Read me – I am a blog — 34 Comments

  1. I’m all for people making other people’s days, however insightful they may or may not be, but can we stop writing in people’s pints?

  2. Eolaí – It’s all right. I used a sterilised implement. I held my finger in boiling water for ten minutes before doing that.

  3. Grandad,

    I like the image of Speaker’s Corner – I have spent most of my life on a soap box!

    Blogging is essentially anarchic – there are no rules and no authority. It reflects post-modern society in people doing what feels right for them.

    Saying that the “standard of blogging” is not comparable to that elsewhere is a meaningless comment. What standard? People make up their own standards – if they think their blog is excellent, then it’s excellent and neither the opinion of Ms Foley nor anyone else makes any difference.

    I think blogging has represented a complete deregulation of the writing industry. While writing was confined to those who wrote in publications, it was a fairly tightly closed market, the humble blog has broken that monopoly position. Journalists are in the market place now- just as churches have been for some time with the breakdown of the old ties – what matters now is who tells the best story.

  4. if they think their blog is excellent, then it’s excellent and neither the opinion of Ms Foley nor anyone else makes any difference

    Exactly Ian.

    As I said in my comment on her site, if I want to paint pictures in my spare time and stick them on my garden gate, then it is up to passers by whether they look at them or not. They may be childish daubs, but some seem to like that. If I were only to do it if my paintings were up to the standard of Turner or Picasso…..? The point is that I get enjoyment out of writing. I don’t ask a penny from anyone to read it. If they don’t like it, then they move on.

    On the other hand, were I to write a piece for a paper, or a book[!], then I am naturally expected to produce a much higher standard, as now we are into the realm of commerce, and peoples expectations of value for money.

    You are right too, that it is the deregulation of the writing industry, but ony to a point. If I am looking for authority, I will still tend to turn to the established media, but newspaper columnists now have some growing competition..!

  5. Roy – Trust you! I know Kathy is just expressing her opinion, but it an opinion that I think is shared by a lot of journalists. Frankly, I think the media need educating more than we do [I’m excluding Kathy and a few others here]. We know what they are at, but do they really know what we are at?

  6. Grandad, I don’t know what I’m at half the time, let alone the rest of you. 🙂

    I think a lot of people are taking this from the bloggers’ point of view (understandable – they’re bloggers), whereas I was arguing it more from the perspective of those readers or potential readers, who would like to see some of those authoritative or influential blogs, as a “fifth estate”.

    I didn’t say people shouldn’t blog or enjoy blogging – of course they should and the more the merrier, but that wasn’t my point.

    We could argue about the definition of standards all day, but I’ve got work to do, so I’ll leave it.

    First though I have to enjoy that creamy pint. Aaah, marvellous. Thanks for that, Grandad! Next one’s on me, although I can’t promise I’ll write anything in it.

    Oh and while Roy mightn’t care what I think, I’m glad he commented cos I hadn’t come across his blog before. I’d like to see more blogs like that too, giving the inside perspective from various jobs. There’s at least one brilliant one from a 999 dispatcher in England but I can’t find it just now.

  7. Hi Kathy!

    From the perspective of a “man in the street”, I probably don’t even know what a blog is.

    Where I find a blog “authoritative” [and certainly informative] is when it is written by an insider, such as Roy or Manuel. It is a good thing to get a different perpective on life, and I think that is what we are all really doing in the end.

    After all, this blog is just my perspective on life. Maybe as a “more mature” person, I see life differently from the younger generations, and it may be of interest. Does my birth certificate make me an authority? 😉

    I will hold you to that pint. The writing is optional.

  8. We had the discussion before about why we blog. I think Irish bloggers are as diverse, informative, entertaining and intelligent as any other nation’s bloggers. We probably drink more while we’re blogging, but hey, that just makes us think we’re better at it than we really are ;0)

  9. Greetings, Grandad. I was moved to comment on Kathy’s blog as well.

    One thing that has struck me since is the anodyne balancing act that the mainstream media have slid into. Rather like the wider political culture which tries so hard not to offend rather than actually taking a position and arguing it. The world of blogging is full of argument and a want of spurious balance. It’s partly why it’s so entertaining and challenging.

  10. Oddly enough, despite having analysed the Irish bloggosphere, Kathy doesn’t seem to have even read all the nominees, never mind the wider range of Irish bloggers. One suspects Kathy is writing from the heart on this issue, a bit like de Valera.

  11. For what it’s worth I have noticed that bloggers appear to be very, very,very sensitive to any criticism of blogging and will usually respond at great length and with much detail. I can’t get my head around it but there is something going on there. Defensiveness, minority, ? Over reaction ?

  12. What is wonderful about blogging is that you write what you want and you read what you want: you judge yourself what is a good blog for you. The beauty of blogging is that there are no publishers; no one tells you that you can’t post your work and so the yard stick is different to the one used to measure more traditional mediums. We shouldn’t be trying to analyse blogs; we should each be holding our own yard stick and discovering for ourselves that it’s hard to measure metric with a yard stick.

  13. Playfulness is a defining feature of post-modernism, as it is of blogging.

    Trying to apply ‘standards’ or ‘measures’ is as pointless as watching a playground full of kids and trying to quantify the quality of their play.

  14. “the Blog Awards were nothing more than a self congratulatory exercise in mutual back slapping”

    yeah… sounds like something I think I might have wrote…



  15. Well that set the cat among the pigeons! The quality of ‘journalism’ in Ireland must be much, much better than it is in Australia if it’s a step up from the blogs I read! There’s only one Newspaper worth reading here. The others are tabloid rubbish, biased and not particularly well constructed and of course all managed by a senior editor and constrained by censorship. I don’t think there’s any sense in ‘defending’ blogs or bloggers to journos, we are what we are. If a journo wants to dish out the dirt . . let ’em go. Some of us are rubbish, others are brilliant, many informative . . it’s just another medium that allows us to respond en masse quickly and freely. I love that it’s unregulated, uncensored and diverse. As for quality? That’s like asking ‘what is good art’. Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one – but we’re all entitled to express it.

    Now Grandad, better get that manuscript properly sub-edited or you’ll be eaten for breakfast! Pressure on!

  16. Maybe Irish blogs aren’t sensationalist or crazy enough to clock in millions of page views a day. Or they don’t take on the role of a pseudo-journalist, somebody with a pandering to the advertisers, but lacking in the reputation and support structure of a mainstream news outlet. Or maybe they just get what blogging is all about.

  17. A couple of new faces? Welcome!

    Also a lot of points, but essentially all saying roughly the same.

    TT – You make the point that we seem to be sensitive? Not at all. We had an “attack” by a certain John Waters a couple of weeks ago, and the Irish blogging community took to it like a charm. We laughed ourselves silly. I am not defending an attack here. Essentially, I am just wondering why the ‘established media’ feel compelled to analyse us every now and again. I think Dashofpanache sums up the Irish blogging community very well. Thank you D.

    Baino has a point though. I’m going to have to butter up to the journos before the book is published. 😐

    And H – It could well have been you! I can’t remember where I read it, but there is more than a shade of truth in it. And I don’t care.

  18. The moment you start to analyse your blog….your blog loses spontaneity. Maybe this has already been said in the comments but I couldn’t be arsed reading all of them frankly.

  19. Grandad,

    I suppose the “established media” in Ireland are like any of us, they want to protect their market share.

    The Net poses a threat to small media organizations, they haven’t the resources to match the major international players (how much do the BBC spend on their website alone?) and it opens the possibility of people accessing stories much more directly (I watched the Australian election results on ABC live on the Net). News on television is becoming the preserve of the rolling 24 hour channels and if I want to read news I check websites, I don’t wait until the next day’s papers.

    Perhaps the “analysis” of the blogs is symptomatic of a sector that finds itself under pressure.

    Also, why do you read the Sunday Times anyway? I hadn’t you down as a Murdoch man!

  20. Spaghetti – I defy anyone, let alone myself to analyse this blog!

    Ian – Herself likes it. I have to hook the trailer up to the car to collect it every Sunday. She likes all the magazines, and bugs the hell out of me for days after to move to a house she has found or to redecorate the place to a style she has found. I do the sudoku sometimes, and read some of the columnists.

  21. When I read the article on Sunday myself, I couldn’t really figure out what motivated the author to write it. It just seemed to be having a dig at the blogging community for no apparant reason. I say this because comparing the Irish blogging scene with that of the US is nonsensical.

    It’s like expecting Ireland to win a haul of gold at the olympics. Would the author tear into the sporting community in Ireland saying they aren’t up to the standards of the US?

    “It’s the size of the population stupid”.

  22. Welcome, Alan! That is what struck me. It’s like trying to define a conversation at a huge party.

    And why do we always have to be compared to the Americans is if they are some kind of yardstick? Why can’t we be compared to the Chinese, or Nepalese or French. It’s always the damned Americans.

  23. I love blogging, both writing and reading. I’m the authority on what I write about and if anyone else enjoys it or it makes them think or if they think it’s tedious and smug, well that’s all fine. They can take it or leave it. The blog award was a nice little ego boost, nothing more. It’s not going to influence my income or job prospects; as I’m at home all the time with my children, it makes no odds at all.

  24. Hi Sharon. I agree completely, though I wouldn’t say I was an authority on what I write. To me, the blog award was a huge ego boost. There are a lot of awards out there, but to me, that is the best of them all. I can retire happy now.

    My publisher should be pleased though. He can now advertise the book as being written by the multi-award winning …….!

  25. I think “Stirring a hornets’ nest” sums it up. And yes; it was the reactions to the John Waters thing the other week followed by this that got me thinking this way.

  26. There was a story circulating about the Sunday Times Irish edition a few years back – I am sure it CAN’T be true – that a writer gets more space for a piece of knocking copy than they do for positive commentary.

  27. Conan – That is weird enough to be true, but I haven’t heard it before. Like yourself, I doubt it. Maybe we should ask Kathy?

  28. There was a story circulating about the Sunday Times Irish edition a few years back – I am sure it CAN’T be true – that a writer gets more space for a piece of knocking copy than they do for positive commentary.

    Perhaps it is the standards they employ in there but they do tend to err on the side of negative in the commentary. I really quite Liam Fay’s TV column, I’ve rarely watched anything he’s critiqued but he has the fine ability to make me quite happy to have to missed it.

  29. Sorry just saw Conan’s point now. I can’t believe I even need to say this, but no, that is not true. Where do these bizarre rumours come from?

  30. “But how can you analyse something as diverse as blogging?”

    That’s like saying how can you analyse something as diverse as politics, as music or as as the media itself, yet that is what journalists and bloggers spend much of their time doing.

    Blogging is a social phenonemon and its incumbent on journalists to write about it. Bloggers shouldn’t be so defensive about this. Bloggers spend a lot of time writing about the media, after all.

    Having said that, after reading Conan Drumm’s post the worst aspects of blogging become all too evident: unsubstantiated hearsay passed on without any attempt to check its accuracy. It doesn’t matter if its true or not once it appeals to people’s prejudice and creeps into public consciousness.

  31. Niall – Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t say I was defensive about it. If anything, I am a little amused. In general it seems to be the journalists who are defensive.

    And with all due respect to journalists, there have been many instances of “unsubstantiated hearsay passed on without any attempt to check its accuracy” appearing in the press over the years. Anybody reading a blog must know that the content open to question and more often than not reflects the writers opinion. But then articles in the papers reflect the journalist’s and editor’s opinion?

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