Thursday, February 17, 2005
But when I read blogs, when I wake up in the morning and go to About Last Night
and Lucianne and Lileks, I remember what the late great Christopher Reeve said
on "The Tonight Show" 20 years ago. He was the second guest, after Rodney
Dangerfield. Dangerfield did his act and he was hot as a pistol. Then after
Reeve sat down Dangerfield continued to be riotous. Reeve looked at him,
gestured toward him, looked at the audience and said with grace and delight, "Do
you believe this is free?" The audience cheered. That's how I feel on their best
days when I read blogs.
That you get it free doesn't mean commerce isn't involved, for it is. It is intellectual commerce. Bloggers give you information and point of view. In return you give them your attention and intellectual energy. They gain influence by drawing your eyes; you gain information by lending your eyes. They become well-known and influential; you become entertained or informed. They get something from it and so do you.
And she includes a desciption as to why they interest me so much:
They use the tools of journalists (computer, keyboard, a spirit of inquiry, a
willingness to ask the question) and of the Internet (Google, LexisNexis) to
look for and find facts that have been overlooked, ignored or hidden. They look
for the telling quote, the ignored statistic, the data that have been submerged.
What they are looking for is information that is true. When they get it they
post it and include it in the debate. This is a public service.