Friday, December 09, 2005

Blogjams! Hallelujah!

Finally, something the blogosphere can provide that no other medium can: Quick, civil, articulate debates between bright minds. Television talking head shows often reveal little about either position on an issue due to time limits, and the visual medium rewards aspects (attractiveness, fashion sense) unrelated to the merit of a person's argument. Often the debate loses its civility, with both people talking past each other and shouting in the end. Likewise pro-and con editorials in newspapers fail to engage the authors directly, making it difficult for the reader to actually compare viewpoints since often they talk about different topics related to the issue. In addition a newspaper column is of a length that accomodates poorly readers' short attention span. I'm guilty of giving up on an editorial if it doesn't maintain my interest within the first paragraph.

There have been countless discussions on whether blogs can generate any kind of business model. The establishment of Pajamas Media is testing the waters, but it's obvious to everyone including the founders that some aspects of their operation don't work well. The Blogjam, in contrast, works extremely well in that it provides an incentive for people to tune in and witness a sophisticated debate taking place before their eyes (with constant refreshing of the browser). Unlike a televized debate on C-Span where you need cable and the time to actually follow a pre-taped debate, the live blogjam is accessible to a far greater audience, and you can take your attention away at anytime and still be able to capture the entire debate, as it is essentially a transcript in the making. I firmly believe that humans think about things differently when the write about them than talk. There is more deliberation in the mind, a more careful choosing of words to express an opinion, better self-control when live-blogging. Television broadcasts every verbal and physical gaff for all the world to see and unfortunately tarnishes the delivery of the ideas. What would a presidential debate look like if it were live-blogged?

Check out a debate about the economy, or about the Iraq War, or even about what the problems of Pajamas Media are. The intelligence, humour and civility are refreshing!

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