Clay Shirky’s new media predictions in the Guardian. Here’s part of what he had to say about newspapers. I think he’s right:
Jeff Jarvis said it beautifully: “If you can’t imagine anyone linking to what you’re about to write, don’t write it.” The things that the Huffington Post or the Daily Beast have are good storytelling and low costs. Newspapers are going to get more elitist and less elitist. The elitist argument is: “Be the Economist or New Yorker, a small, niche publication that says: ‘We’re only opening our mouths when what we say is demonstrably superior to anything else on the subject.'” The populist model is: “We’re going to take all the news pieces we get and have an enormous amount of commentary. It’s whatever readers want to talk about.” Finding the working business model between them in that expanded range is the new challenge.
It makes me ponder this blog. If I were a news journal, would I rather be populist or elitist? And the answer is easy: elitist, please, but only if it’s not much work. Work. Always the tricky part. I don’t like it much, never have. I’m a writer; writers are lazy. (Otherwise we’d have real jobs.)
With my novels I take pains. My novels will last. (Well, they will if one assumes that the rules of the 20th century will hold true for the 21st–not a safe or smart assumption.) But what’s the blog for? Is it supposed to last?
I think the individual posts, tuh, not so much. Not on a daily basis. I think I need three substantial and meaningful, in a representative-of-me way, posts a month. The rest can be short and grumpy, amusing, informative and/or pretty in varying measures. The community we’re building though–that is important to me.
I never know in advance how a post will turn out. This one, for example, started out as a one-line link, a Saturday morning everyone’s busy kind of post, but then I had to pick a chunk of Shirky’s article to quote, which made me pay attention. Which is fatal :) So here I am, blah-blah-blahing about the Meaning of My Blog. And the meaning of my blog, dear reader, dear commenter, the whole point, is you. How you talk to each other, and to me. So, hello, I hope you’re having a lovely Saturday morning.