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Are blogs the antithesis of thought?

Bloganomics. The BBWF blogger sat in on the blogging session and was impressed by the care, diligence and courtesy of George Megalogenis in overseeing his blog Meganomics even to the point of correcting the worst of the spelling errors in comments if he has time. He says he does not sit on his blog all day yet he checks it morning, noon and night which is a significant commitment. He believes he is responsible for the comment on his blog and moderates.

Mungo McCallum raised the point from the floor that as blogs become more prevalent people may be more likely to only ever Google their own prejudices in ever decreasing circles. Megalogenis said he wonders about what people will draw on as their primary source of news over the next 15-20 years as news sources become more fragmented. The BBWF blogger’s opinion: it depends on the person. People who don’t read critically, or are poor judges of the calibre of content will be the same whether they look to print, online, or TV. Some people care about that and others don’t. What do readers think? Do you think there are fewer discerning readers about?

The new big thing is social networking says Margaret Simons, who recently published a book The Content Makers – Understanding the Future of the Australian Media about new media. Both Simons and Megalogenis receive information from readers that very often impacts on their opinions on issues. Both also look at social networking sites as a primary source of information. If Obama gives a speech Megalogenis will watch it on Youtube or a web publication rather than reading a transcript in the New York Times.

The BBWF blog is this blogger’s first foray into ‘live’ event blogging and there was one comment from the audience, from a former foreign correspondent that struck a chord. He asked when writers who are busy blogging get time to think? Is it not difficult to get analytical time?

Yes, I think that’s true. The BBWF had an expectation of posting throughout the days of the festival but soon relaxed that thought to complete the blog over the coming days. If you’re listening to a large array of speakers and catching comments from many authors, you still need time to think about it. Of course the beauty of blogging is the immediacy of the medium but this blog is not a news site so much as a forum.  After taking on this blog I have become much more patient and tolerant of correspondents and bloggers who take time between posts. I guess in the past I wanted them to think in an instant but for me to have time to reflect.

The former foreign correspondent  (if anyone can tell me his name I will add it here) spoke of how these days instant wisdom is demanded, that reporters are  being forced to deliver far too quickly, and blogging is just an exacerbation of that.

Megalogenis’s election blog took up a lot of his time but he said the reason he contemplated doing such a thing  was having 20 years experience to draw on. Even so it takes energy and commitment, and time that could be spent thinking.

Megalogenis said he was speaking to a former PM recently who asked him when the ‘always on’ PMs, as Howard was, and Rudd is, ever have time to think. Hmmm.


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