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Talk about short-sighted; it's laughable to see The WSJ, an unsustainable old-model media company, suggesting that bloggers, whom it claims are already able to turn a profit by writing, might want to consider further credentialing themselves via formal training and/or unionization. Yes, because those things have done so much for the viability of dead-tree media.

To see how that might work out, one need look no further than the farce that is our own local bloggers' guild. The bloggers most up in arms about "protecting their content" are quite often those whose content is the least worth protecting—and those most concerned with establishing themselves as authorities possessing specialized knowledge of the "rules."

The whole point of blogs is that anyone is qualified to write one. Not only members of a guild or press corps. And there are no rules, only recommended practices. The whole enterprise is meant to be democratizing. Further, those who want to raise the bar to entry have failed to notice something crucial: The psychological bar to entry for blogging is already incredibly high.

The most interesting thing about this recent TechCrunch article, for instance, was its use of the phrase "formal blog post." A blog is far too much responsibility for most people, who continually apologize to their audience for not having enough to say until, two to three months later, they finally throw in the towel. When even sending an entire email or typing up a coherent argument now strikes many as too stiff and formal, where exactly would we find warm bodies to man a credentialed "blogger corps"?

Why are those left aboard the ship seemingly incapable of thinking beyond the whole "send 'em off to school and slap a label on 'em" model? If it works, it works—no need for credentials.

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"I am pressed, printed, stomped, and strategically removed—I am everybody. Insane without innocence; I am trapped, tricked, packaged, and shipped out. I am produced. (Pressed, printed, stomped, tripped, trapped, tricked, packaged, shipped...)"
—Guided by Voices, "I Am Produced"

11:10 am, April 21, 2009 :: art of editing

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