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February 07, 2006
One-stop rant

Progressives, blogs, influence, Big Dogs, and whatnot, Pam has the story.

But first....

If blogs derive their credibility from being the "voice of the people,"

Well, I would have said, "voices of ordinary people" since each individual blog is the individual voice of only one 'people' but maybe I'm quibbling?

surely we should be concerned about which opinions get attention over others. The question of representation affects not just who is blogging—and with great success—but also the audience of these blogs.

I sat down with a Serious Frown and eyeballed the list of people reading this blog. (Okay, the linkers-to and the commenters. I dunno where the rest of those hits come from.) Who cares about the A- B- or C-list "status" of the blog? I've got an A-list of readers, and that's enough for me. My blogging ego is in pretty good shape. biggrin

Now. Go read her entry and the article she's discussing. And bear in mind that some of the stuff in In These Times bothers me.

Like the reference to the big-traffic blogs as, blog "evangelists." Maybe it's just me, but there's a taint around that word.

There's also the idea that progressive/Democratic blogs aren't changing the Democratic leadership (although I'm sure some of us were hoping to be chosen to "replace" it) so much as joining it.

If it these words were chosen deliberately, maybe we need to step back and think a little.

(For one thing, let's try and figure out how DKos became the "top political blog" and who they're talking about. I assume it's a factor of sheer visits, but who's getting the traffice? Markos? Or the hundred or however many 'diarists' keeping blogs on the site? DKos isn't a blog, it's a conglomerate community and some of the members are a little wingnutty. As far as I'm concerned, Markos' own voice got lost in the crowd long ago.)

Anyhow. Markos? Not so much a real blogger any more. Not that I think he really wants to be.

The word ‘blog’ still implies a certain level of citizen involvement

That's a quote from him, looking down from his superior pinnacle on that quaint world o'blogging. (At least, that's the sense I get.) Seems pretty clear that he is no longer a blogger. Blogs are now the "other" to him. (Plus, there's a suggestion of amused condescension in his "implies a certain level" that grates on my nerves.)

(I should mention that I don't actually read the site and could be underestimating the value of what it offers.)

(And, of course, Markos has a book to sell, so he needs to distance himself from any taint of internet-throng populism and position himself as a Serious Player.)

Back to the article itself:

Winning an election does not, however, guarantee a radical change in the relations of power. Technology is only as revolutionary as the people who use it, and the progressive blogosphere has thus far remained the realm of the privileged —a weakness that may well prove fatal in the long run.

Only the privileged have the leisure to be revolutionary.

The poor have only the leisure to be reactionary...to respond when someone threatens what little security they might have managed to gain. Only the privileged, with a pocketful of private apples, are going to take a chance on upsetting the public applecart in the hope of making applesauce for all.

Aside from that quibble, let me mention that this is the problem with talking to the so-called "A-list." You get the impression that their Big Issues are the Left's Big Issues. Which isn't necessarily the case.

For instance, the article's closing sentence is manifestly absurd. If you just listen to Markos' indifference to gender, social, economic, and racial diversity, it's easy to miss the fact that there are a ton of progressive bloggers who are not straight, white guys with college degrees.

And a lot of them have been very instrumental in some of the more successful campaigns undertaken by the Lefthand world o'blog. It's also easy to miss the determination that some of us have not to rebuild a Democratic Party led by Old White Guys doing the rest of us a favor by adopting some of our concerns.

I'm all over the place, quibbling with bits and pieces of the article, but it's really interesting to read. (I really must learn when to shut up.)

Posted by AnneZook at 05:14 PM


Wow. You eyeballed ME? I'm so proud.

Posted by: Lab Kat at February 7, 2006 08:46 PM

I eyeball you regularly. ;)

Posted by: Anne at February 8, 2006 05:10 PM