I was listening to The Who (their 9 Dec. 79 gig from Chicago) and noticed that Brad V over at Letters in Bottles
has made a couple posts recently about the paucity of attention paid to blogs by Madison's daily newspapers. (Here
.) While the pages of the Wisconsin State Journal and Capital Times have a paucity of references to blogs and bloggers, it should be remembered that the parent company of these publications have POST
at the papers' website and they even publish a print version of it. POST is all blogs all the time. So I think it's a bit misleading to say that blogs are all but ignored when the WSJ & TCT have a sister publication dedicated to blogs. Even if you think POST is for shite, Madison Newspapers does not ignore the blogosphere. Or, if you're like Jesse Russell of dane101, you think POST is in the Cap Newspapers' backwaters, remember they've dedicated resources to putting blogs in print. And, if what the folks at POST have been saying and the rumors floating around the Madison blogosphere are true, there are changes in the pipeline.
Now, as far as coverage of the UW student blogosphere, I have to ask: what kind of coverage does Brad want to see? To be honest, I am hyper-ignorant of the student blogosphere so I'm not really sure what an article on it could entail. Just an overview of this online community? Or is there something more specific that the readership might find interest in? Does the student blogosphere deserve an article because of its mere existence or is there something more going on there other than I am student - hear me roar?
While I'm sure there are good blogs by folks from various walks of life here in Madison, the notion of an article in the WSJ or TCT about them only holds moderate interest for me. Personally I'd like to see madison.com and the rest institute something akin to Today's Blogs
up at Slate. (And I'm not just saying this because yours truly was referenced there last week.) Today's Blogs links to various blog posts about a given news item from the MSM – sort of a vox populi
segment. I like this idea because the blog aggregators at dane101.net, POST, and The Daily Page's Miscellany are now virtually unusable. Content needs to be segregated to make it more easily accessible. I interacted with Jeff Erlanger when I worked at The Towers and he was a nice guy but all the encomia about him lately have been clogging the aggregators. Add in all the press releases from School Information System, 40 different accounts of last night's show by the latest gods of indie rock, another 40 recaps of the Brewers game, plus throw in Ann Althouse's latest exegesis from a café and you've got a big mess. There's a lot of repetition and posts on disparate subjects are all lumped together into a gigantic agglomeration that must be parsed with the aid of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Jesse and Shane at Dane101 are to be forgiven for theirs is a full-time hobby done with little money and less than a full cast. Madison.com, in my opinion, takes blogging fairly seriously. That POST has an online and a print version is proof of this. I will hazard a guess and say that student blogs are afflicted by sciolism more frequently than blogs by older non-students. Having said this, I have nothing against the papers running an article about the student blogosphere. But more critical, in my opinion, is that the folks at madison.com organize POST better and give greater recognition to the variety of blogs out there by integrating blog commentary with news articles. When they run an article about something, give a rundown of what local bloggers are saying about the topic, including students.
The best way for people to get to know and understand an online community to tread through it and it's much easier to get there from a webpage than from a newspaper.