Thursday, January 18, 2007

INtake takes on blogs

this week's cover story at INtake, indy's "other" newsweekly, is about blogs! INtake compiles "15 refreshingly smart and entertaining blogs", all but one supposedly written by indianapolis natives. (doug masson of masson's blog, who lives in lafayette, earns the honor of the only non-nap dweller to be listed.) and the coverage is... well, about what i would expect from INtake, which means that some of it's good and some of it is a little puzzling.

the first hint of trouble comes in paragraphs 5 and 6:

Why? To put it bluntly, many bloggers lack the talent, time and resources required to produce useful and entertaining content. As Joseph Rago astutely wrote last month in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal:

"(B)logs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the (mainstream media) like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps."

ah yes, the standard blather about how bloggers suck. this is author matt gonzalez's way of pointing out that he is an Actual Journalist who gets Paid For It and therefore clearly superior to Those Lowly Bloggers. so with that reminder that matt and his free-because-it's-ad-supported employer are better than all 15 of these free-because-they-suck blogs, it's time to start listing some blogs. (many have already responded to joseph rago's blog-hate, so i won't bother here.)

some of the selections are a bit peculiar, and reads as though they wanted to make sure that they listed at least one blog from every category (which is probably the case). so there are four political, four food/drink blogs, an art blog, an indie rock blog, a sports blog, a couple irreverent silly blogs, and even a seinfeldian "blog about nothing". (though if i were scot sedley, whose blog is also described as a "blogg" in his photo caption, i'm not sure i'd like being described in that fashion.)

a couple of them i'd never heard of. one of these is called "huh, no shit", which i admit i was surprised to see, as i thought one of INtake's major selling points is that it isn't filthy and full of escort ads like the nuvo is, and thus even one profanity was more than i was expecting.

many of the other listed blogs are less suprising: naturally, tdw is there, and advance indiana too. indy undercover is listed, but not exactly described in glowing terms ("A combination of muckraking journalism, lowbrow clowning and hostile insult-hurling," "it's impossible to know how the author(s) manages to obtain the information he or she claims as facts.")

consuming indy and feed me/drink me are there to tell you where to eat, as my vintage kitchen is there to tell you what to cook at home. stampede blue is there for colts action (particularly timely considering the afc championships are in town this weekened). my old kentucky home and hoosier beer geek are both pretty big-name blogs, if you happen to like indie rock or beer (i'm not really into either).

the story also includes super-short Q&As with three bloggers: consuming indy's michelle, chris from hoosier beer geek, and scot from 64th and broadway. while the profiles aren't long enough to really learn anything about these bloggers, each one does include links to that blogger's "required reading", which brings the overall total of local blogs listed in the article to 22.

in general, it's good that INtake is acknowledging the power of blogs and bringing attention to noteworthy local blogs. but i could have done without the patronizing blog-hate at the beginning of the piece. (a quote from the wall street journal's op-ed page? come on, now.) and even if not in its prime, i can't shake the feeling that nuvo would've done a better job.


Anonymous said...

A year or so ago, they did a similar article, only it was "Rah, rah blogs!" and they interviewed the IndyScribe team. What a difference a year makes.

stAllio! said...

the old article of which you speak is here (indyscribe bit is here). be sure to check all the "related content".

i'd have to agree that overall, the piece is much longer and detailed, and more pro-blog. also, i haven't even heard of most of the blogs they discussed. i guess the landscape has changed significantly since march, 2005.