The dismal traffic numbers also point to another little trade secret of the blogosphere, and one missed by Judge Posner and all the other blog-evangelists when they extol the idea that blogging allows thousands of Tom Paines to bloom. As Ana Marie Cox says: “When people talk about the liberation of the armchair pajamas media, they tend to turn a blind eye to the fact that the voices with the loudest volume in the blogosphere definitely belong to people who have experience writing. They don’t have to be experienced journalists necessarily, but they write - part of their professional life is to communicate clearly in written words.”The article doens't talk about the religious or the Catholic blogosphere specifically, where there isn't much "mainstream" competition for information. Diocesan newspapers, in the main, are boring. CNS, Zenit and other newsires provide a staple of information. There's some national Catholic periodicals, but all have a particular ideological bias, or are low in intellectual heft (Catholic Digest). The blogosphere provides a great medium for some decent Catholic commentary, and does democratize the spread of information having to do with Catholicism. And there's so much stuff of real substance out there.
And not every blogger can be a Tom Paine. “People may want a democratic media,” says Cox, “but they don’t want to be bored. They also want to be entertained and they want to feel like they’ve learned something. They want ideas expressed with some measure of clarity.”
Which brings us to the spectre haunting the blogosphere - tedium. If the pornography of opinion doesn’t leave you longing for an eroticism of fact, the vast wasteland of verbiage produced by the relentless nature of blogging is the single greatest impediment to its seriousness as a medium.
Of course, the dangers of evanescence remain.
This post will be beyond browser view by the end of the day ... :-)
[So, what say ye, about me restricting blogging for Lent? Ugh. I'm going to Rome. Squash that ... ]