Karl-Erik Tallmo on Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:29:16 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The banality of blogging

>2007/8/13, Kimberly De Vries <cuuixsilver@gmail.com>:

>>  Blogs do offer some terrific opportunities for study and theorizing, and of
>>  course you are right Eduardo, that they differ enormously from pens in
>>  their ability to reach vast numbers as easily as just a few.
>So did the printing press when it was invented. But as far as I know, nobody
>has suggested that texts published using printing presses are inherently...

Remember the frequently quoted lines of Angelo Poliziano on the 
invention of printing, written in the 15th Century:

"The most stupid ideas can now in a moment be transferred into a 
thousand volumes and spread abroad." *

Just ponder for a minute the enormous amount of - in some sense of 
the word - bad writing that is available in print. I believe there 
was a similar discussion also about newspapers and the cheap 
paperback novels of the 1800's. Even email discussion lists were 
subject to the same critique some years ago. However, as most of us 
know, there are all sorts of discussion lists with various degrees of 
intellectual advancement.  That is the case with blogs too, of 
course. And prints. And television. And ...

So. Am I saying that the web and the blogs and the e-mail lists and 
other forums on the Internet are the same as the old media? Not 
exactly. I think there is a new dimension in  networking. If nothing 
else, there is a sort of lever action involved, effects are amplified 
compared to the old media. But there are also qualitative 
differences; the speed of this new medium together with the 
possibility to change digital texts even after publication surely 
affect the content. We have, for instance, the phenomenon of 
"shooting from the hip" in email responses, and the possibility to 
publish stuff that would not otherwise be fit to print, either 
because of various kinds of conflicts of interest or just because of 
the old print media's special conditions; purely commercial 
judgements or banal things like a news item not making it to an 
editor in time before deadline. And the next day it is not 
interesting enough to publish. But it might appear on the web ...

Karl-Erik Tallmo

*) I have the Poliziano quote only from a rather well-known article 
by Alan Moorehead in the New Yorker from February 24, 1951. If 
someone knows anything about the original source by Poliziano, please 
send me an e-mail!!



    KARL-ERIK TALLMO, writer, artist, journalist etc.
    ARTWORK, WRITINGS etc.: http://www.nisus.se/tallmo/
    SOUND & MUSIC: http://www.nisus.se/tallmo/sound/            
    MAGAZINE: http://art-bin.com
    COPYRIGHT HISTORY: http://www.copyrighthistory.com

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