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A Brief History Of The Blog Revolution (Or Lack Thereof)

"Isn't the problem of the media right now that we barely have time to read a newspaper, let alone traverse the thoughts of a million bloggers?" Trevor Butterworth wonders in the Financial Times today (thanks, Romenesko) in a lengthy – but insightful – piece that serves as both a brief history of the effect of that phenomenon known as the blogosphere as well as a skeptical look at how much of an effect it will really have on that mainstream media that it chastises so much.

He goes to some of the ringleaders of this media revolution, who seem to agree that a revolution … it is not. Says Choire Sicha, former editor of Gawker (which at this writing, is in Technorati's Top 20 most popular blogs) :

"As for blogs taking over big media in the next five years? Fine, sure … But where are the beginnings of that? Where is the reporting? Where is the reliability? The rah-rah blogosphere crowd are apparently ready to live in a world without war reporting, without investigative reporting, without nearly any of the things we depend on newspapers for. The world of blogs is like an entire newspaper composed of op-eds and letters and wire service feeds.
Ana Marie Cox, who recently quasi-abandoned the ever-popular Wonkette to write books, agreed: "I just don't see the 'lumbering dinosaurs of mainstream media' - there's no asteroid coming." It's a worthwhile look at the nature of the blog-beast and its own potential to remain relevant – as it often seeks to question the relevance of the media that preceded it.