December 12, 2005

The tiny blogs.

Eugene Volokh draws attention to an article by Cathy Seipp that finds fault with an L.A. Times article called "Blogging L.A." (Actually, the title I see at the link is "The new faces of the city.") The article highlights tiny blogs that detail life lived at the personal level in L.A.:
This is the daily face Los Angeles bloggers present to the world, and it is decidedly different from the image forged by decades of television, movie, newspaper, magazine and literary portrayals of the SoCal lifestyle. In this new etherworld, Hollywood, flowering bougainvillea and beaches are augmented by internal landscapes, closely observed neighborhoods, musings on politics or relationships and behind-the-scenes looks at myriad elements of local life.
The article ends with a list of what the paper considers "the jewels among Los Angeles' thousands of blogs," and lawprof Stephen Bainbridge gets a nod in the political category, which is, following the theme of the article, kept very small.

Seipp complains that the article mentions "neither the much-hyped L.A.-based commercial blogging enterprises that began this year (the Huffington Post and Pajamas Media, of which I'm a member), nor any of the major L.A. blogs (Kausfiles, the Volokh Conspiracy, Little Green Footballs, et al) except L.A. Observed and Defamer, and then only in passing." Seipp portrays the article as clueless and lazy. What? Because it didn't write about the big blogs that anyone can easily see? Because tiny blogs are so five years ago?

It seems to me that it's much harder to find tiny blogs to recommend. And the most beautiful thing about the blogosphere has always been the continual budding of new blogs, written by persons with a new way to look at things. Those of us with a little or a lot more traffic should rejoice when a major newspaper finds a way to talk about them. The notion that the biggest blogs must be acknowledged first -- where does that come from? It makes no sense to me.

37 comments:

David N. Scott said...

We have a tiny blog! And, we'd love to be mentioned in a newspaper. But, then again, maybe some blogs are small for a reason...

DEC said...

Is a restaurant critic supposed to mention McDonald's every time he or she writes about area restaurants?

Palladian said...

When do Little Green Footballs or Volokh ever write about Los Angeles? Maybe that's why they weren't included.

As an aside, I went over to read Volokh and there was that f**king ugly bathrobe icon, floating in the corner, reminding me that even a blog like Volokh gave into that stupid idea. How off-putting.

jim said...

The notion that the biggest blogs must be acknowledged first -- where does that come from? It makes no sense to me.

Ever gracious of you and less elitist and monopolistic minded than the Sleepwear Powerhouse70 Entity-Scheme-Guild Big Media Wannabe whizbiz (and fizzling) philosophy.

MD said...

Oh, but it's the little jewels that I love the most! It's the best part of blogs for me: that glimpse into another person's thoughts, that sort of hushed, secret feeling you get when you read a small blog, that feeling that each life is precious. Oh, if it was only big blogs or political blogs I doubt I'd be as interested.

reader_iam said...

I've been a regular (and frequent) reader of Siepp's for a long time and enjoy her blog a lot, as well as her work elsewhere. But I too think she's sort of missing the point here. And maybe being just a bit disingenuous here and there.

This snippet is the one that jumped out at me: tiny, diary-style L.A. blogs, the kind that defined the medium about five years ago.

So, there's only one way to "define the medium" at a time? And the diary type is just so yesterday?

What's interesting is that if you are to believe Siepp's friend, Luke Ford (whose stuff I also get a kick out of), Siepp's daughter started her blog before her mother did, according to this Ford entry from July 2005. I've read her daughter's blog
her daughter's blog and have often been impressed.

But doesn't it ... well ... read like a diary? I mean, I think that's just fine--but Siepp thinks that's "so five years ago"? I say it's perfectly appropriate for the particular person it expresses. And that judgment extends to other diary-like blogs. Small or otherwise. (Note that Sky Watching My World actually has a good readership.)

Now to be fair, I'll note that on Cathy's website, she says that basic journalism means the reporter of the LA article should have sketched in the bigger picture for readers and noted larger blogs that detail personal life.

(I actually had pasted in the relevant 'grafs here--but then remembered that she's part of PJM and therefore that I would be violating its personalized fair use policy, therefore putting myself in Lord-knows-what jeopardy.)

I can see her point, but I still think she's been awfully off-handed and dismissive.

And not just because I'm a small-blogger myself, with entries that are probably "so-five-years-ago" themselves.

Dan said...

I've never read much if anything by Siepp. What an unfortunate way to begin. One of the things I try to do from time to time is check technorati, often finding small blogs that linked, or referenced me, so I can link back to them if I see something I enjoy.

The LATimes piece left me with the impression it was written with two agendas in mind - drag down the times, promote big blogs. Where have I heard that idea before?.

Aaron said...

Siepp rocks. She is a wonderful essayist with a good eye for detail. I am always good with bloggers trashing the MSM for not "getting" them.

Likening Littlegreenfootballs brand awareness to that of McDonalds is a reach to say the least. Yes - amongst the blogworld LGF etc. are huge but for the wider world? It ain't the Golden Arches. It is true that LGF and Volokh aren't much like say - Lileks' or Ms. Althouses' blogs where one gets a strong sense of place.

Re: OSM - I think that some free publicity even if it may be ginned up over a fake controversy is a time honored marketing scheme. Has anyone been going to OSM's blogjams? I enjoy them. There was one today re: The Rule of Law and Saddams Trial. This for me is the most succesful aspect of what they are doing. I like it. I think there may be hope for them.

Steve H. said...

Small blogs are obsolete. Finding your own audience is subversive and leads to destructive competition.

From now on, you have to join the union if you want to survive. Go along to get along, or the boys from the United Pajama Workers will bust your stinking scab head for you.

Look for...the bathrobe label...

John said...

as an aficionado of small blogs, I don't see what's so stinkin' great about the big ones. seriously, I have the same ability as the Instapundit to link to stuff, with 1/3,000 the audience. I pimp my favorite traffic-less blogs all the time, even here in the comments. not because they need my endorsement, but because they're good.

like the Althouse-in-training American Princess. she's been Instalanched and got the occasional MMalanche, but doesn't seem to retain the audience, regardless of how fine the content. doesn't make sense to me.

here's something else: your blog starts with an A. I know it sounds a little silly, but as I was trying to get a handle on this blogoshere back in 2004, I started going down lists. guess how I found Althouse?

now, I kept (and keep) coming back because of the darn fine blog-product. it actually concerns me little what the blog traffic stats are, other than I wish that more people read the good stuff.

DEC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DEC said...

Aaron said: "Likening Littlegreenfootballs brand awareness to that of McDonalds is a reach to say the least."

You are distorting my point and then attacking your own distortion. That occasionally works in political campaigns. It seldom works in business.

Aaron: "I think that some free publicity even if it may be ginned up over a fake controversy is a time honored marketing scheme."

It was a time-honored marketing scheme in the days of P.T. Barnum, maybe. Again you are thinking like a political operative, not like a businessperson. Today most businesses executives don't like fake controversies. (Movies and cola wars are among the few exceptions.)

Aaron: "Has anyone been going to OSM's blogjams? I enjoy them."

No, I prefer fruit jams.

david bennett said...

Small blogs are a base of real influence and democracy. Blog on your local school district and you can become a real power. Do the tour guide of your neighborhood and you become the "expert."

People are thinking mass media, they think top down and hope they will become the next big star. For lots of people it's just a magnification of daily life, instead of 6 people at the local coffee shop you can spout to 60. And then if these people read elsewhere and link you create a network resembling the brain in all these pulses firing. And the development of specialized functions.

A trivial example, lasr week we wanted fish and chips, but didn't really like any of the places we knew, used google to find a local blog with a guy who was an expert. We didn't even know there were places around that offered 5 or 6 choices for the fish.

In the nineties mailing lists and Usenet groups had influence in subsets of disciplines as leading professionals suddenly opened up their thoughts to anybody. Blogs are a similar development which in some ways focused things, but at the same time they remain naive and unaware of history. For example few blog engines (Scoop is an exception) provide nameable and nestable comments, yet a comment can become the most important aspect of a post.

A lot of this is very rudimentary as tools and habits are developed. But as people become more active in linking information the big stuff will come increasingly out of "nowhere."

Synova said...

Seeing as I didn't see the article she was responding to (I suppose I ought to go look it up, huh) I couldn't say if her criticisms were off-base or not. Certainly there's nothing wrong with focusing on a certain kind of blog that features local color but it does seem strange if the writer didn't do anything to place those lovely little gems within the context of the larger picture.

Can you imagine a story about colorful little botiques that didn't mention the department store in contrast?

Synova said...

Ah... that's why I didn't read the article... it requires registration.

Aaron said...

DEC: How did I distort your point? I read your comment as saying that it is unfair to criticize the LA Times for not mentioning a site like LGF because it is a well known brand like McDonalds. You were critiquing Siepp's piece on the grounds that the LA Times need not mention LGF as everyone knows about a "McDonalds" level website and so it would be superfluous. I made the point that - no - the average reader of the LA Times doesn't know about LGF. The average reader of the LA Times certainly knows of McDonalds. So - once again - your metaphor is a stretch.

Conceivably if this was written in some Online Blog Review section of the paper maybe you could have the expectation that folks know what blogs are and the names of the major ones. However, it was in the editorial section of the paper. Sadly, I think your average LA Times reader is only vaguely aware of what blogs are. Pointing out your error as I perceive it isn't the work of political operative thinking.

Furthermore - I think you should add another to your list of industries and institutions who like a good fight (fake or not) to increase awareness. Opinion Writers. Yep - I may be antiquated like PT Barnum but I could swear media folks sometimes find heat as useful as light. It’s not as if the LA Times editorial page has never had public fights that some found useful. I recall Susan Estrich (I think it was her) riding Michael Crowley for every ounce of notoriety she could over female representation on the editorial page. Siepp actually covered that back and forth for weeks. Maybe she was taking some notes. It ended with Maureen Dowd and Anne Applebaum amongst others discussing women in the opinion field. While I thought Estrich came off as an ass – it certainly got people talking. I’d agree that if I was doing marketing for a bank or an airline controversy isn’t a good thing. For an opinion writer making some upset is almost a necessity. It means your opinion matters. It feeds into the idea that being transgressive and confrontational means you are truth-telling. Using a public debate to shill a book or magazine or nowadays a website like OSM works. From the Lincoln Douglas debates to the feud between O’Reilly and Franken – or Althouse and OSM – a fight is good for sales.

I like fruit jam too. I can eat it on an English Muffin while reading a blogjam at OSM.

DEC said...

Aaron,

You wrote: "I read your comment as saying that it is unfair to criticize the LA Times for not mentioning a site like LGF because it is a well known brand like McDonalds."

Actually, my point was that you don't have to mention an entity simply because it has a lot of TRAFFIC. Obviously I failed to make myself clear. Like most executives, I tend to take shortcuts when I communicate because time is money. Sorry for the confusion.

I spent the first years of my career as a writer at a daily newspaper. I could write a story about freight forwarders without mentioning the biggest freight companies in the field. I could write a story about celery farming without mentioning the biggest farmers. (A journalist picks the quotes that are most interesting or newsworthy to him, not the quotes from executives at the biggest operations).

In the case of the L.A. Times story about blogs, the selection is a judgment call. The writer of the piece gets to make that call. A blogger can disagree with the choice. But I don't thing any decision about "the jewels among Los Angeles' thousands of blogs" should hinge on the size of the blogs. In the movie business, the blockbusters often don't get the Academy Awards.

You wrote (in an earlier comment): "Re: OSM - I think that some free publicity even if it may be ginned up over a fake controversy is a time honored marketing scheme."

That is dangerous from a business point of view. As I understand it, the goal of OSM/PJM bloggers is to create an honest, alternative source of news, opinion, and other information. They can't do this if they fake stuff. If they start faking stuff, they should write "fiction" at the top of their blogs.

You wrote: "...I could swear media folks sometimes find heat as useful as light."

This used to be the trait of tabloids, not the other papers. Unfortunately the competitive environment has prompted all newsmen to think like tabloid reporters. As a former journalist with an excellent reputation in the field, I can't begin to express how annoyed I am with the practices of many journalists today.

One problem is that most journalists are surface thinkers. Their knowledge is a mile wide and 1/32 of an inch deep. That is why bloggers with specialized expertise are essential.

Another problem is that journalists always write the easiest story. That is human nature when you have to crank out copy every day. It is easier to write "Five soldiers died in Iraq today" than it is to write about more complex war topics.

Your wrote: "For an opinion writer making some upset is almost a necessity. It means your opinion matters."

That's fine if you want to become other tabloid hack. Personally I think an opinion matters when the writer has taken time to become an expert in a subject area. The rest is just noise. Sure loud noise can get attention. If that is all a writer wants, he can buy a drum and bang on it in front of a subway station.

Internet Ronin said...

aaron: Susan Estrich took Michael Kinsley to task for the lack of female voices on the editorial page, not Michael Crowley. He came later.

There may be something to be said for Seipp's article creating a little controversy and thereby garnering a little free publicity for the Pajamas Media blogs she mentions in her article, but, as one who has appreciated her blog and work in the past, I'd hate to think she has taken on the job of "chief tout for PJM."

Having actually read the Times article, I fail to understand why Siepp and others feel that not mentioning PJM, Arianna, LGF and Volokh revealed some ulterior motive. None of those sites are Los Angeles-centric in outlook or commentary and that was what the story was about. It was not about the rise of corporate blog empires on the left or right. It was not about how easy it is to inflame passions of rabid partisans using nothing more than the tried-and-true "cut-and-paste." Most of the Volokh Conspirators live far away from Los Angeles.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd hate to think she has taken on the job of "chief tout for PJM.""

See, that's one of the problems with Pajamas. Even if the person isn't promoting her business venture, you have to wonder if she is. Frankly, Pajamas has gotten almost no MSM press coverage. There's virtually nothing that isn't about the initial roll out and that emphasizes the screw up with the name "Open Source." I ran "Pajamas Media" through NEXIS yesterday and saw that. But really, why would you expect MSM to be interested in promoting them? Their self-promotion is that they are going to beat MSM at its own game. How is that going to get positive MSM coverage? Maybe Siepp is trying to make up for that, but an article that has to concede her own involvement with the venture just isn't going to interest ordinary people, I would think.

Internet Ronin said...

"See, that's one of the problems with Pajamas. Even if the person isn't promoting her business venture, you have to wonder if she is."

Exactly. Inevitable under the circumstances, I think. All of them have that problem now, not just Instapundit, whose blind links many of us never gave a second thought to before now cause us to pause (as mentioned here and elsewhere).

Aaron enjoys their "blogjams." Good for him. But most of have been creating our own "blogjams" without any help by reading various independent voices we find interesting (and rational), joining the fray in the comments on this or that blog. The beauty of that is that, as no two people are alike, probably no two sets of individually created "blogjams" on a subject are identical. The ultimate "conversation" is much richer because of the infinite variety of sources brought to the table.

Lisa Stone said...

Hmmm. It appears that for every yin there is a yang. . .

Aaron said...

I appreciate the Kinsley v. Crowley correction. I knew that - don't know why I didn't recall it correctly. Thanks.

I don't know why it is so shameful or wrong to tout one's business ventures. In terms of conflict of interest I am not particularly concerned. Prof A's critiques of OSM could be just as self-serving as Siepp's of the LA Times. I am not concerned because they have both earned my trust. Self-promotion is something of a necessity if you want to make a living. I am willing to accept a certain amount of it.

DEC - I am glad you are having a successful career as an executive who takes shortcuts communicating. It sounds fast paced and a bit hard to understand.

I think you are conflating fake outrage and fake facts or illogical argument. I also think that you are conflating tone and substance. It is true that there may be a correlative link between blustery tone and shallow substance but that isn't causal. It is possible to upset folks with a dry long essay in a magazine like Commentary as easily as with a short syndicated column short on facts. It is also possible to have a substantive stem-winder of an essay. Snarky tone or other rhetorical tricks help generate heat - but plain old disagreement does the same thing. If you tell people their beliefs are wrong it is bound to generate some heat.

Also - there is controversy and then there is controversy. Jayson Blair is bad controversy. An argument between Paul Krugman and a former Sec. of the Treasury over economic theory is good controversy. Siepp has substance and I think she is picking a fight she believes in. (Even if she may be heating up the rhetoric a bitfor effect). She is also something of a salty old media hand. That sensibility is part of what I like about her.

Ronin/Prof A: This may not be as democratic and pro-freedom of the internet sentiment enough for this crowd but one of the things I like about the blogjams is that they tend to stay a little more on point and the quality of those taking part is a bit higher than your average comment thread. One of the benefits of a more formalized association is that hopefully you get some increases in quality. Also - some of those taking part either don't usually do comments or only take part in their comment threads intermittently. It is nice to see a good discussion with minds I like that is on point and has a quick back and forth. Who knows when Prof A. will respond to a comment and she might just pop up to say she likes a turn of phrase.

Prof A works in a non-profit environment that has been designed to be as free of conflicts of interest as possible to promote the free exchange of ideas. It is a nice set up if you can get it. It has its drawbacks. I like those who toil on the web for the sheer enjoyment of it. I also think that trying to build something and make a profit leads to some good as well as bad changes in thinking. I like that as well. My problem with the MSM is usually not because they are for profit but because they are non-competitive monopolies in their markets and are lazy. That was one of my favorite points raised by Siepp - the fact that folks are getting $2,000 for mediocre and infrequent work. Anyway - I think that some of ProfA, Ronin and some other's critiques are too rarified and dismissive of getting out into the marketplace at all. Prof A is sometimes critiquing OSM for being a business failure and sometimes it seems for trying to be a business at all.

Ann Althouse said...

"But most of have been creating our own "blogjams" without any help by reading various independent voices we find interesting (and rational), joining the fray in the comments on this or that blog. The beauty of that is that, as no two people are alike, probably no two sets of individually created "blogjams" on a subject are identical. The ultimate "conversation" is much richer because of the infinite variety of sources brought to the table."

Good point. I should make it my new subtitle: A blogjam at every post.

Aaron: "Prof A's critiques of OSM could be just as self-serving as Siepp's of the LA Times. "

Uh, yeah, how would that work exactly, considering that I was a major recipient of Instapundit links for a long time? My criticisms are pretty damned obviously against self-interest. Give me some %#@ing credit.

"Prof A is sometimes critiquing OSM for being a business failure and sometimes it seems for trying to be a business at all."

What a ridiculous charge! I have never been anti-business. I'm against poorly designed business, poorly run busines, and business structured in a destructive way. I've been perfectly clear about this. These strained efforts to make me seem irrational or incoherent make you look bad not me.

Aaron said...

Umm Ann - in the quote from my comment I went on to say that you have earned my trust just as Siepp has. I said precisely the OPPOSITE of what you characterize me as saying. I said despite having possible conflicts of interest I am not discounting your or Siepp's points.

It would work - exactly - in that you are competing for readers.

It is not contrived to say that you are in competition with OSM. You yourself just posted a link:

"How Pajamas Media helped those of us who stayed with BlogAds.
Tim Worstall explains why it's a great time for us to raise our ad prices."

saying how BlogAds could raise rates - an effect of a competition with OSM. You have your blog model - they have theirs - everyone is competing for hits and advertising dollars. This is not a stretch or contrived.

In terms of you being anti-business I am not straining to characterize your approach as a desire to keep Blogs mostly endeavors of passion and interest as opposed to profit. Your early main critique of Roger Simon that wasn't about him being a jerk was that he didn't care about your independent agency. As I mentioned previously there can be positive trade offs possible. Some loss of independence in order to create a business may lead to better offerings for me as a consumer. As I have repeatedly said I have enjoyed the blogjams and am a rather avid reader of blogs and find it something that was done less well and more intermittently outside of OSM.

I think you are unwilling to accept the compromises necessary in building a business with a good number of folks in it. Your temperament seems a bad fit for it. Academia seems a good fit for you. A business of one seems a good fit for you. There are trade offs. This doesn’t make you crazy unless you blow up at me for mentioning it. Corporations are still good institutions for doing business. Much of what strikes me as inherently necessary to have a corporation with many people involved is something you instinctively reject. Time will tell if they are a bad model for you or a bad model period. OSM might not be the corporation that makes the model work. I think that even if they were perfectly developing their company and you had no personal dislike for some of the folks involved you wouldn’t like what they are trying to do.

I never said anything about irrational or crazy - although your response to me seems a bit overwrought. I may just be sensitive.

DEC said...

Aaron, are you in the fertilizer business?

Aaron said...

DEC: Close - I work for a movie studio. Anything in particular you disgreed with?

Ann Althouse said...

Aaron: "Umm Ann - in the quote from my comment I went on to say that..."

Ummmmm.... Aaron... I never read crap that begins with "Umm," but even when you didn't begin with "Umm," it was just too damned long to read the whole thing. You work in film? Films are too %&*&ing long too.

But I see you think solo business is a "good fit" for me. I think a lot of us here can think of a few "good fits" for you.

Bane said...

Ahem...

Aaron said...

Am I being a troll? Prof A - I obviously enjoy your sensibility and thoughts as I check your blog frequently. Maybe I am presumptuous for coming to the conclusions I have about your temperament but I feel I have been reading your thoughts every day for months. Upon re-reading my posts I do think I made my points about the impression you give to me too starkly as we have never met – but there is a sense in which I feel I know you well. I can only say that to put in all the caveats to make it less brusque and presumptuous would have made me even more long winded. I was longwinded but I am an admirer of yours and truly didn't mean to offend. PS - A movie is only too long if it sucks.

jim said...

Isn't it strange that Aaron keeps calling The Corporate Entity "OSM"? How are we supposed to take a business seriously when it needs supporters to defend it as if it were a club or cause and when these same supporters don't know its rightful name...or at least this month's moniker?

Aaron said...

Sorry if I don't hate "The Corporate Entity" as you call it with the same fiery passion many here do. I found something positive to say about it. Don't mistake me for someone who is attacking PRofA and calling her a berkely whore etc. I may have been clumsy but my point was I think valid that she seems like someone who doesn't like the goals of OSM. She seems unlikely to have had much positive to say about them even if they were perfectly executing their plans and Roger Simon hadn't been rude. If I am supporting any cause it is entrepreneurship. I find it admirable to try and build something. Knock it all you like. It was the topic of conversation before I joined the thread and the comments seem like there is a cause against OSM. I think there are aspects of what OSM is trying to do that really piss off some folks - ProfA included. I don't know a lot about this but it seems similar to those folks who hate Microsoft and support Linux or whatever that operating system fight is about. Of course Microsoft is very succesful.

Ann Althouse said...

He's still calling it OSM.

Anyway, why did this thread turn out to be so much about "OSM"?

Aaron said...

Wasn't your critique of Siepp that she was favoring the big guys and not celebrating a thousand flowers blooming? After Palladian made his aside in comment #3 and just generally I think some folks saw this as a connected issue right off the bat. Siepp's take on the blogosphere being emblematic of Pajama Media -OSM-Corporate Entiy's role in blogdom. I apparently transgressed the reigning zeitgeist of this site by not getting offended by Siepp's take and corporate affiliation. I think I also exacerbated things by even mentioning something I enjoyed over at pajama media or OSM or whatever. I didn't have a particular dog in the fight but kept responding to people's criticisms of what I said - not realizing how high tempers apparently are over this and getting annoyed in return. Then I think I pissed you off because I commented on some of what I think motivates your take on OSM/PM/whatever. I think you were offended at my presumption and the idea that your dislike of OSM/PM etc could be seen as partially rising from anything as subjective as taste or background rather than an objective analysis of the evil represented by The Entity. Sorry about that. That is why this got all "OSM" - you are probably less anoyed by this than I am. I certainly won't talk about it again but it was an educational experience for me. Thanks for that, anyway. Goodnight.

Ann Althouse said...

Aaron: What pissed me off was that you insulted me and the way you insulted me -- in my own place. What do you expect -- a warm welcome when you trudge into someone else's place and start making negative assumptions about the hostess and lengthily and rudely stating your opinion over and over? You can say what you like on your own blog. Why are you hanging around here being unpleasnt? You keep recommenting as if somehow we're going to start responding in a positive way, when you're still doing the same thing. Get a clue.

DEC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DEC said...

Aaron: "Maybe I am presumptuous for coming to the conclusions..."

Aaron again: "I think you were offended at my presumption..."

There is the problem, Aaron. You presumed to know Ann's thinking. You presumed I was talking about brand awareness rather than traffic when I mentioned McDonald's. That was what I meant earlier when I said, "You are distorting my point and then attacking your own distortion."

A basic fact of life: Erroneous assumptions lead to bad decisions. Ask George Bush. He recently learned that lesson the hard way.

Aaron said...

ProfA - It may have come off as insulting and my tone got a bit hard at times but I apologized for that and meant it. They also laid off 5% of my company yesterday so I wasn't at my best. I kept writing because I don't actually see my points as insulting and thought if I explained myself better it would clear things up. I don't see my assumptions about you as negative. The two comments you found insulting I honestly didn't mean as insults. The first was that despite a possible possible gain to be had by PM not doing well I still take your criticisms at face value. I don't understand why it is insulting to see you as in competition with OSM/PM but an honest broker anyway. The second point regarding business also wasn't meant as an insult. This thread was started because you rhetorically said you don't understand why Siepp doesn't celebrate tiny blogs. You said, "And the most beautiful thing about the blogosphere has always been the continual budding of new blogs, written by persons with a new way to look at things." I see this as an academic outlook that puts a primacy on the free exchange of ideas rather than a competition for readership. It is non-competetive and egalitarian. I also said at the time that this had good and bad things going for it but so does a business approach. This point is not meant to be insulting and I don't think it is unfounded. My tone was unintentionally harsh when I said you critique not just business execution but also the goal of business at all and too snarky when I said academia is a good gig. Sorry.

DEC: Yes - I am just like George Bush and you are just a truth teller crying in the wilderness.