I’m being asked to write for blogs as a PR activity. Well… it’s good money and I’m a good little prostitute… so off I go. But I think that blogs are turning some PR practitioners and marketers into tech junkies and making them lazy (especially a particular unnamed firm). Blogs still cannot compete with good-old fashioned ink (or video). People still turn to traditional news sources for their facts.
Yet, blogs do serve a purpose and I disagree with the growing suspicion (of some cynics) that blogs may threaten critical thinking of the public-at-large. They also worry that over saturation from blog-debates could harm the credibility of traditional news sources and – God forbid – taint public discussion with erroneous speculation (oh, you mean like Rush Limburger, Ann “blowhard” Coulter, et al?).
Blogs have made nitwits like Limbaugh and Coulter irrelevant by extending public debate to anybody with some bandwidth and a server. Of course there is some junking up to deal with, but now the selection is so diverse and the scope so deep that just about every opinion and point of view under the sun is fully represented and broadly explored. It reminds me of the gaggles of soapbox orators that once adorned the entrances of county fairs across the nation, spouting rhetoric and reason to gawking crowds. But oh what a selection of soapboxes – pro and con ad nauseum – all at one time, 24/7/365 and no shooting. The emerging “blog-slog” is as a healthy byproduct of democracy and our growing lust for ‘watchdog’ transparency? And we could use a whole heck of a lot more transparency at all levels of governance these days.
At any rate, blogging is a far less insulting demonstration of the 1st Amendment than the talkshow hacks of the previous media age – ala Limbaugh and Coulter whom I think presented a far dire threat to civic debate. If anything, blogs encourage critical thinking and they help enlarge our constitutional entitlement for free speech. And you know what? If any one of those blog-nabobs becomes the least bit myopic or irrelevant there will always be plenty more soapboxes to gawk at.