The Fin on blogging

The weekend Fin has an “introduction to blogging” piece by Trevor Cook. Quite a good, example of the genre, I thought, with evidence of reasonably extensive reading of blogs. Perhaps picking up on the BlogGeist , Cook devotes several paras to a head-to-head comparison between this blog and Tim Blair’s (I assume the piece would have been written before our recent falling-out)

Blair and Quiggin represent two strands of commentary blogging. Blair is tabloid and provocative, something more akin to a blogging shock jock, while Quiggin, though not dull, tends to stick more strictly to his academic and policy orientations.

Blair’s audience is much larger than Quiggin’s. Audiences online, like those for traditional media, are attracted in greater numbers to provocative, even outlandish, viewpoints.

In addition to this one, he Australian blogs listed for Economics and Business included those of Stephen Kirchner and Peter Gallagher, then a number of overseas blogs. Australian blogs listed for politics and commentary were the two Tims, Gary Sauer-Thompson’s Public Opinion and Graeme Young’s Online Opinion (an online journal rather than a blog, but this distinction is being eroded pretty quickly).

(Post updated 22/3 to correct minor errors and omissions).

6 thoughts on “The Fin on blogging

  1. “not dull” – Trevor Cook, Fin. Review
    (I think he’s trying to get into your sidebar.. 🙂

    “are attracted in greater numbers to provocative, even outlandish, viewpoints.”
    I disagree, I think the reason is that most ppl generally do not have nuanced political views, and are not really interested in listening to views that are not their own.

  2. The article was written several weeks ago. The lists aren’t intended to give any sort of ranking BTW they are just there to give people a sample of what’s available and encourage them to have a look and hopefully encourage a few to have a go at it themselves, hence the third list. Though of course they are all sites that I think are good and visit myself. I did put Australian sites up the front in case a sub-editor cut back the lists.

  3. Ah, subeditors… P.G.Wodehouse wrote a great poem about their dastardly works, or maybe it was just printers he had it in for. From memory “…prepare to meet thy God, or as you’d say your Goo or Bod or possibly your Gow.”

  4. ‘Audiences online, like those for traditional media, are attracted in greater numbers to provocative, even outlandish, viewpoints.’

    When I first started reading blogs, I read the shocking ones regularly, from motives of morbid fascination. But the novelty wore off quickly, in fact yielded to the kind of disgust one feels after eating too much garbagey food. Meanwhile my enthusiasm for this, more nourishing, blog hasn’t waned, even after a year of regular reading.

    A measure of popularity should ideally take into account the proportion of visitors whose interest has been sustained, as opposed to the total number of vistors, most of whom probably soon grow bored. I wonder how difficult it would be to measure this.

  5. True indicators: how long do people stay, what proportion click onto the “more’ sections, how many come back after going to a link..

    All the rhetoric points to massive skimming by websurfers and to a lack of reading, but I know that I prefer to dig thoroughly around a topic – an attitude that would be shared by the recurrent supporters of this site. Once again I think we have two audiences, which fits the larger media dichotomy of tabloid v broadsheet, and commercial v public broadcasters.

    The biggest problem for all the “quality” media sources is lack of reader time. That’s particularly a problem for people doing “general interest intelligently condensed and rethought” blogs; the “technical forefront” blogs in which professionals consider each other’s logic – as here – are sticky in a different way.

    You can see the difference in the number of comments..

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