I'm not sure I need to bring more attention to the Times's article by and about the blogger Emily Gould, but what the hey. It's a long, loooong essay about blogging for Gawker and what it did to her social life. No, really, it is. It's also the cover story for this week's magazine. When the Times published it on their website a few days ago, it immediately racked up more than 500 comments, most of which were the "What has the Times sunk to?" variety.
Well, as we know, the Times sank to much greater depths not too long ago. So putting a giant content-free bag o' fluff on their home page is no great betrayal of their reputation or anything. I like blogging, I think blogging is interesting and fun, and I think it has a lot of largely untapped potential. But I don't get the appeal of this kind of blogging -- blogging about celebrities, gossip, and one's earring holes -- at all. I suppose I can understand why someone would want to do it, but why read it? I thought we were all, you know, pressed for time and everything.
I guess that's my feeling about the article, what I'd say in a comment at the end: more power to Emily Gould for figuring out a way to make a living writing. You go, lady! This stuff isn't any more trivial and fluffy than the rest of our popular culture -- Gawker is People Magazine for a younger, snarkier generation. I think so, anyway. I've followed links there several times but never quite figured out what it was all about, what's at the center of it. Maybe I'd get it if I lived in Manhattan.
What does bug me is the way Gould's kind of blogging -- gossip blogging, really -- has come to represent all blogging in the public imagination. Because it's self-absorbed and confessional and catty, all blogs have to fight that reputation. When anti-blog snobs decry the shallowness and essential badness of blogs, that's what they're thinking of. They're not thinking of Talking Points Memo or Hullabaloo or Condalmo or Moonlight Ambulette and so on (see blogroll for more goodies), all of which address their subjects with great thoughtfulness and intelligence. And best of all, they actually have subjects.