Friday, July 30, 2004

Final Metablogging

The reviews are in, and blogger convention coverage sucked. That's fine by me, really, I never expected to go to the convention and revolutionize convention coverage. I wanted to go have some fun, learn some things, maybe meet a few people, and get a bit smarter.
One part of the convention is what's on TV. If you had time to watch it, CSPAN or at the very least PBS was there for you. If you didn't have time to watch it, you could read the speeches yourself or get the spin from either the talking heads, radio, or, yes, blogs. I say spin because there's almost no such thing as "neutral" coverage of an event like this, except maybe very dry speech summary pieces. But, the spin, from whatever source, is no substitute for actually watching the event anymore than reading the sports page is a substitute for actually watching a game.

Much of the complaints seemed to involve the "personal" nature of blog coverage, which I found odd. I mean, sure, "I saw Al Hunt walking by!" isn't particualrly interesting, but I'm not sure why people expected blogs, which are always quite personal, to suddenly switch gears. The personal experience of being at a convention - trying to describe what it's like - isn't something mainstream media generally provides, as the reporters are observers rather than participants. I considered myself to be the latter.

Frankly, I wasn't interested in sitting down and doing formal interviews or things like that. It isn't what I do.

But, I think if you were reading a bunch if blogs covering the convention and weaved them all together you probably got something out of it. No one particular blog could duplicate the efforts of a well-funded and well-staffed media outlet. But, blogs can do what they normally do, which is provide personal commentary, a bit of original reporting of not necessarily earthshattering things, and react to the other media . And, that's not all that much different from what CNN and MSNBC were doing .

Also, unlike Greenfield and Matthews I'm not forced to come up with enough inane analysis and to fill the time. If I don't have something at least mildly interesting (to me) to say then I don't have to bother...