whining about winer again
[this first paragraph went missing somehow]
I received an email tonight from someone who said, in regards to my previous musings on Winer today, that I should "not bite the hand that feeds me." Dave Winer feeds me? Since when? I owe him nothing. And if for one minute you think that I care if some A-lister who at this moment doesn't even know I exist is going to have pissy hissy fit because I dared to besmeech Dave Winer, then you obviously don't know me well enough to know that I really don't care. The emailer also went on to say that "all bloggers owe a debt of gratitude to Winer." I started blogging without knowing he was and I'll probably finish blogging without giving a crap who he thinks he is.
Amazingly, Glenn Reynolds is still covering the war. Seems like an exercise in futility. In its aftermath, of what use were the warbloggers. A lot of punditry, a lot of furor and outrage, quite a few flames, but what did they actually do other than act important. They got no stories, no new data, they didn't balance the press, which reported the war as if the US was a petty Third World dictatorship. They didn't even out the press. Pheh.
Hey, all you people still writing about the D.C. snipers or Monica Lewinsky or Les Miserables, stop! They're over! I mean, what's to write about when something is over and done? Why still talk about those darn Beatles or reminisce about the Colorado Rockies? Once something is done, you just stop talking about, silly!
News flash to Dave Winer: There is still a lot to talk about. There's a nation being rebuilt. Our soldiers still run the risk of being attacked. Saddam's henchmen are still being captured. But hey, why discuss it if the fighting is all done, right? Once that statue of Saddam tipped over, we should have packed up our warblogging hats and backed off until the inevitable invasion of Iran, I guess.
Hey, I know plenty of people who are still talking about the 2000 election and that's been over for quite a while. What gives?
As for the "what did they actually do" line, I'm not sure what Winer means by this. We're talking weblogs, Dave. Not Time Magazine or Newsweek. We weren't supposed to do anything other than write on what we were witnessing and how we felt about it.
Which, come to think of it, is pretty much what any other blogger does on a variety of subjects. We gave out information, most of it in real-time. We were able to keep people who were away from a tv updated on a second-by-second basis on how the war was going. I think we did a damn good job at blogging the war and I don't think anyone was trying to change the world with their words.
They got no stories, no new data...
My turn to be self-important. Command-Post broke quite a few stories. Sure, we had insiders who helped leak upcoming stories to us, but we got those stories and data out on the web before CNN, before Fox, before any other news website.
I think the warbloggers - those for and against the war - did a bang-up job of getting the news out there, disseminating the information and giving it all a personal feel.
Why would covering the war at this date be an exercise in futility? Not every person who has a weblog is out to make a name for themselves. We are not all Winer wannabes who strive to become the be-all and end-all of blogging. Some of us cover stories because they interest us and our readers. We're not out there balancing our blog with just the right amount of this and that, all sprinkled with validation and RSS buttons so we can go to some Ivy League law school and talk about...blogging.
Lest anyone forget, a blog is a personal wesbite. It's not the Daily News, it's not even the downtrodden New York Times. It's not Page Six or People Magazine. Hell, you can't even line a birdcage with a blog.
Sure, bloggers can make a difference. Witness Trent Lott. But to decry them when they don't make a difference in the media during a major war is akin to decrying Mom & Pop Hardware for not running Home Depot out of town.
..but what did they actually do other than act important..
You're confusing us with you, Dave. I'm sure if all the major warbloggers used Winer's blogging tools, and we all validated in every single browser available and we all had RSS feeds and were XTL compliant and used the proper color-coded buttons on our site to announce all that to the world, Dave would take us in his arms and call us his own.
Winer may have "invented" weblogging, according to internet lore, but the only part of this fad he perfected was the part drawn from online diaries, where people stand on their soapboxes and cry "Look at me! I'm important!"
Here's lookin' at ya, kid.
Please note that I am not taking away from Dave anything that he has done as far as technological advances. This is about blogging and ego, nothing more, nothing less. I have no beef with the man's technical skills or intelligence in that field, so you can save yourself the ten minutes it would have taken for you to write a defensive email detailing Winer's illustrious credentials in the field.