Last week, Alan Wirzbicki at the Boston Globe made bloggers sound a little lame in his article. “Political bloggers fear publicists will infiltrate sites.”
He noted, “With big corporations now hiring public relations firms to pay fake bloggers to plant favorable opinions of the businesses online, many political bloggers are concerned that candidates, too, will hire people to pretend to be grass-roots citizens expressing views.” C’mon! Ya think they’d really do that!?!
Today in the NY Times Ann Althouse, (free view in Int’l Herald Tribune) author of a conservative blog, and a guest columnist at the NY Times this month, says about the Boston Globe article,
“Somehow I can’t work up much fear over this. How vigilant do I need to be? As long as no one is dropping unverifiable factual assertions in the comments — trying to stir up a scandal for a candidate — why should I care if my commenters have their secrets, their ulterior motives and their as-yet-undiscovered manipulative ways? That’s the way life is in the real world.”
Many bloggers care very much when commenters mis-represent their affiliations. We insist that commenters have a valid email address, and many of us check IP address origins. The risk of getting caught astroturfing has grown exponentially because of blogs. In fact, candidates who try to stuff partisan comments are playing with fire.
Althouse also makes an interesting observation about blogging” Blogging is just writing, and there is no end to the things you can do with writing.”
She is so right about writing. Most people would rather have root canal without anesthesia than write half a dozen blog posts a day. For me, writing is fun, and it has always brought privileges. Because I could write circles around other students and most of my teachers, I didn’t have to work very hard in school. Because I have the gift of being able to write, I have been able to make a living in a way that is both interesting and creative.