Friday, July 01, 2011

The terrible advantage of the blogosphere

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.


MaysonicWrites said...

Jim Fallows is not currently the editor of the Atlantic, merely a "National Correspondent".

JGF said...

Ouch ouch ouch. I corrected the post. Thanks for the update. That does mean I can't hope for a fix.

James Benett has been editor in chief since 2006. So am I remembering Fallows as editor from long ago, or did he have a more recent role?