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Last week, blogger and PR exec Steve Rubel did a week-long experiment in mainstream-media deprivation experiment in which he got his news only from blogs.
Journalist Steve Outing describes the experiment in detail and wonders “Was it just a publicity stunt dreamed up by a smart PR guy? Rubel, of course, insists it’s not. It was merely a modest test to try to see how far the blogging world has come, he says — whether people can now rely on the “blogosphere” to be their entry point to the world of news and still be well-informed.”
It was at least part publicity stunt, and it worked. It’s been written about by journalists and bloggers alike, helping to build audience for Rubel’s blog.
Problem is: Rubel didn’t click through to the links in the blog posts, and, as Jeff Jarvis noted, “Reading blogs and NOT clicking on the links they recommend to you is not reading blogs; it’s tone deaf to the medium and how it works. Links are essential to blogs and by ignoring them, you’re not performing an experiment that tells you anything about blogs.”
If anything, Outing writes, Rubel’s experiment will spur more serious research into the blogging phenomenon.”
To me, that seems kind of like analyzing poetry, or herding cats. But of course academic analyses of blogging are inevitable.