Sometimes we get stuck with the most awful words. Blog, blogging, blogger, blogosphere. Hate 'em.
I hate the name, but I love the medium. Today's example comes from a Blood & Treasure link to a Granite Studio post on the 90th anniversary of the Chinese communist party as told through the Mad Men TV show. Brilliant, caustic, funny, insightful, educational and all about modern China - writing doesn't get better than this.
All free. These sites don't even have ads.
On the other hand, we have The Atlantic, a magazine fairly recently edited by another superb blogger - James Fallows. I love James writing, and I read the blogs of many of The Atlantic's writers, but the magazine is mostly silly. This month's lead article on how we're ruining children by raising their self-esteem was so excruciatingly idiotic it single-handedly killed my next subscription renewal (still time for a turnaround James).
How can this be? The writers for the The Atlantic are pros -- even the worst of them.
It's volume. There are millions of bloggers producing thousands of posts. I've read a mere 230,000 or so, and shared perhaps 25,000. Even if only one in ten thousand is excellent, my network of readers and bloggers will find and expose it. I don't care than 99.999% are drivel -- because I don't see those. I see the one in 10,000, and of those I read less than 1 in 10.
No magazine can compete.
Update 7/2/11: Corrections in italics and strikeout! My apologies James. I thought you were still editor. A reader informed me that you are a correspondent again. I plain forgot. Maybe that explains the recent 'alternative medicine' and 'spoiled child' articles. Makes it easier for us to donate money to my favorite blogger rather than renew.