Thursday, December 03, 2009

Universality of Cheese-gate. A Blogger Writes AGAIN

Well, I stand corrected. I've rarely seen such a considered and thoughful clutch of comments on any blog post. How embarrassing for poncy pundit. Too much to comment on so I've done a post. I fully accept that I come from an age before new media, being a preening presenter and professional pontificator. Many did behave like Gods talking down the the little people - though I don't think I did.  

It may also be that, like the shipyards, hacks like me are on my way out - obsolete technology. Replaced by citizen journalists and bloggers. The web has blown open our cosy monopoly of comment. I accept also that the blogosphere is more democratic in the sense that it allows a greater expression of views than in the old elitist printed press that was handed down from on high.  


On the other hand, there was something about the way in which newspapers and print periodicals were edited and created which is worth preserving, if it can be. Editorial discrmination is important in any published medium, and that is what the web is, though most people have taken some time to realise this. This is not just to ensure that what is written is reasonably accurate, legal, fair. But also that it is thoughtful, considered, coherent, elegant even. This is important if communication is not just to become a shouting match, where everybody descends into abuse.  


I think this is what has tended to happen on the blogosphere in the past. But I think things are perhaps beginning to change now, and the character of the posts on this blog may be an indication of that. Blogging is also, like newspapers, going just a little out of fashion, with fewer fewer being created and updated. See"Twitter and FacebookMmake Blogs Look So 2004" . I think one of the reasons social networking has gained popularity is that, unlike blogs, they are not quasi-publications, but are directed at a target audience, preselected. They are about conversation among friends. This means people don't have to put up with the crazies as bloggers do. Really, there is nothing I have come across anywhere in public life that is quite as unpleasant as blogging if you have a recognisable name.


But it also means that the crazies may be moving on. In which case, the blogosphere will become a much more important vehicle of debate and become more of a published and written medium than a conversational one. Look, I know that this sounds terribly pompous and a bit precious, but think about it. If you were following a blog that you wanted your teenage children to read, what would you like it to look and sound like?  

The trolls and cybernats realise that the time is up anyway, because anonymity - which has been the scourge of the web - is itself on its way out. There is a real possiblity following Cheese-gate that order and - dare I say it - a degree of discipline might now start appearing in the blogosphere. Soon everyone will know where everyone lives.

Mega brill. But it doesn't stop all you nasty bloggers putting me out of a job! Wot about the workers!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uh! no Iain you might know the persons IP whom i have hacked into.

you do have a lot to learn

iain macwhirter said...

And I'm eager to learn so please enlighten me.

tris said...

A good post.

I don't know if bloggers would want to put excellent and usually extremely fair, intelligent and amusing writers like you out of business.

I for one would certainly not. I've enjoyed your peices in newspapers for a long time. I don't always agree with you but I respect your writing. I've ofter though as I read a piece how much I would like to be able to express myslef with your eloquence.

I think that there are more than "cybernats" around. Some of the comments on the Scotsman seem to indicate "cyberlabs" are alive and well and living in some sewer somewhere only feet from a nat. I even once saw a "cyberlib".

I'm sure there are "cybertories" around too, but maybe not.

Despite what you say about having a recognisable name Iain, I hope you will continue to post, now and then. I and many others enjoy it... and we get Iain Macwhirter for free.... Quite a good deal.

Isn't there always an "anonymous" who wants to tell you how clever they are. "into whom (s)he has hacked". Impressive, were it not for the preposition ending the sentence!

Jeanne Tomlin said...

Iain, I hope you're doing well. Maybe we gave you that heart attack? I hope not. (and not really sarcasm--I do wish you well)

Have you ever heard of a gentleman by the name of Lenny Bruce? Or perhaps George Carlin. People call politicians and journalists names. Always have. Always will.

Whether they do it on a blog, on a stage, on a street corner, in a Tweet or somewhere else, it's going to happen. Seriously, people who can't deal with that fact need to find a new profession.

I have no admiration of the SNP over this issue. And I have a certain satisfaction that at least one employer will end up in court over this issue.

Amazing how only the cybernats are hunted down and the cyberslabs are sacrosanct though. Some of us have noticed that.

I wish you'd go to work for a decent newspaper though. You're too good for your employer.

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