Steven Levy writes a good piece, straightforward and reasonable, on blogs at Newsweek: Will the Blogs Kill Old Media? Answer: no. But will they be a big deal? Yes.
Here’s an example of what I can do in the age of blogs that I never could before: Alex Beam wrote an obnoxious piece on blogging for the Boston Globe a month or so ago. I’d give you a link to it, but the Globe doesn’t make archived articles freely available. Take my word for it, it was short-sighted and annoying. I read columns like this all the time, and usually I just think to myself, “what a jerk” and move on with my life. But in this case I knew about the weblogs of the people he was ridiculing, people like the prolific Minnesota writer James Lileks and uber-bloggers Glenn Reynolds and Virginia Postrel. I knew as I was reading the piece that I could go to their sites and learn the other side of the story. Sure enough, within a day or so I was able to see how Alex Beam put together his story by reading what his interviewees had to say. They posted his email messages and their own version of things. I was able to verify that yes, other intelligent people out there agree with me: Beam’s column was short-sighted and annoying. Someone once said you shouldn’t make enemies with people who buy their ink by the gallon. These days, anybody who wants to write can get all the Internet ink they need in God’s great plenty.