"But if we can bring to consciousness the logic of a particular technology, its tendencies and shortcomings, even as we make use of it we can at least open the door to spiritual resistance."

Jeremy Beer at Front Porch Republic on “The Logic and Nature of Blogging”

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Susan R's picture

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...in the blogosphere it is exceedingly rare for anyone to write anything “original” at all — that is, for someone to contribute some information or analysis that does not take off from something published recently in a relatively prominent linkable location. One suspects that the decline of original reporting with the death of newspapers will only exacerbate this trend, which is made necessary by the volume and frequency of writing that blogging requires. Riffing and linking is much easier than ginning up something new.

This is one of the first things I noticed about blogging, and also something that took me by surprise. I can certainly understand why it happens, but not why it seems to be a defining factor of blogging. But then, some folks use riffing and linking to build their own blogs... but I agree that originality seems in short supply on the blogosphere.

dcbii's picture

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One suspects that the decline of original reporting with the death of newspapers will only exacerbate this trend, which is made necessary by the volume and frequency of writing that blogging requires.

If you have ever read a number of different newspapers to try to get different takes on a story, you will realize right away that in most cases, except for a few local editorials and stories, most of the actual news stories are provided by the various news organizations like the AP. It can be quite difficult when trying to get more details on a story to even get a different version of the article. Newspapers these days are mostly just a delivery mechanism, and an outdated one at that. Because of this, we won't be losing all that much if we just have several different competing main news organizations that provide the "original" content.

The lack of originality is one of the reasons I quit taking the local paper -- by the time I read the articles, I realized I had already seen most of those exact articles online somewhere. Local news might be able to survive by banding together, but it will look much different than it does now., and there is absolutely no reason to have all the overhead of printing something that's dated before it hits the street, only to have it fill up a landfill somewhere the next day.

It's not surprising to me at all that most blogs don't have a whole lot of original information or analysis, because there aren't all that many people going out there to get the news or to try to evaluate it without having already read someone else's take on it. This is especially true when you realize that most bloggers don't do this for a living, so they don't have the time to put into it.

With global access, it becomes quickly clear that you don't need 400 journalists covering White House press briefings (e.g.) because there just isn't that much originality or value in that.

Dave Barnhart