February 26, 2007

"A License to Blog?"

It's my Tuesday column, over at the NYT, on TimesSelect. This one has some personal anecdote, and there are some good words about you blog commenters!

ADDED: You can read the column, free, at the International Herald Tribune: here]

13 comments:

B said...

Excellently written, Ann. You said in the editorial that you don't wnat a "bloggers council" watching over blogs:

What undermines my trust is that impulse to control. Those who want such things worry me . . .

As an admitted conservative, I have no desire to control anyone else's speech. In fact, I believe the more people are allowed to express themselves, the better for all to judge. That is why I had no problem with the now un-hired (and quite rude) bloggers staying on with the Edwards Campaign: the more they wrote - the wider the audience and attention - the better for those of us who do not want a President Edwards.

Viva La Amendment Numero Uno!

Pete the Streak said...

I take it you're prohibited from reproducing your article here. That's unfortunate. Seems to me that the most effective way to ensure no one reads something is to stash it behind that Times Select wall.

Pat said...

Well, I went behind the steel doors and read the column - very nice, and it brought me here. It is clear to me that the new marketplace of ideas is on the Internet (or internets...you know, that bunch of pipes everyone's talking about). When those ideas hit the open air, it's survival of the fittest.

It's unfortunate that most blogs have a clear political leaning - so that left-right dialogue rarely takes place. The few experiments I know of have failed. (Does it happen here? I haven't read enough commentary to know.)

Anyway, it's a very pleasant surprise to find a right-leaning site with intellectual rigor and honesty. Thanks, Ann, for making it happen and setting the standards high.

It's a wonderful world.

Ken Friedman said...

Dear Prof. Althouse,

Thanks for your comments in today's New York Times.

One thing worries me. At the age of 57, I am nowhere close to Gen. Clark's 5% body fat at my age.

Does this reduce my chances of being elected president or does it enhance my opportunities in the blogosphere?

Ken Friedman

George said...

That was a great Beatles song....

She said that blogging for free
Was bringing her down, yeah!

Simon said...

I should perhaps declare that I have no ulterior motives in commenting here (or at least, none that aren't (to the regulars) the worst kept secrets since the rising and setting of the sun), and moreover, I've never seen a red cent from Giuliani, Gingrich, Scalia et al for all the nice stuff I say about them here, but come to think of it maybe that oughta change! ;) How about it Rudy - buy me a pastrami sandwich for every time I call a Romney speech "soporific"?

Simon said...

BTW - am I the only one kind of puzzled by the Wesley Clark anecdote? I just don't get it, so when I get to the punchline, it kind of falters.

OTOH, I think it's a pretty good way to describe the Althouse blog - a coffeehouse full of regulars who've responded to the personal style of the blogger (usually - but not exclusively - positively), with a healthy stream of visitors passing through who've heard good things about the coffee.

Ann Althouse said...

About that body fat. Why do we say someone "has" a certain percentage of body fat instead of that he "is" a certain percentage fat? I think it's funny to think of the fat as being a percentage of the person as opposed to being a layer added to the person. I hope that wasn't obscure! I always thought of it as just being a very funny distinction. It contains the disturbing issue of whether a human being is nothing more than his body.

Simon said...

Well, as to "Why do we say someone 'has' a certain percentage of body fat" or something else, personally I don't really think or say anything about body fat, which is perhaps why it seems obscure to me. I would imagine that the average New York Times reader is a little more invested in the culture and language of dieting than am I, so it likely wasn't obscure for the target audience. :)

Adam said...

For what it's worth, I have a diary on DailyKos on the paid shill issue today, posted before I knew of your parallel piece.

I tend to find unpaid shills almost as annoying, and this whole thing to be fairly self-regulating.

George said...

Having now read the NYT op-ed piece I find that I must respectfully take exception to the use of the metaphor "coffeehouse" to describe the interplay that occurs here.

A much better comparison would be to a sweatshop or, even better, to a plantation. Here, we, the commenters, labor for...what? A morsel of attention from our host or perhaps, as happened to me last week, a direct link to Instapundit. I thank ye, massa.

Does the make-up artist on Oprah work for free?
Did the set carpenter at Mack Sennett studios labor for nothing?
Do the proofreaders at Random House work for a smile and a pat on the back?

Of course not.

Even better, does the screenplay writer get nothing for the words he writes for the movie star?

Consider also the absurdity of a NYT reader who has no familiarity whatsoever with the blogosphere coming upon our host's column. Unless a paper medium reprints the actual interplay that occurs here in the ether, no one will be the wiser as to our lowly efforts. How odd it is that the NYT and our host excludes us from the New York Times. Aren't we the snap, crackle, and the pop? Why don't we get no respect? Shall I be forced to use another late 20th century pop culture cliche to make my point? O, the pain.

I say to you—Doyle and Madisonman and Victoria and Cedarford and yes, you too, Pogo—We have met the enemy and he is us. We must unite as one! Organize! And perhaps one day our little grubby bylines will grace the glorious pages of the New York Times.

What say you, good sirs and ladies? Shall we find strength and liberty as one or shall we labor alone in obscurity and poverty?

Ron said...

Commenters union? If this blog gets turned into a sitcom maybe some residuals would be nice...

But what I really want to is to direct!

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.