Blogs > Red Wings Corner

Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blogs are fine by me

My name is Bruce. And I too am a blogaholic.
I prefer to not give you my last name because frankly, I'm afraid of the ridicule. Many of my media brethren look down upon those of us who like to take a quick swig of blog right after dinner or mix a little blogs in with our morning coffee as a morning pick-me-up.
I started reading blogs a couple of years ago and it's gotten to the point that I can't remember the last day that I made it through without tasting at least one blog.
My peers look at bloggers as non-journalists … and believe it or not, that's a slam. They point out that very few bloggers have primary information, instead being so removed from the dressing room that they act as collection houses of information first posted by beat reporters. Commentary thus becomes the only unique part of the blog. My beat-writer peers fear that their blogs will have fewer hits (yes, we speak the language) because that information can be found on other sites.
Sometimes, however, beat writers sound about as up-to-date as the beat generation.
Personally, I read blogs daily. There's lots of good stuff there and lots of garbage, kind of like movies or TV shows or newspapers.
The vast majority of blogs are done by people who aren't beat writers or in the media or journalists. I'm not sure why journalists feel the need to inform the world of this. I know it. My friends who aren't journalists know it. It's pretty obvious and it's an unreadable blog if someone is passing themselves off as something they are not.
Blogs are a collection house of information and links to primary sources. Nothing wrong with that, in fact that allows me to get more done with my time on the Internet than if I never read blogs.
And blogs do offer commentary and that's a good thing too. I've read dozens of newspaper columns this year about the Red Wings from columnists who haven't been to many -- if any -- of the games. I'm not sure what the difference is.
Journalists slamming bloggers is actually a variation of the slam that journalists loath … athletes slamming journalists. It's about a lack of training. Journalists, like me, give grades to athletes every season, often multiple times within one season. Who am I to grade Pavel Datsyuk or Dominik Hasek? I have no training in hockey other than a handful of lackadaisical house-league coaches and many, many, many hours of watching games on television. Now I've been given training in libel, crediting sources and grammar, but they pay me to grade professional athletes. In fact, my bosses require it of me.
Most bloggers don't have journalistic training, but them collecting internet information is no more a reach than me dissecting Brett Lebda's game.
I also think that there's been a lot of discussion about bloggers without clear definition. Blogs are not forums. Some of the comments by trained journalists are obviously made about forum posts -- comments left by readers of blogs -- but read as though they're comments made about blogs. Wild speculation and banter about stuff like what happened to Joel Zumaya's arm often appear in forum posts -- often anonymous -- are rarely in blogs. To hang bloggers for forum posts is like hanging a journalist for a letter to the editor.
I have another reason to enjoy blogs. As do most beat writers, I have a blog myself. Unlike most beat writers, I see a direct connection between seeing my blog referenced in other blogs and hits on my site. Blogging is a community that sells its own wonderfully just by starting and continuing discussions.
When I see a reference to my blog on another blog, I don't think that steals my thunder. I see it as hundreds of people clicking on a link, finding my blog.
I hate to admit it, but I'm addicted to those hits.
My name is Bruce and I'm a blogaholic. And since I'm not looking for a cure, what am I doing here?


Anonymous Nathan said...

Bruce, I feel like I've been commenting on all of your posts lately, but this one takes the cake. Excellent post. Everyone should applaud you for this one.

Since you started this blog, you've been doing the exact opposite of what some of you peers think blogs do -- giving us timely, primary information about our favorite hockey team. There is no beat writer (with all due respect to them) that touches you. Understanding "new" media is very important. Keep up the awesome work, I know a lot of us appreciate it.

November 17, 2007 at 9:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce -

Your comments are dead on. Blogs and websites for that matter are vital parts of the media now. Old school print journalists need to wake up and join the year 2007. This is what the fans want so trying to stop what is already in motion makes them look out of touch. As always I enjoyed the read.

Sarah "Lindy" Lindenau

November 17, 2007 at 11:50 AM 
Blogger Bubba said...

All this time I wondered what was wrong with me, and you have it labeled here. I guess I'm a blogaholic as well.

Nice article.

November 17, 2007 at 2:52 PM 
Blogger Baroque said...

What Nathan said.

You do a great job of what I always thought reporters were supposed to do-report the news in a timely fashion to their readers. If a new-fangled technique like blogging enables someone to perform his or her job better, then in my mind they are derelict if they don't take advantage of it.

November 17, 2007 at 5:28 PM 
Blogger Finny said...

hey bruce,

I kind of wish I could've contacted with you prior to my manifesto! =) I like how you point out blogs provide commentary. I didn't quite nail down that point in those words when I wrote my counterargument against the widely-publicized Chris McCosky article slamming bloggers (see the Detroit News, November 3, 2007, rant titled "Bloggers Just Aren't Journalists"). Anyway, it's nice to be reassured yet again that not every MSM feels as McCosky does.

November 18, 2007 at 12:30 AM 
Blogger PB said...

Hi Bruce -

Nice article! Just all bloggers are not like the kind Mccosky thinks they are; all journalists are not like the kind McCosky is...

Old media and new media can work together very well - journalists should not be afraid but rather work with their new media counterparts more.

I like the point you bring up about columnists who grade athletes but never have been games regularly. Good blogs have solid opinions about the teams they follow and they write well. What's the true difference between a column or a blog? I can't find one.

Anyway, nice work - my name is PB and I'm a blogoholic.

November 22, 2007 at 1:02 PM 

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