CB Radio with permalinks

Brian Noggle at KansasCity.com compares blogs to CB radio fad:

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it until I’m proven otherwise: Blogs are CB radio with permalinks. And we know how much CB changed the face of citizen media in the 1970s. It spawned a number of books, three “Smokey and the Bandit” movies and “Convoy.” Some of its slang lives on, but you don’t see many cars with the antennae on their roofs anymore, do you?”

Say what you will about the staying power or significance of blogs… that’s a pretty lame knock for a Big City Newspaper Guy. And I’m not sure how to reconcile his view with with his well-tended blog.

I dropped Brian a line and asked for clarification on what might serve as “proven otherwise” for him. I offered some possible bench-marks:

  • More than three movies about blogging
  • Blogs help sway a presidential election (I don’t think CB’s did that)
  • There are more profitable blogs than major daily newspapers

As far as I know, none of those things have happened. I’m not sure the second two would prove much. but four movies on blogging…whoa! Thanks to Mj Reports for the pointer.

Update: Received a nice email and comment from Brian in which he points out he has no connection to the Kansas City Star. I don’t think KansasCity.com made that clear and my apologies to Brian. And he makes some very solid points on the true impact –or lack thereof– of blogging.

One thought on “CB Radio with permalinks

  1. Hi, Steve.
    Contrary to what you believe, I have no association with the Kansas City Star nor its blog, http://kcbuzzblog.typepad.com/kcbuzzblog/; however, since I’m an in-state blogger, they’re awful fond of quoting me, gratis, in their print edition whenever I say something which appeals to their sensitivities. Such as making fun of the new media.
    I don’t have any hard quantifiable objectives for blogging to surpass CB radio, but you have to recognize that blogging, like CB radio, remains niche; most people simply don’t read blogs at this time. The people who do tend toward the more informed and active in the communities/interests in which they participate. So maybe blogs aren’t CB radio; maybe they’re more akin to prettier USENET newsgroups with permalinks.
    I don’t doubt that bloggers with special interests can influence the communities in which they operate, but we’re not really going to bend mass culture to our will just yet. Maybe the next generation, brought up on MySpace, Facebook, and such will take more pointers from unpaid or underpaid hobbyists on the Web, but right now, blogs are not driving mass consumer endeavors. They won’t make a movie a success that’s only interesting to bloggers and they won’t elect a candidate who only appeals to bloggers.
    Sometimes, I just like to remind we bloggers of our current place. We like what we do, we have fun doing it, but we’re not changing the course of history as much as some of us would like to think.

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