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Nicholas Carr:Who killed the blogosphere?


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Nicholas Carr is a writer who Adam much admires. A while ago Adam posted on Nicholas Carr’s article in The Atlantic on whether Google was adversely affecting the way we read and think. Mr Carr has a very interesting blog called Rough Type.

A couple of days ago Mr Carr blogged a reasonably lengthy post titled Who killed the blogosphere?

The thrust of the argument is that the majority of major, high traffic ‘blogs’ are now commercial operations and that individual, idiosyncratic blogs are in slow, but perhaps inevitable decline.

Adam will not encapsulate the argument here, because the entire piece should be read,

The first paragraph reproduced below sets the scene for what follows:-

Blogging seems to have entered its midlife crisis, with much existential gnashing-of-teeth about the state and fate of a literary form that once seemed new and fresh and now seems familiar and tired. And there’s good reason for the teeth-gnashing. While there continue to be many blogs, including a lot of very good ones, it seems to me that one would be hard pressed to make the case that there’s still a “blogosphere.” That vast, free-wheeling, and surprisingly intimate forum where individual writers shared their observations, thoughts, and arguments outside the bounds of the traditional media is gone. Almost all of the popular blogs today are commercial ventures with teams of writers, aggressive ad-sales operations, bloated sites, and strategies of self-linking. Some are good, some are boring, but to argue that they’re part of a “blogosphere” that is distinguishable from the “mainstream media” seems more and more like an act of nostalgia, if not self-delusion.

Carr tends to write provocative articles – see The Atlantic one mentioned above and books which stimulate discussion and debate. He really came to prominence with his widely read and hotly debated book Does IT Matter?

There is a lot of good comment in the thread. As might be imagined many do not agree with his conclusion.

This piece is provocative and thought provoking.

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