Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Truesday and the Rant

Well, well, well. Looks like I’ll be writing a weekly “column” over at Austinist. Aptly named “Truesday”, which will post on (no shit?) every Tuesday (holy cow!).

I plan to suck real bad, and say really inappropriate things. So it won’t be much different than this here blog thing. You can check out the first entry here. My older stuff is here.

Feel free to comment on my writings there, as if you were doing it here. You can comment anonymously, and I’ll probably be able to figure out who it is. Or you can leave a clue, nickname, whatever’s clever. Hell, link your own blog on there with a witty comment. Who doesn’t love a witty comment, eh?

The strange thing about writing for a site like Austinist is that there is little to no real feedback. A story/post goes up, it gets read (presumably), but then just disappears into the void. I would guess that for every thousand readers per day, a comment is made. People keep pretty quiet, which sort of negates the purpose of having a comment field to begin with.

The only time I get any feedback is when I say something completely crass or inflammatory. Which has happened, but not intentionally.

Sometimes my opinions are wholly unpopular. Other times, I’m just flat out wrong. And out on the wondrously anonymous interweb, the douche balloons come out in droves if you so much as swap a “their” with a “they’re”. May the good lord help you if you misquote something, or make an off-handed assumption (better known as an “opinion”).

Understandably, the work I do at Austinist gets mistaken for journalism, as opposed to expressive writing, or blogging, and that’s okay. In fact, my particular perception of what blogs are supposed to do is quickly becoming the buggy whip of the online industry. Outdated, with a slight tinge of nostalgia.

You see, blogging, in my mind, was never supposed to be an “official” news source. That misses the whole point and beauty of the thing. It was initially seen as 100% opinion, and not taken as hard-and-thoroughly-researched journalism. Mainly because the unregulated blog world has no effective editorial oversight. Anyone can say anything they want. The hundreds of thousands of blogging finger tips, tapping away on keys, with nothing between their “opinion” and “fact” but the air pushed away to strike the board… that’s totally missing the point, putting far too much importance on the individual, and it assumes too much integrity from the writers. Insanity.

This is not only irresponsible and dangerous, it totally craps on the idea that blogs are a place for unbridled OPINION. Say what you want, cause a discussion, share some information. Why the hell is it being seen as “replacing” bonded, insured, fully resourced, tenured, associated press connected PERIODICALS? Unless the shits are editorial in nature, how is it that some recently unemployed dude in his underwear, with dubious credentials (probably a marketing degree), can write about politics on a free blog, and have his spew taken as gospel by anyone? Let alone: to the point where The Washington Post takes notice and begins to feel fear for their mindshare? Is this really happening out there?

Absolutely ridiculous.

My posts are never intended to threaten or replace what I see as professional journalism. Editorials are another story all together. A whole ‘nother enchilada. And I like enchiladas


Impulsivecompulsive said...

You've got a point there. I think saying blogging is a form of journalism is like saying writing is a form of jornalism. Just because it's written does not make it journalism and the same goes for blogging.
On the other hand, the one thing that journalist styled blogs do have that newspapers don't is links. No editor to check the facts, but by linking to sources, readers can check the facts on their own, and are far more likely to than when watching the news, or reading periodicals. No movement or research involved.
Oh, and enchilada's rock. Plus they kick burrito ass any day.

Anonymous said...


Truecraig said...

Impcomp: I like the idea of actual, accredited journalists, with access to the equipment and resources that credible news agencies typically have on hand, writing and publishing an interactive article (a blog, or just an online version of a newspaper with links wherever appropriate and whatnot). Of course, these already exist, as most online versions of newspapers currently contain this functionality.

But what I really think would be nice is if there was some way to allow for commentary on CERTAIN varieties of news. If it’s a “cat stuck in the tree” or “one-legged kid wins potato sack race” type story, then no commentary is needed. Editorials, or “bleeding edge” stories such as anything involving the criminal indictment of politicians, might benefit from having a forum of sorts, for readers to, essentially, argue in. Message boards and online forums have been around a long time, but they’re entirely underutilized due to their inconvenience and/or no one ever hears about them. Attach it to a damn story by way of comments, and voila, instant discussion. Many online periodicals also offer the “message board” link at the bottom of their page (but the boards are rarely user-friendly and aren’t promoted, so there’s rarely a word in them).

But I can see how that might get out of hand, as most “open” things do. We’re all idiots, so it would be up to us to police ourselves. Meh.

Anon: Butter? Nice.

Debbie said...

I just want to defend the nobel Burrito. It is a fine FINE source of calories.

Yeesh, next thing you know there will be people attacking the taco.

How dare you suggest the enchilada would kick a burrito's ass. You have no evidence of that. I say no evidence!

I'm gonna enchilada you in a minute!

Truecraig said...

Deb: Calm down, calm down. You are wrong, and that's okay. I'm cool with it, so you should be too.

Okay then. Isn't that better? I thought so.

Debbie said...

I am not wrong.
Careful, True, or I'ma hafta bring down the chinatown on your ass.

Glitzy said...

ha ha..I love your New Year's resolutions! Happy New Year