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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hacking through the undergrowth

The launch of blogs from Lemmy B and The Floodster mark important entries into the blogosphere (via Drew). But they also raise more issues than they answer.

For a start, why's it taken so long for them to get blogging? Lem and Gary were established tech journos when I entered the fray as a green hack who didn't know his ERP from his OLAP. And, eight years later, they've carried on hacking despite me leaving them for new frontiers. I now consider myself reasonably near the jokulhlaup of publishing technology - so why have their blogs turned up so late to the party?

And not just late, inappropriately dressed to boot. Lem's posts are long, detailed and barely accessible. His RSS clunks and stalls. Gary's blog was just a holding page, but was already being talked about and only started today. Not good, old friends. Not good at all.

In my experience, tech journalism was always crammed with writers begging their mean employers for better technology to help them do their jobs. Even Charles Arthur and his colleagues at The Guardian still have to put up with a 50mb mailbox limit, which is so ridiculous it brings me up in a rash. (It took me years to convince one publisher that an aged PC in the corner with dialup did not constitute a connected office.)

But it seems the social publishing revolution has gone and left the good journos behind. I now more regularly read the thoughts of a Microsoft marketing stooge and a kitesurfing salesman more than I read those of the ones who are trained to help me formulate my opinions.

And that scares me.

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