Like Me? Follow Me.
"A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting".
However, I can't help but feel for all the middle aged, pimple free lady bloggers out there, with their full heads of hair and well proportioned noses. He's just totally ignoring you.
"They are very angry people. OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk. But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night... Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive."
Again, Mr Marr ignores a great swathe of sober bloggers who prefer to do it in the morning. And he's throwing around a lot of accusations for a man who thinks blogging is too abusive.
What we've got here is very high profile case of a "proper" journalist railing against people who they feel have quite rapidly encroached upon their space.
Blogs have enabled anyone who wants to write their own brand of news, reviews, opinion & special interest journalism to do so without the rules and constraints of traditional media, and all sorts of people have joined in.
According to the 2009 State of the Blogosphere review, the blogging community can be broken down like so;
- Two-thirds are male
- 60% are 18-44
- 75% have college degrees
- 40% have graduate degrees
- One in three has an annual household income of $75K+
- One in four has an annual household income of $100K+
- Professional and self-employed bloggers are more affluent: nearly half have an annual household income of $75,000 and one third topped the $100,000 level
- More than half are married
- More than half are parents
- Half are employed full time, however 3/4 of professional bloggers are employed full time.
- Around half of bloggers are working on at least their second blog, and 68% have been blogging for two years or more
- 86% have been blogging for at least a year
For this review, Technorati used statistics from the over 133,000,000 blogs they have indexed since 2002. The statistics show that the average blogger will not be some young spod in his parent's basement, but a married, well educated, fairly affluent father.
Andrew Marr does say one thing that I think is broadly correct...
"[blogging] is fantastic at times but it is not going to replace journalism."
The low barrier to entry means that the majority of blogs will always be amateur endeavours, and there will always be professional journalists with the time, resources and know-how to gain information far out of the reach of your average blogger.
Of course, your average blogger is allowed to give more personal opinion and speculate much more wildly than your average indentured journalist - perhaps that's what makes Mr Marr nervous. But then, we all have opinion, and the right to express them is not reserved for TV & newspaper journalists.
Bloggers really aren't so scary that high profile commentators need to launch ad hominem attacks to distinguish between "them" and "us". Instead, forward thinking individuals & companies of all types can embrace the many & varied opportunities for engagement and promotion that blogging can provide.