Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mainstream Media versus Blogs

Better late than never. After about eight months of blogging, I finally realized that I could never become a prolific blogger. For one, I am too lazy and secondly, I am full of "what's the point" attitude. This is not to say that I am giving up, for I am not. At the same time I know that there will be unavoidable gaps between successive posts.

So, here's my plan to keep the blog running and updating it as often as possible. When I am not posting, I will post the links to the articles that I have enjoyed, perhaps with a short commentary.

The Calculus of Blogs

Do you think Blogs are derivative of the mainstream media? May be you do or may be you don't. But Malcolm Gladwell thinks so. He went as far as to say that without the New York Times, there would be nothing for the bloggers to blog about. You can read it here.

My opinion is different. Not because, I look at the blogs or my fellow bloggers as some kind of divine gift to keep the free speech flowing. But because, the concept of derivative is misleading in this context. It is also inappropriate.

Why is the big brother angry?

Sunny Hundal at the Guardian asks, why do newspapers hate the bloggers.

One answer is of course, the fear of competition. And may I also add, the fear of unknown?--they have no clue how to safeguard their interests, that is, to hold onto their source of revenue--their readers. Given that the playing field in the bytespace is more open now than it ever was, the mainstream media faces serious existential problems. Not that they are going to be wiped off anytime soon, but they would likely notice a significant drop in the readership in the future.

I am also concerned about the pay per view strategy of the New York Times: You have to pay to read Thomas Friedman or Maureen Dowd and I find that disturbing. Although this is not adopted by other major newspapers like the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times, but who knows what they are going to do in the future.

You don't have to pay a dime to read the blogs--and the quality could be as good.



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