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Atlanta Bloggers Who Matter

Who’s to say?

by j. brotherlove

Andisheh Nouraee’s Bright lights in the blogosphere profile in the Atlanta Creative Loafing (CL) of “five local bloggers who matter” is causing some negative ripples. I’d normally chuckle at the furor and keep it moving. But I have to admit, I’m offended by the puff piece. Judging from the comments, I’m not alone.

The problem with these types of lists is that feelings always get hurt because it’s impossible to be inclusive. To Andy’s credit, each blogger he lists is worthy of attention (although listing a former CL editor and columnist is specious). However damning the overall Atlanta blogging community (labeling it “dim”) and treating the city as if it has some sort of lock on navel-gazing blogs is lazy and pathetic.

Instead of displacing the traditional news media, challenging the mainstream news and entertainment media’s backside – or foisting great-but-previously-undiscovered talents on the city – blogging in Atlanta is, by and large, a medium for self-expression.

Oh Andy!

Most blogs are crap; we know that already. But to borrow a phrase from Tyra Banks: “SO WHAT!” One reader’s crap is another reader’s lifeline. Even Andy admits that after posting on his personal blog about a neighbor’s burned out home, he received hundreds of dollars in gift cards and clothing from bloggers he met once. Was that the result of great journalism?

The web is large enough for a variety of blogs. We all matter; to varying audiences in different degrees. Not everyone wants to be a political pundit (I know I don’t). Andy’s piece is another example of the disconnect between so-called “traditional journalism” and community created content.

What disappoints me the most is I always fancied Andy as an “us” working on the inside. But if he has so little regard for the community that will ultimately direct CL’s online future (they have a “blog”), then he has already been assimilated. Frankly, I expected better.

Let’s hope Ed doesn’t embrace the dark side.

pub: 05/31/2007 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 15 | subscribe

Great post!

Very well said, J. Everything I wish I could’ve said, but better!

And, this is going in my header quotes: “One reader’s crap is another reader’s lifeline.”

Thanks! I had no idea that CL piece would garner so much… attention. I’ve since been linked by some knucklehead who lumps me in with “sore losers whose biggest complaint seems to be they weren’t included.”

That fool don’t even know me!

Whatever. At the end of the day, we hold our own opinions. Besides, it’s easier to dismiss an opinion by labeling it “jealousy” than to actually engage the issue (whether you agree or not).

All around the world, same song.

Besides, it’s easier to dismiss an opinion by labeling it “jealousy” than to actually engage the issue (whether you agree or not).

Yeah. It’s all strangely… familiar.

Thank you for commenting about the feature.

My question to you is this — If, as you write above, “Most blogs are crap,” then why is it offensive for me write “the blogosphere is dim, here are some bright lights”?

Two of the other people who’ve reacted badly to the “dim” comment have also acknowledged that it’s true.

It’s fine to call it a puff piece. I’m aware that its a light entertainment feature. Nevertheless, I don’t think that including a “we all matter” affirmation of the local blogosphere would have made it less puffy.

What constitutes “regard” for the local blogging community? I read a lot of blogs. I comment on a lots of blogs. I write blogs. I use CL’s blog to link to as many interesting blogs as I can.

But because I, like you, think that most blogs are crap, I have “little regard.” That’s strange way to measure regard.

Hey Andy,

I’ve read lots of “Best Of” blogger lists and I don’t know why I had such a strong reaction to your article (I read it before seeing other reactions, btw). If you had written on your personal blog “the blogosphere is dim, here are some bright lights” I don’t think I would have had much of a reaction.

However, as a writer for Creative Loafing, an alternative press meant to support the underdog, you called out the majority of Atlanta’s blog community, as if we are somehow less than the blogosphere overall. You also missed an opportunity to highlight SoCon07 and PodcampAtlanta, two successful events that reached “beyond their circles of acquaintances”.

I have no qualms with who you think are the best bloggers in Atlanta; we all have our favorites. But the overall picture “Creative Loafing” painted felt targeted and left me with a bad aftertaste. It was as if alternative press, an outlet for showcasing independent expression, turned its back on everyone but its friends (e.g., Doug Monroe).

However, the more I write about it the more trivial it sounds. I’m sure you didn’t give it this much thought when you wrote the piece. But that’s my answer. I’m not bitter about it, just annoyed. And even that has faded since this morning.

Thanks for reaching out and commenting.

Sometime next week I will post a “what readers said we missed” follow-up on Fresh Loaf.

As for the inclusion of Doug Monroe on the list — I can understand why someone would find that obnoxiously chummy, but if we left him out, we would have been excluding our favorite blogger. When I started asking around the office, his name was on the most short lists.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go to sleep. Luring Ed over to the dark side is tiring work …

I just found it interesting that the very person that wrote the article rarely contributes anything other than recaps, links, and “happenings” on his own blog, and goes on to poke fun at other blogs that provide contemplative personal stories about the writer’s lives… Wait a second, isn’t that what blogs are about? PERSONAL web-logs? Oh yeah… I guess I got confused, and I didn’t realize that there was a format that I was supposed to follow.

And I like that little jab at me specifically. I guess I represent the “worst” of ATL blogs. Fuck that. If writing about myself and what I am thinking about is wrong, then I can definitely think that it is the majority that falls on my side of the line. Most of that article was a belittling fluff piece, and Andy knew that when he wrote it.

I’m glad to know that you found that interesting, however I’ve never claimed that my personal blog has any appeal beyond my immediate circle of friends and family. I also explicitly acknowledged the power of personal blogs to connect strangers.

As for your claim that “most” of the article is a belittling fluff piece, I encourage you to mock the article and its author, but I insist that you attempt to be accurate.

5/6 of the article heaps generous on five local bloggers.

1/6 of the article is an introduction that, among other things, complains that most blogs aren’t very good.

5/6 of the article heaps generous on five local bloggers.
While in substance, you are correct, you are not correct about impact. If you wanted to write a piece truly praising these bloggers, you should have done so, and let that be it. Instead, you tainted that by drawing attention to what you deem “bad blogs”. The focus, then, is mostly on that issue, as you can see, others latched onto as well.

You could have slipped a humanitarian award in there to Ghandi, and it wouldn’t have overshadowed the fact that you told all of us our blogs sucked asshole, Andy. It isn’t about quantity, it is about quality, and you should, more than anyone, should realize that.

Duane, the impact to which you refer is tiny.

It’s three very angry bloggers, three kinda angry bloggers, and a few of “I didn’t like it, but it’s not a huge deal” bloggers. Read the angry comments. The overwhelming majority are from Grayson (using three names), Amber and Rusty.

Meanwhile, thousands of people will glance at it, think it’s dull, and skip to the food reviews.

Thousands of people will find it amusing and/or helpful and check out some of the highlighted blogs.

12 irate bloggers is not the impact the story.

Okay fellas. Do I need to start charging you rent?

I have to agree with Andy on the reactions. There definitely seems to be a personal piece to it that - warranted or not - I don’t know anything about and don’t quite understand.

Sounds like all of you need to get together and hash it out face-to-face rather than using blog comments.

A dance-off, perhaps?

The reactions of the people who dislike it are important enough that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to communicate with them. I’m not dismissing their feelings.

Nevertheless, I take issue with bloggers who think that their reaction to the words “dim blogosphere” is indicative of the wider public’s reception to the story.

It was written for CL readers who are interested in exploring some local blogs. The success or failure of this feature (judged fairly, I think, by how many people go to the profiled blogs, although I don’t know how I can measure that) depends on their largely on their reaction.

Can I PayPal you the rent?

Andy, again, you are missing the point; it was unnecessary to knock all personal blogs in your pursuit to elevate a few ones you liked and wanted people to read.

That ultimately compromised the integrity of your story, be it to one person or to one thousand. There are plenty more people talking about it in person than are on the internet, and I think that it is valid to say that your cut definitely was misplaced in a piece that you say you intended to highlight others. If you take issue with that, I don’t know what else to tell you, other than, perhaps you should use attacking methods to make other things seem great; if they are great, they don’t need to be elevated in that manner.

And if you want a dance off, I am always available. I have to warn you though, I am 99.9% sure that you don’t have much of a chance. But I guess you could surprise me?!

And J, sorry to high jack your blog, I am kind of tired of talking about this whole stupid situation anyway. Andy is only one person, and he definitely doesn’t have the end all be all definitive say on what my blog is, or is not.

15. Eugene

Good to see someone (Andisheh, comment 11) calling BS on that gal’s ridicuolous sock puppetry.

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