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December 06, 2004
Note to the Folks at NRO's The Corner

Jonah Goldberg, in The Corner, regarding weblog awards, et alia:

Journalists are constantly writing stories about blogs, but they don't think the Corner counts because magazine blogs don't fit their storylines about the pajamahedeen and all that....

And a bit later, he quotes a reader:

Why don't hardcore bloggers consider The Corner a blog? Well, ya'll are missing a couple of key elements that separate you from the rest of the blogosphere: a blogroll and links within posts to other blogs.

My reply....

Mr. Goldberg:

There are other elements missing from The Corner that bloggers tend to appreciate — comments and/or trackbacks. Usually, one or the other is good to see. Instapundit has neither, but he does have a blogroll.

On a site such at The Corner, I would not honestly expect to see comments — the trolling and spam would be ridiculous — but sites such as Power Line and Michelle Malkin do implement trackbacks.

I think something else more fundamental is at the heart of it, though: the team at The Corner are professional pundits. Blogging is, at its core, an activity undertaken by people who are not paid to do it. Hence the great deal of disdain circulating in the 'sphere for those bloggers who have been revealed to be paid tools of, say, George Soros.

You folks have, of course, never been the slightest bit shy about who y'all work for. So there's no problem with that as far as the 'sphere sees it. But you are paid to do it.

Now, if at the end of the work day you went home and started posting to your own private blogs — thinking of Malkin, here — that would be a fundamentally different thing.

There is a broad spectrum of online punditry: from little-guy me at home in my pajamas talking about barbecue, to someone like Emperor Misha I who gets a few thousand readers a day, to Instapundit, to "small big-media" sites like The Corner, all the way up to the major news outlets' online opinion pages (which often do have some elements in common with blogs — e.g. a feedback/comment system.) Somewhere in that spectrum is the dividing line between "blog" and "non-blog," and I would put The Corner on the other side of the line.


Update, 12/8: more from The Big Trunk at Power Line.

Posted by Russ at 01:28 PM, December 6, 2004 in Memoranda

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Great point. Genuine bloggers spend the day making a living, and only when that part of the day is done do we get to do a bit of blogging at home, sometimes nodding off at the keyboard (with or without jammies).

Posted by: Jim - PRS at December 6, 2004 09:44 PM

I really enjoy Michelle Malkin's blog. NRO has introduced many people to the blogosphere, but I think Malkin really has made a big effort to become a part of the blogging community and give props where deserved.

Posted by: Darth Monkeybone at December 7, 2004 11:33 AM

I agree with your assessment Russ, and would add that what peeves me about the Corner is that Cornerites seem to spend an inordinate amount of time either a) blegging for research help, or b) flogging things like cruise trips and subscriptions to National Review.

Jonah G. and K-Lo, both of whom strike me as great people, also seem thin-skinned about perceived slights to the Corner from MSM stories on blogging. We all know that the NRO crowd reads LittleGreenFootballs and InstaPundit; I suspect that they're jealous of the popularity of such "sole proprietor" blogs. But Charles and Glenn are big in the blogosphere because they have distinctive voices. Who among Corner regulars has a distinctive voice? Only Jonah Goldberg and John Derbyshire, neither of whom posts frequently enough to sustain a blog like that without help.

Posted by: Patrick O'Hannigan at December 8, 2004 07:45 PM