O! Irony - Favorite Blogs Collected in New Book
Newsweek online this week has an amusing item about “Ultimate Blogs:
Published: February 15, 2008
Newsweek online this week has an amusing item about “Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks From the Wild Web,” a new book edited by Sarah Boxer, the first and now former web critic for the New York Times. Newsweek writer Brian Braiker asks,
“‘W,’ you might ask, ‘TF’? To what end this dead-tree blogroll? Is this a sincere attempt to explain the blogging phenomenon - which some estimate is, in its current form, more than 15 years old - to off-the-grid grandmas across America? Or is this compilation a cynical ploy to cash in on free content?
“Boxer seems sincere in her quixotic quest to find a handful of blogs that she says she loves for ‘the writing, the thinking, the drawing and the photos.’ In her introduction she assures us that in her book ‘everything is bloggy to the core.’
“So why put them in a book and strip them of the very things that make them ‘bloggy’?....”
While the crack about “off-the-grid grandmas” cuts somewhat close for comfort for this poster, Mr. Braiker scores a few pertinent questions about a project he terms “slightly absurd,” insofar as it includes, among other entries, an online serialized version of the Diary of Samuel Pepys, a 17th-century English naval administrator and member of Parliament, whose musings originally were published as a book. “Dizzy yet?,” Braiker asks.
According to Braiker, Boxer’s book raises at least as many questions as it attempts to answer about the nature and workings of the blogosphere:
“[The author] has gone out of her way to seek out content that can make the leap from one medium to another. But the question remains, is it a leap forward, backward or sideways? Sure, she has succeeded in reducing the boiling cauldron of the blogosphere to 27 worthwhile reads. Imagine how much garbage she must have sifted through to find these gems. Imagine the gems she was forced to leave out. In the end, the beauty of the book is that if you discover any bloggers that absolutely thrill you, chances are they're still online doing their thing. Which is exactly where they belong.”