Snowballing the arbitrary 

Oxblog is among the blogs invited to cover the Democratic National Convention. 'Thoughts on the Convention of the Blog' titles Patrick Belton on Sunday, faithfully. But on Monday, David Adesnik, another Oxblogger, asks, 'Why do big media suddenly care about blogs?', and he answers (along with some interesting links):
Last night, in a dark wooden corner of an Irish pub, he said to me that journalists now think bloggers are important because bloggers have been invited to cover an event -- the Democratic convention -- that journalists describe as inherently unimportant. Who was "he"? I wish I remember. The only name I remember from last night is Sam Adams. But the point is still valid. If the convention is a pseudo-event produced for the benefit of the media, then by virture of getting invited, bloggers have become newsworthy.
Echo chamber all over then? Frankly, apart from the boring cynicism that the event invites, the Convention doesn't interest me much, it's very 'over there'. Yet this seems to be an instructive example of how many-to-many journalism can go wrong - by snowballing the arbitrary, why not until it all blows up in a big bang of disillusioned collective fatigue. If only it wasn't all so entertaining...

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