided bashing.

In recent times, blogs have faced criticism from 'traditional journalists'. I see them as more of a supplement to 'traditional journalism'. They, many times, expose news that traditional outlets simply don't have the room or resources for. Big media covers big news. Their 'suppliers' (AP, UPI...) simply give, for a fee, the content to major outlets and the outlets repackage the news for their particular markets and demographics. Blogs, and online news in general, have the freedom, time and resources to dig deeper and explore further, thereby supplementing the traditional outlets. I know from being a webmaster at a 'traditional outlet' for a few years.

Blogs, though, sometimes get a bad name for playing an enormous part in one-sided bashing or relentless 'swarming'. Swarming is when a number of like-minded bloggers team up to relentlessly bash an outlet or individual which poses an opposing viewpoint. Today, their efforts from the past year or so came to a close as CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather

stepped down from the anchor desk. The same link also details the efforts of the Northern Alliance,

a Minnesota-based group of bloggers, to launch an attack headed by conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt

heard locally on ultra-conservative and religious broadcaster's 1280 AM owned by Salem Radio.

The attack would have targeted the largest newspaper in Minnesota, and coincidently the employer of one of the Northern Alliance's members, the Star Tribune.

The attack, though, was called off due to one single blog

which is, according to Star-Tribune critics, doing a respectable job in attacking the newspaper.

This, exactly, is a fine example of the wrong use of a blog. It is fine to share your opinions and criticize while accepting criticism from others but proposing an attackigng swarm is exactly why bloggers are not seen as legitimate. Never would a traditional media outlet openly state that they planned such a verbal war to bring shame to another outlet. It is ridiculous to think of that. But in the wild west that is the internet, it all seems to be fair game.

Feel free to flame away at my take on things, particularly the anti-strib blog I mentioned earlier.

Sorry about unclickable links, PC problems forced me to the mac which is superior in each and every way except using Blogger which is apparently blind to Mac users.


Mary Ann said...

Hi Brian, Like your blog. My son is a city-slick transported to upper Minnesota. You might like what he has to say, as he moves through his world of insanity.

Mary Ann

Mary Ann said...

Whoops, forgot to let his blogger title. as you might guess in the middle of nowhere.
Mary Ann

Tracy said...

Thanks for the Link. I sorry you think that my blog is a poor use of a blog. I started it because of the outragous commentaries in the Red Star.

It has become a outlet for people to vent that would otherwise never be heard. I think it's a great use for a blog. The strib has a virtual monopoly on the state, they needed a plave for people to express their disagreement.