Dennis Jerz links to an article in the Balitmore Sun that basically says essays are good, blogs are bad. (See the Metafilter thread of the same name for a lively discussion.) For me, here’s the salient “the author doesn’t quite get it” quote:
Any dot-commer can blog – a serious journalist with years of experience like, say, myself, or the teenager down the block spewing political rants during breaks from Grand Theft Auto. The problem in the blogosphere is that the kid and I will be received with equal credibility.
And this is a bad thing? What she doesn’t say is that in all likelihood, I’ll end up trusting her credibility more than Mr. GTA. But the fact that I no longer go the “she must be credible if she’s in the paper” route is a positive thing, I think.
The thing with most blogs, and one of the things I like best, is that by allowing me to comment back, the author isn’t just saying here’s what I think. He’s saying “here’s what I think…now what do you think?” When I blog, like right now, I’m writing to test my ideas, not just express them. That’s what is so different about this, the fact that I may wake up tomorrow and read what someone has commented back and perhaps change what I think. Maybe this doesn’t hold up, and I get the chance to find that out and negotiate a new meaning. That isn’t happening with the blogs are bad piece. That wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have that little discuss link at the bottom of the post.
It’s about constructing knowledge not just delivering it.