Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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Nov 02

ABC Night Club

I listened to the ABC radio broadcast on blogs tonight. It featured Rebecca Blood (author of the Weblog Handbook speaking from San Francisco), AJH, Neale Talbot, Margo Kingston (an SMH political “blogger”), and Ruth Brown (of John Howard, PM fame).

Naturally, given the time constraints, it was a quick and superficial look at the world of weblogs. At the start, they brought in Rebecca for the definitional information about blogs. Margo came in next, turning the conversation very much to political views and the expression of them on the Net. Anthony followed, and was asked the age old question concerning media diffusion – how do you gain a readership amongst the masses of other blogs? This wasn’t really answered that satisfactorily, because Rebecca was asked to jump in and the discussion somehow switched to how one sets up their blog online. Neale did manage to answer the question later on, albeit briefly (content).

I thought the interesting thing to note was how the focus of the conversation kept turning back to blogs in the subcategory of politics/economics, and the interplay between those type of sites and the people running them. I suppose this was an attempt to portray some credibility and substance to the otherwise mundane masses of blogs who are run by people writing primarily about the daily grind (“I fed my cat today”, “I went to buy milk today”, “I almost got run over by a car today”, “I finished my thesis draft today”). Blogs were strongly portrayed as a means to express an opinion and be capable of being heard globally, which is what they are certainly capable of, but for the majority of people, it’s only a place to rant and keep an informal diary of sorts. Many people, like me, only have a cursory interest in politics, yet still maintain a readership, because there’s many other things to talk about (I used to be much more opinionated in years past. If you read through the archives, there are some fiery posts, some posing personal views that I don’t necessarily agree with today.) However, politics, economics and other similar topics generate the most debate and discussion online, and debate and discussion is what ABC Radio and things like talkback media are about, so it is no doubt that the conversation on blogs revolved around that.