David Bullard has written an article for the Sunday Times titled Name and Shame Offensive Bloggers which has the SA blogosphere up in arms.
Now, let me first say that some of the reactions to the column (see Nic and Vincent) are justified in the sense that it was a pretty scathing attack. However, all the rampant negativity and the typical knee-jerk reaction Bullard is getting from us bloggers is probably doing more harm than good.
I do find it a little strange that Bullard would mock the same people who sat at his hospital bedside, helping him record a podcast (which I would assume is less dodgy than a blog) after being involved in a shooting incident. I find it even stranger that the Sunday Times would publish an article in the Business Times of the same day titled Business Missing Out on Blogging (which was largely contributed to by two unnamed Air Guitar players :)).
I dropped out of university. Twice. Unlike Bullard, I have no degree/s support my passion for writing and telling stories. That said, I’d hope that for all my sometimes questionable English and intermittent posting, there’s some value to be found in what I say (at least for those who choose to read it).
But Bullard is entitled to his opinion just as we are. If he honestly feels blogging is an outright farce, that’s cool. For the most part he’s right. 99% of the 71 million+ blogs out there are pretty useless, but thanks to aggregation tools like Muti, Afrigator and Amatomu, it is becoming easier to separate the wheat from the chaff.
David – I don’t know you. I’ve seen you drive cars on the telly and this was the first time I’ve ever read your column. Still, I try to reserve judgment and assume the best until I have reason to feel otherwise. And you are a likable guy, or at least seem that way. Still, I am sad that you haven’t made the effort (especially as a professional journalist) to at least recognise the one or two talented, valuable bloggers out there who are helping evolve the way we communicate.
Last comment: blogging is not wannabe journalism. I keep hearing Print pro’s comparing the two, looking for ways to differentiate, looking for ways to attach relevance and importance. Blogging is it’s own practice, together with the wider digital social networking practice, and I think seeing all bloggers as try-hard journalists is unhelpful.