Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 10, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

BLOG REVIEW....There's not a lot of news that I'm dying to blog about at the moment, a state of affairs that should make WM's book review editor happy since it means I have more time on my hands to write that review I promised her for later this week. But before I start cranking that out, here's the review you've really been waiting for: what do I think of Arianna Huffington's new blog/news venture, the modestly named Huffington Post?

Short answer: I guess I don't get it. As a liberal Drudge competitor it's fine, although so far its headlines haven't been all that exciting. (Then again, Drudge's headlines aren't usually all that exciting either. Funny and campy, yes, but not really all that exciting.) What's more, the news has been slow the past couple of days. So I'll give it a chance to find its legs.

But the blog is another story entirely. 250 contributors? And 65 posts on the first day? (83% by men, BTW, just to toss another match on the whole women-in-blogging thing.) Is anyone really going to plow through all that?

The whole concept is sort of mystifying to me anyway, since most of these guys already have a pretty fat pipeline to the public. Quincy Jones can spout off on Oprah any time he wants and David Frum has space in National Review. Walter Cronkite and Michael O'Hanlon have pretty good access to the op-ed pages of the nation's great newspapers.

Maybe I'm missing something here. My taste is not everyone's taste, after all. But I read blogs because I enjoy the author's voice and enjoy seeing them engage with the rest of the blogosphere. An enormous dumping ground of miscellaneous paragraphs parachuting out of the sky, on the other hand, doesn't seem that appealing.

But that's just me. Maybe I'll change my mind if I find specific contributors I enjoy reading. Maybe the mix will improve with time. Maybe I'm underestimating the public's eagerness for all things celebrity. It wouldn't be the first time, that's for sure. And maybe I should wait more than two days before deciding what I think.

Check back in a few weeks and I'll take another whack at it.

UPDATE: Then again, if Marc Cooper is right and the site got 8 million hits in its first day, maybe miscellaneous paragraphs are a better draw than I think!

Kevin Drum 7:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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