Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Blog on Blogging

Via Wired News, links to two separate stories on Blogging.

The first from The UK Guardian takes on the subject of business blogging and how, while information longs to be free, many businesses shudder at the idea. Personally, I am required by my employer not to discuss business matters on any public forum, of which this blog arguably is one (though my site meter might disagree with the characterization "public"). While blogging may have a place in business as the article states, "It's not that weblogging is, as some might tell you, suited only to the self-indulgent whining of young, middle-class technocrats. Long after the term "weblog" is forgotten, the impact of what the word means will live on.", businesses have to be cautious with the legalities and business strategic imperatives of information leaks. Read the rest here.

The second link comes from the NYT and discusses a subject that has had a bit of life around the blogosphere, the editing of Dan Weintraub's California Insider Blog by his editors at the Sacramento Bee. Interestingly the article quotes Dan Weintraub as saying "I think this is more of a logistical issue than a editing issue,'' Mr. Weintraub said. "I've written nearly 500 columns for The Bee; all of them have been edited, and I can count on one hand the number that have been changed in any substantial way. I expect the same to apply to my blog entries." He said his blog had been edited since about Sept. 10. "It might be slightly more difficult to be immediate and spontaneous, but the editors are committed to being available whenever I am ready to post." I cannot say if this is his honest feeling or he is being a good soldier, but I'd be curious to see some of those who were most offended by the idea of a blog being subjected to editorial poicy, such as Mickey Kaus, reply to this quote. Click here, for the whole story.

While this whining, self-indulgent, middle class technocrat, does believe whole-heartedly in the freedom of information, there is a relationship between these two stories. Many of us in the blogosphere have responsibilities to our employers and impose limitations upon ourselves based on those responsibilities. I, for one, do not discuss my company's business, products, schedules or stock in this space. It begs the question, why is blogging inherently different than other public or private forums? Mr. Weintraub is an employee of the Bee, writing on their dime, hosted on their site. Why should what he puts in his blog be different than what he might put in the editorial or opinion pages of the paper? We all accept that op-eds are edited, so why not a blog? The one argument that truly holds water for me is that a blog needs to be immediate, but Dan indicates that his editors are available and prompt, so it looks like that is taken into consideration.

What is clear from this discussion is that blogging raises some questions that need to be resolved. Journalism certainly needs to reevaluate editorial policy in light of new media and the imperatives that this new form brings.

No comments:

Post a Comment