Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

I like the new stuff better than the old stuff

Posted by occidentprone on July 16, 2008

Apologies to Regurgitator but the old media is getting a battering in the new media and it’s all their own fault.

An excellent piece in Crikey today led me to the author, Stilgherrian, who makes an argument for bloggers and why we should hail them even though they mightn’t be REAL journalists.

Here’s an excerpt:

What’s tiring about this false dichotomy is that it compares the highest ideal of journalism with the lowest grade of personal blogging about what the cat did yesterday and — lo and behold! — they’re not the same. Gosh.

How much everyday journalism actually conforms to the high ideal? Not much. For every Walkley-nominated episode of Four Corners there’s a hundred tawdry yarns about miracle fat cures or shonky builders with a camera shoved in their face. For every investigative scoop there’s a thousand mundane little 5-paragraph yarns that merely quote what someone said at a press conference, and then quote their opponent. Or recycle a media release, putting the journo’s byline where the PR firm’s logo used to be. Or misappropriate statistics to beat up some shock-horror non-existent “crime wave”.

What we should make of journalist “bloggers” attached to newspaper and broadcaster websites is another thing entirely.

Posted in Media | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

That’s a bloggy good idea

Posted by occidentprone on July 11, 2008

Can political bloggers change the system? How different is the political blogging landscape in American than in Australia? Are Australians too apathetic to effect change through individual effort or is our party system to unwieldy for passionate but small groups of people?

The blogosphere is where people are able (and encouraged) to voice their opinion to the world but outside a traditional party.

Might this blogocracy cause fissures in the party system if an idea that’s not left, not right, not Labor, not Liberal, not Green gains traction, and attention. Or would the mainstream parties do what they do now – do a poll and if popular just pretend it was their idea all along?

Plug In: The future of journalism is a project of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and its Walkley Foundation and has an essay Net moves from right to left on the lie of the blogging land. Have a gander and at the rest of the site and see if any of it rings true.

Even money makers are looking at political bloggers in a new light. William web designers posted the following on Australian political blogging:

Benefits of Political Blogging
Political blogs can be highly optimised for search, allowing them to rate highly in research and discussion on social and political issues. Users searching socio/political issues will find relevant blogs.
Blogging shifts the focus from the author to the message (content); users are interested in the issues behind Murray River and Refugees, not the politician or party. Users search for messages (content), not authors.

Blogs are honest, direct, informative, conversational and cut out spin; in turn, the general public are more likely to read them and respect them.

Real Success Stories
GetUp.org is a great example of how innovative, simple and social networking techniques applied effectively can reach, motivate and encourage the general population to interact and take action upon political issues.
Andrew Barlett is one of the few Australian Politicans that have truly grasp the potential of the web with his first blog starting in August 2004.

Here are some views on the genre from Brit Jon Worth:

What, overall, is the recipe for success for a decent political blog? First of all it’s better to be an individual writing, someone that visitors can relate to. Second it’s important to know your issues, get your teeth stuck into something, and aim to be consistent. …
So, essentially, for me it’s not an issue of left or right when it comes to making a decent blog – it’s latching onto an issue that you care about. In the red-vs.-blue environment of UK politics that normally means you have to latch onto a party and write your blog about that. Compare that to the experience in Denmark – the Liberals are in government, and the Social Democrats in opposition, but the Liberal blogs are more vibrant and regularly updated, latching onto the very live debate about liberty in the aftermath of the Danish cartoons debacle.

I don’t agree that you have to show your colours on your blog to be effective. Sometimes questions are enough to stir things up – aren’t they?

Posted in Diversions, Politics | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

A blog called malice

Posted by occidentprone on June 22, 2008

Soon after the internet started it seemed everyone was an expert. Now, with Web 2.0 everyone is a critic.

YouTube, imdb, Amazon, social websites ask us to rank and comment, to demonstrate our good taste and our level of cool. Click a star rating and be a star. Even eBay asks us to rate each deal and sort the fair traders from the rogues.

And if you’re a blogger and you want more hits than The Sopranos, load up and start shooting. For Perez Hilton and Popbitch, cattiness is bread and butter. Even low-end bloggers see tastefully bared claws as the way to better rankings.

A friend, through a series of coincidences, found that he had a YouTube video dedicated to himself. He was featured on a blog which ridiculed the tasteless and other affronts to style. My friend’s choice of accessory had made him a marked man and a nest of gripers let the world know it through their funny but poisonous comments. They had never met my friend but video footage from the street meant they had seen enough to judge him and make assumptions about the rest of his life. (These critics were sitting at their computers bitching about strangers while my friend was out, you know, having a life.)

Aesthetes and intellectuals have found a stage for their egos and gossips spread rumours with tsunami devastation, all fancying themselves to be Oscar Wilde or Dorothy Parker.

Take the world famous example of Max Gogarty, who briefly blogged for The Guardian website. Read more about the Max fiasco at Social Media Influence.

The world outside the www (and yes people there is one) is of course an influence. The hyper-shallowness of glossy mags, lifestyle shows and photoshopped popstars mean we have aesthetic expectations (no matter how unrealistic), and goddamn it we won’t settle for anything less. In fact should anyone dare to hit the footpath in scuffed Hush Puppies and Target sunnies, video the outrage and post it, pronto. He deserves to be vilified.

What are we aiming for here? A culling of people at the extremes – don’t like fat people and too skinny is unhealthy, don’t like the overly sensitive or the outright boofish, don’t like Shannon Noll and Simon Tedeschi is a tosser – and then what do we have? A landscape of more of the same boring wannabes.

I have no right to hurl rocks, my own glass house is pretty untidy too – and I still think politicians are fair game. But for now I’m looking to Web 3.0, giving the karma thing a go and dreaming of the world (wide web) as it might be.


Posted in Diversions, Media | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

Don’t be dooced

Posted by occidentprone on June 18, 2008

The blog vs work dilemma has been played out in a few famous cases around the world. Bloggers who’ve spewed bile about their workplace have had the good fortune of having the workplace pulled from beneath them.

Read about a hostie who was fired. The BBC analyses the issue. And here’s an Australian perspective on blogging at work.

But in little ol’ Western Australia, there’s been little discussion of blogging and the ethics and issues around it – particularly for those juggling a paying job and blogging, and even more particularly if the blogging has some topic crossover with the paying job.

So we’re doing an informal study of our own for a new page on blogging in WA. 

  • What’s your blogging vs work experience?
  • Do you have your own guidelines to make sure you don’t cross any lines and burn bridges?
  • Does your boss have a policy for bloggers?
  • Do law firms have concerns about being open to litigation after loose lips from a wordy solicitor?
  • Do media companies worry their employees are wasting words in the blogosphere when they could be churning out more copy at work?
  • Do public service bosses fear state secrets are being belched into cyberspace?
  • Do cubicle overlords fret workers will find a personality and a mind of their own through their online diary?
  • Is industrial espionage (sounds more exciting than it is, I suspect) an issue?

Email occident@iinet.net.au with your experience and thoughts and we’ll publish the results. Confidentiality assured of course.

Meanwhile, here’s advice from a careers expert.

Posting company news, pictures, and even making positive comments about a company have cost bloggers their jobs.

Wow, even posting good comments about the firm can get you the pink slip?

More good advice here. (I especially like the tip about blogging anonymously.)

PS Dooced is described as getting fired because of something that you wrote in your blog. 

Posted in Diversions, Media | Tagged: | 6 Comments »