Una Mullally has a great melancholic piece on why the Irish blogosphere is sooo over… over at Twenty’s blog… She makes some great points in it… (Warning: Una is a blogger who also has a real life…) In some respects is a harmonic out from my own pitch to the Irish blogosphere a few years back… But for me this is her killer punch:
No matter how much it is contested, the blogosphere is horrendously backslapping. It’s like a really insular music scene where everyone feeds from the same influences, collaborates with the same people, goes to each others shows, and then congratulates each other on how brilliant they all are. But everyone is missing the point. Because it doesn’t matter what people who are doing the same thing think about what you’re doing, what matters is who outside your clique you’re reaching.
As a result of this insularity, quality falls, but the artificial gauze of quality lies over even the most incredibly mediocre content due to the blogger’s and commenter’s (often bloggers themselves) tenacity for praising each other. If I had a euro for every shite post being heralded as great by someone, I would be a rich, rich lady. At least rival journalists hate each other, and slag each other off, which although unpleasant, fosters competition.
While it’s all very lovely to have a nice community where everyone can chat and compare notes, lack of competition fosters laziness, and laziness fosters below par output.
My description for it in Barcelona was the difference between adolescence and grown ups… Suzy has always been around, and although Cian’s pretty much tied down to the day job these days Irish election has been consistently good and adult… There are ‘new’ guys coming on the blog block all the time…
But something does need to change… and big time…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty