Tags: new matilda

29 Oct 2005, Comments (0)

Typing with intent redux

Author: Helen



Thanks Laura of Sills Bend (via comments on Road to Surfdom) for finding the transcript of the panel discussion on RN which I’ve referred to in a recent post.

I knew any post based on something listened to on a deck chair on the Balcony (as opposed to read, re-read and checked) would contain errors. But did I listen to myself? No? (Slap!) So, I owe Hilary McPhee an apology; it was Ramona Koval saying

And I put to Hilary McPhee the question of whether something like New Matilda would ever only be preaching to the converted. Unlike publishing a newspaper or hard copy magazine where you can hope that maybe on a train or in some dentistís waiting room, a person whoís never bought that newspaper or magazine might well pick it up and read it, but thereís nothing accidental or serendipitous about reading an online magazine or a blog, you have to actually log on to the site, you actually have to want to know and seek out whatís there. So how do you broaden an online readership beyond those who are already in the loop?

So the remark about people running online magazines not understanding how the internet works is completely invalid, because it wasn’t Hilary making the statement.

Still and all – an experienced cultural commentator like Koval should probably be better informed. Koval is someone I have a lot of respect for, so I’m not implying some kind of overall cluelessness. The problem is that public intellectuals like this can comment on the blogosphere without having, as it seems, been there much. But that’s just re-stating what I’ve already said.

Here’s a parallel: My own memories of the attitude of “mainstream” musicians to the burgeoning punk / new wave / alternative movement (with its DIY, untutored element) gives me a strong feeling of deja vu in this discussion.

26 Oct 2005, Comments (0)

Typing with intent

Author: Helen

Heard a panel discussion on RN the other day on ìnew media publishingî, with reference to online magazines like New Matilda and blogging. As with other references to blogging in the msm (Main Stream Meeja) lately, it was patronising, insulting and depressing.

One lowlight was journo / opinion writer Andrew West opining that much dead-tree writing is superior to Just “Any Old” blog. Oh, well then. So Robert Manne, Adele Horin, Ross Gittins and himself are stacked up against a few OMG WTF LOL livejournalling teenagers. Apples and pears. He frames the discussion so as to set the blogosphere up to fail.

And the old saw that blogging isnít journalism. Repeat after me 100 times: Blogging is not, and has never been, intended to be journalism. (Political blogs – which are only one of many categories – can cut through the agenda-setting of the msm by highlighting and pointing to stories that otherwise would be buried by the stories the powers that be consider suitable for us.)

It was evident the panelists had done little or nothing to really find out what is available in the blogosphere.

The other bit which had me whimpering in frustration was Hilary McPhee saying (Erratum: it was Ramona Koval) that she really didnít know where the ìnew mediaî was going to go in terms of readership, because, she says, there is no serendipity there. She reckons you have to ìlog onî somewhere in order to read anything on the net. Iím not sure what she was trying to get at but she seems to imagine that people choose one or two online mags which they have to know about first; subscribe; log on to those one or two sites and just read. Sheís aware that people come in and comment at New Matilda, but she doesnít seem to understand how people really move about on the internet.

For exampleÖ hasnít she ever, for instance, gone over to Barista from where she follows a link to Professor Q (while being directed to various overseas mainstream media articles which she otherwise might have missed, along the way), then decided to go over to the Purple Rodeo for a while just because the link is on Quigginís blog, or maybe via Catallaxy, canít remember; thus discovering a treasure trove of historical writing called Philobiblon, who, together with Susoz, provide enough feminist links to keep her up way past her bedtimeÖ

Serendipity, in spades. I didnít know any of the blogs I knew today a couple of years ago. I have followed an interlocking, non-linear mass of links to topics and writers that particularly interest me ñ and many topics, and writers, that intrigue or horrify. A person who is running an online journal should know how the internet works. (See “Typing with intent redux” above for correction).

Iím not the only onewho has been disappointed lately with the attitude of the msm to bloggers. What’s with this tribal sniping?

Update 29/10: Found a transcript, and the comment was actually made by Ramona Koval, to McPhee. See Typing with Intent Redux.