Friday, June 10, 2005

"Remixing the blogosphere"

Remixing the Blogosphere, The Guardian, 09.06.05

All in all, a surprisingly wide-ranging and copyleft-friendly article. But I'm still going to quibble.

The article's narrative backbone is that "online independent media hubs" represent an advance over blogs. Specifically, the writer (Danny Bradbury), influenced by Clemencia Rodriguez (associate professor in the Department of Communications at Oklahoma University), thinks that hubs are more communal, more collective, more collaborative and therefore create a better kind of public. Rodriguez says that: "Blogs suffer from their individualistic nature...'Ninety per cent of them will never find their audience, because information and communication has to do with being part of a collective.'"

It's hard to believe that notions of community, collabortion, and collectivity still need to be subtended by an enabling notion of centrality. Aren't people watching how blogs work? How Flickr works?

I don't have a problem with the hubs they discuss, many of which seem pretty interesting (and some of which are less centralised and centralising than others), but I think if we use the emergence of media hubs as evidence that blogs and flickr sites and all manner of "individualistic" media are a primitive and already-superannuated form of public action, we are going to lose an opportunity to see how these sites of individualistic activity foster (although not causally or cumulatively) pluralistic activity. To me, this is one of the most significant and exciting aspects of blogs and their various individualistic media siblings; the article obscures this aspect in its praise for centralised hubs as the natural evolution of blogs and all independent media.
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