'We are all schadenbloggers, now'
In case of terror attack, get typing
Letters Last week we noticed that within 24 hours of the London terror attack, VXers were delivering a topical, terror related virus. And blog evangelists telling us Journalism Would Never Be The Same Again™ ... that This Changes Everything™, and other dot.com era platitudes.
Thanks to Jon Garfinkel for reminding us of his earlier account of what he describes as "schadenblogging", back in January, discussing the Asian Tsunami.
And thanks to another reader for finding this next gem. Now the victims of terror attacks have to contend with a new menace: snap happy, or slap happy, camera phone users:
Subject: Return of the Flash Mobs
Expect spur of the moment mass-gatherings to be playing at the next global tragedy near you:
http://www.pfff.co.uk/weblog/archives/2005/07/surviving_a_ter_2.html, where the blogger notes -
"The victims were being triaged at the station entrance by Tube staff and as I could see little more I could do so I got out of the way and left. As I stepped out people with camera phones vied to try and take pictures of the worst victims. In crisis some people are cruel."
The bloggers seem to be picking up stuff from the traditional media, rather than doing anything original. Yes, I was able to get confirmation that friends were OK - people were putting together lists - without a lot of trouble. But it was communities, not blogs, which made the difference.
And the blogging as commentary; the analysis which journalists should do. Mostly crap. Just one example: one of the New York papers published a story in which they suggested the bombers were incompetent because they'd set their bombs off in a Muslim district of London. They attributed that to an un-named European security expert, who had claimed to have been briefed by Scotland Yard. Nothing there to suggest that the bombers had hit underground trains and a bus which were carrying commuters away from three of London's main railway stations; no apparent realisation that what's on top of a tunnel doesn't make much difference.
But if the print journalists are that bad, no wonder the bloggers think they're so wonderful.
The evangelists worse than the VXers? I don't think so! Put simply, at least the evangelists can still get the benefit of the doubt. It is both possible and true at least in some cases that rather than being knowingly callous a blogger has simply failed to realize in their enthusiasm that they've said something pretty daft and inapropriate to the occasion, there is NO question on the other hand that a VXer fully knows just how horrible their lure is as that's pretty much the POINT of using it in the first place.
I never really understood the fascination with bullshitlogging. A bunch of people with a website printing any old crap that comes into their heads, whilst at the same time providing "feedback" links for other people to post their corresponding thoughts. If they were limited to journalists or someone gifted in giving their balanced and informed point of view, then okay.. this is of value to the world. But when you have any moron with an internet connection wasting server space with inane bullshitlogging, how can we be expected to shift through all the crap to find something worth reading.
Yes, we were all guilty of a little ambulance chasing on Thursday, but LiveJournal did it's part when the mobile network was overloaded and we couldn't get calls through, and it did it far more efficiently than attempting to email everyone about someone you couldn't get through to. It allowed group communication and reassurance and it allowed the humour to flow, "If I'd known the French would be that upset..." because that's how we deal with these things here, we tell a joke, that and tea. and more tea. and maybe a cup of tea.
LiveJournal - isn't that the one that's most like Usenet? Thanks to Adam, and to you all for your mail. ®
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