Bloomberg to Bloggers (Us): Stop Dumbing Down Society; We're Trying, Mr. Mayor!


On Wikipedia, a blog is defined as a "discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). As you're reading this, you are on the Village Voice's Runnin' Scared news blog and this is a post about how Bloomberg thinks this said post, and others like it, have "dumbed down" the populace. We live in the post-post-modern age; think 'meta' for a second.

In an interview with The Atlantic, the Hozziner criticized people like us (the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bloggers) for lessening the national intelligence on how we perceive, understand and react to news. However, the Mayor is still unsure just exactly what a blog is. This lack of definition was seen in his inability to distinguish a blog from a newspaper: "I don't know what the difference between a blog and a newspaper is... sometimes they have different standards, even under the same logo and name."

A key part in Bloomberg's argument - and he's certainly not the only one to believe this - is that the 'blogosphere' (2006, can you hear me?) creates this overload of information where the truth disappears somewhere in the vapor of the Interwebs. And this may be true but it underlies a main motive of what the blogs are meant to do: take a news story, analyze its players and come to a conclusion beyond the headline.

This is exactly what I'm doing right now (or at least trying to do) with this story about Bloomberg's anti-blog rhetoric. Everything is 'meta,' remember?

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Happy Birthday, EV Grieve!

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EV Grieve's Twitter pic.
Today is a special day. One of our favorite neighborhood blogs (and Village Voice Web Awards judge), the excellent EV Grieve, turns four today. We've seen other local blogs come and go, but Grieve has stuck around and become an indispensable source for anyone interested in the rapidly changing East Village. We read the site every day and it's led us to some of our favorite local stories.

On the blog today, Grieve explains how the sausage gets made:

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BlogBeat: The New Yorker Is Working on a Profile of Nick Denton

After a long hiatus, the column that cost this company a cool mil in advertising has returned! BlogBeat is back, and this week, we're coming out swinging. The New Yorker's working on a forthcoming profile of Gawker Media owner Nick Denton; Guest of a Guest has some disclosure indiscretions; a men's fashion blog is quietly asserting its dominance; and more media outlets are making the move to Tumblr.

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This is Divorce Blogging: On Male Oversharing, Emasculation and Appropriateness

Much of the conversation online surrounding diary-like, confessional writing, more derisively called "oversharing," is informed by specific expectations based generally on either age or gender. Depending on the media narrative of any given week -- even day or hour, online -- there will be coverage of women and Millennials, often backlash for being too candid or a backlash against the backlash, defending the process as natural and healthy. Or even about how the ignorant are learning to keep things to themselves. It's endlessly cyclical. Adult males go largely ignored. Not as much lately, with one man's cancer blogging and another's dispatches amid a divorce seemingly shifting expectations and pleasing readers. Is the patriarchy coming for blogging, too? How are men supposed to act online?

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Bloggers Can Be Sellouts, Too, But Mostly They're Just Poor and Underloved

The bro who iced the New York Times set his sights on greedy bloggers in Sunday's Week in Review. He presented shameless shillers with a 22 oz Smirnoff Twisted Rasberry -- metaphorically. "As blogs take their place alongside traditional media," writes J. David Goodman, Times blogger, "their writers must grapple with how to take advantage of moneymaking opportunities, steer clear of federal regulations -- and remain their ornery independent selves." Well, "ornery" and "independent" sure are better blogger cliches than "overweight" and "pajama-ed." But he forgot poor, aspirational and easily bribed...

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The New York Times is Jill Abramson's Personal Blog Diary

This weekend's New York Times Public Editor column is like stubbing your toe, bending over to check on it and smashing your head into a doorknob on the way down. You just have to laugh. It's about "blogs." What's the deal with them, anyway? A grizzled newspaper veteran from the Providence Journal wants to know. He doesn't like them! And that word... blog, "whatever that is supposed to mean." We should go "back to simply putting out the newspaper," he writes.

But Times editor Jill Abramson is defensive.

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Fucked in Park Slope Blogger Launches Design Blahg, Promises Continued Bitching

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Hyper-local Brooklyn blog Fucked in Park Slope has veered from snarky news updates to girlier pastures, namely the magical land of crafty interior design blogs. Fucked in Park Slope (FIPS) and its corresponding Twitter @EffedParkSlope have been spotlighting the often ridiculous, neighborhood issues of BK's most yuppified hood for 2 years. (Fresh Direct truck smashes SUV!) Its sassy, often downright bitchy, tone has earned a loyal following among Slopians and (gasp) outsiders.

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BlogBeat: Sharon Waxman Won't Be Jacked by Michael Wolff

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Michael Wolff will aggregate Sharon Waxman's smile. Sharon Waxman wants to mace Michael Wolff's face.
In this week's Monday BlogBeat, Hollywood blogger Sharon Waxman goes to war with Vanity Fair columnist and Newser entrepreneur Michael Wolff over getting her content stolen; a disgraced New York Times finance blogger suits up for the blog that disgraced him; a revered fashion blogger's bizarre Mac flip-flopping with the New York Observer; and the curious Gawker byline with a Philip K. Dick character behind it.

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BlogBeat: Denton's High Marks, Newsweek's Not-So-Secret Weapon, New Hires at Village Voice and Paris Review

Another Monday, another BlogBeat column. Hopefully, unlike last week's column, this one won't cost us $20,000 a year in advertising money. A former employment situation with Nick Denton and Gawker is assessed, the face behind Newsweek's newest weapon talks, and new hires emerge at the Paris Review and the Village Voice. Here's this week's BlogBeat.

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BlogBeat: Gothamist Sells Out to Cablevision, James Dolan Presumably Excited to Ruin Another News Outlet

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Gothamist -- the New York City metro news blog and subsequent locally-based "Ist" properties -- long a punchline among bloggers who poked at its overly excitable tones about the varying news minutiae it covered, finally gave themselves something to giggle over: a long-rumored multi-million dollar buyout possibly coming to fruition. But for whom, and at what cost?

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