22 May 2008 9:21 pm   //   Filed under: In the news, Media

Four reactions to Emily Gould’s blog story

Every blogger in the city is linking to Emily Gould’s New York Times Magazine cover story about what it’s like to be a blogger in the city. So I will too. Money quote:

“The will to blog is a complicated thing, somewhere between inspiration and compulsion. It can feel almost like a biological impulse. You see something, or an idea occurs to you, and you have to share it with the Internet as soon as possible.”

Four thoughts about the story:

1. I have occasionally run into some of the people mentioned in this story, but not Emily. Any insight I have into her situation is minimal. I do know writing for an audience forces you to develop a sublime, professional self-confidence, and it sounds like Emily hasn’t found that gear yet. (I like to think I have, but on the other hand, I’m sheltered in B2B media.)

2. What is this thing doing on the cover of the Times Magazine? Why does Emily deserve 8,000 words of prime real estate to settle scores, sort herself out, and justify her output of ephemeral gossip reporting? (I realize after skimming some other blogs and comments that this is perhaps the least original though I have ever had.)

3. A story like this is not typical of the New York media world. A lot of us use blogs as little sidebars to practice writing and to communicate with friends, and suffer no side effects.

4. Emily devotes a few sentences to defending “attention-whoring” writer Julia Allison. But she makes a sharp scratch across the face of the New York media community’s ultimate attention whore: Gawker Media owner Nick Denton. She has written an entire story about Gawker without mentioning Nick Denton’s name – referring to him twice as simply the “site owner.” That’s no oversight, it’s a dagger in the back.