On Ephemera and Blogging

December 6th, 2005 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

A prediction. After today’s blogging hype fades for a tried-and-true historical reason – serious readers have never paid more than a pittance for ephemera – the Internet’s identification with blogging will give way to exploitation of its truly novel capacity: limitless cheap space for substantive, long-form writing. That development will only expand as the last print generation that hates to read off screens dies off.

File Under: Quote of the Week

2 responses so far ↓

  • Karen // Dec 7, 2005 at 2:17 pm

    He seems to imply that the trouble with blogging is that serious readers aren’t (or wouldn’t be) interested enough to cough up some cash to read their favorite ephemera. Will they do so for longer-form journalism? People resist having to register to see stuff online — and skip articles where you must be a subscriber to the print version in order to read — so what has to change in order to force them into paying? Demise of print? I do agree that baby-boomers and above must croak before that happens.

  • Booksquare // Dec 8, 2005 at 10:10 pm

    Amen on the registering thing. I live in fear of my NYT cookie disappearing. Who knows who I am there, much less my password. I have resisted going behind their new wall. Not worth my time or effort. And possibly money — I think they want my money.

    That being said, as a Salon subscriber, I pay for longer form journalism. While I don’t always agree with every word on the site, I find Salon’s viewpoint something worthwhile. I will pay for longer journalism — as long as said journalism is worthwhile. That’s doesn’t mean it has to fit my worldview. Smart and analytical is enough.

    Now switching gears, there is a growing sense that news is free. People expect their news to be available. A large number will pay trusted sources for continued access to news and/or opinion, but the basic who/what/where/when/why/how is expected to be available. It is, I think, the news analysis that makes up what our hapless author calls ephemera, and that’s the value added aspect of blogs and other sites.

    As a baby boomer (barely!), I look forward to a long life before my demise. Long live newsprint!