3. Norms and practices. Bloggers have undermined the blogosphere. Bloggers do not link to each other as much as they used to. It's a lot of work to look for good posts elsewhere, and most bloggers have become burnt out. Drezner and Farrell had a theory that even small potato bloggers would have their day in the sun, if they wrote something so great that it garnered the attention of the big guys. But the big guys are too burnt out to find the hidden gems. So, good stuff is being written all the time, and it isn't bubbling to the top.
I appreciate all the points and I can't say any of this surprises me but the blogosphere has changed and become a less vibrant and less interesting place.
Adding, I also think that opposition to Republicans in general and the BushCheney regime in particular was an energizing force but now with Democrats controlling Congress and the White House it's becoming obvious that said Democrats are little better than those they replaced. This has a dispiriting effect.
You shall not use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to the author, the publication from which the Content came, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or depicted in the Content. You agree not to use the Content in any manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to or damaging to the reputation of Publisher, its licensors, or any person connected with the creation of the Content or referenced in the Content.
If, say, AP reporter Nedra Pickler writes something that smacks of Republican propaganda - and our old friend Nedra is notorious for that - you can't use even a sentence to illustrate the point.
Lots of blogs are calling for boycotts of AP content. Not me. I'm going to keep using it. I will copy and paste as many words as I feel necessary to make my points and that I feel are within bounds of copyright law (and remember, I've got a JD and specialized in media law, so I know the rules pretty well). And I will keep doing so if I get an AP takedown notice (which I will make a big public show of ignoring). And then, either the AP -- an organization famous for taking its members work without credit -- will either back down and shut the hell up, or we'll have a judge resolve the easiest question of law in the history of copyright jurisprudence.
(Note: I'm deliberately breaking the boycott of the AP for reasons that should be obvious.)
A representative from the Associated Press is going to meet with the head of the Media Bloggers Association, Robert Cox, to try and hash out guidelines for quoting AP stories and to decide under what conditions they will sue bloggers.
So it doesn't appear to be much of a backpedal. But we'll see.
Of course, what the vast majority of bloggers have been doing all along falls under Fair Use so no new guidelines are needed but that doesn't seem to concern the AP at all.
(Note to the Associated Press: I have not quoted a single word from your story so no lawsuit is necessary.)
Punditry has always aimed as much artillery at the people who deliver the news as it does at those who make it. There's a very good reason for this. Before you can convince someone of a lie, you need to make it more difficult for them to check your information. If you establish from the start that NPR is communist, MSNBC and CNN are slanted, and every newspaper this side of Journal's editorial page should be printed on pink paper, then any exaggeration you deliver becomes the de facto standard. Impugning the validity of other news sources is the first job of a successful pundit. They don't seek to be your sources of information by passing along reliable news. They do so by constantly assailing the legitimacy of other sources until you're left shaking your head at the absolute ignorance of everyone but Rush/Bill/Sean/Ann.
In response to the assault from less factual sources, media both accelerated the already existing trend toward mingling news and entertainment and -- in the most twisted move imaginable -- sought to imitate the mudslingers. They joined the war not by upholding their standards, but by dismissing them. And again, they did so for the reason that Keen indicates as the break between amateur and professional: the perception that there was more money to be made on the less truthful side of the aisle.
...with some blogs but mostly he doesn't like potty-mouths:
Mr. Rove cited the results of a study that found that writers and commenters on liberal blogs such as DailyKos.com cursed far more than writers and commenters on conservative Web sites such as FreeRepublic.com.
"My point is not that liberals swear publicly more often than conservatives. That may be true, but that's not my point," Mr. Rove said. "It is that the netroots often argue from anger rather than reason, and too often, their object is personal release, not political persuasion."