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ABC's 'People of the Year' - Bloggers 331

Sammy at Palm Addict writes "ABC News have declared Bloggers to be their 'People of the Year'. 'A blog - short for "web log" - is an online personal journal that covers topics ranging from daily life to technology to culture to the arts. Blogs have made such an impact this year that Merriam-Webster named it the word of the year. This week, their influence has become readily apparent.'"
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ABC's 'People of the Year' - Bloggers

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  • by kaedemichi255 ( 834073 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:06AM (#11232168)
    My first award ever! *tears*
    • by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:58AM (#11232346) Homepage
      That's only because the award wasn't given by CBS...

      Heard inside the smoke-filled room of CBS News Executives: "And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling bloggers!" (a voice from an indeterminable source adds: "And their dog, too!")
    • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @03:24AM (#11232540)
      I won Person of the Year from ABC this year! lol How damn trendy. I'm so disapointed. Here are some photos from last month's shoot that a photographer friend did of me. And here's some photosohpped artwork that some fans sent in, of me! I took a dump today and it was a funny brownish color with some yellow in it. I use Colgate toothpaste. Did I mention, I'm Person of the Year according to ABC? What a bunch of conformists.

      Mood: Depressed
      Music: Black Tape For A Blue Girl

      [pump up my ego] - [read other people pumping up my ego]
  • by Tezkah ( 771144 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:07AM (#11232174)
    "E-mail" is our person of the year!
  • And I'd like to thank the academy of other folks with too much time on their hands, who've made me what I am today.
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:11AM (#11232188)
    Matt Drudge's site could be considered to be a blog... that means bloggers have been influencing news events since at least 1998.
  • by Eric Giguere ( 42863 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:13AM (#11232198) Homepage Journal

    If a blog is updated and nobody reads it, does it actually matter?

  • Livejournalers, apparently. "Gosh, my parents are so mean! They never let me stay up late!"

    Yeah, that kind of thing matters so much we should give it a special kind of award.

    Wait a second...
  • In other words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by downhole ( 831621 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:16AM (#11232209) Homepage Journal
    We're just realizing that some guy with a computer and an internet connection is doing our jobs better then we are.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:18AM (#11232215) has a good side and a bad side. There's someone on Kuro5hin who's documented the dark side of Movable Type [] and, subsequently, Xanga [] weblogs. It turns out that in addition to "empowering" people's abilities to communicate, weblogs can also be used to stifle them, especially in the insidious case of Xanga. We always need to keep in mind how new technological advances have negative side-effects in addition to positive ones.
  • No, no we're not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacobcaz ( 91509 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:21AM (#11232231) Homepage
    As a blogger I feel compelled to say, "No, please don't hold blogging up as an ideal." Yeah, it's the power of the fourth estate in the hands of the masses, blah, blah, blah. Remember, by and large, the masses are asses.

    Face it, 99% of all the blog material out there is shit (my own included). We need better blogging out there, not more of it!

    They should have held up one or two exemplary examples of blogging done right - good content and timley information (and a lack of words like "dat", "ur", "OMG", "LOL", and "ROFLMAO")

    <John Stewart>
    Stop, please stop butchering language. You're hurting our vocabulary and you make yourself sound stupid
    </John Stewart>

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:23AM (#11232241) Homepage
    I mean, yes bloggers have become a trend.... but 99,9% of the blogs I've read are absolutely senseless to anyone who doesn't know the people in question. You might say the same about homepages - 99,9% of those were useless to outsiders as well. And there's no easier to find the people who actually have something sensible to say. I'll just place this under "if you take a big enough sample, someone will have something interesting to say"... which kinda reminds me of slashdot, oh well ;)

  • Give me a break.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by YodaToo ( 776221 )
    Many of us are bloggers, but "People of the Year?"

    How about soliders, researchers, volunteers, or teachers?!

  • Before ABC News cleared-up what a "blog" was, I thought it was a medical name for constipation.

    Glad they clarified that.

  • For a moment, I thought the title said 'blogger of the year', and my heart stopped momentarily as I thought, 'if they say Roland Piquepaille, I'm gonna be pissed.'
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:40AM (#11232289) Homepage
    Visit any LiveJournal for confirmation.

    "All these people keep bemoaning the fact that they can't communicate. If they can't communicate, the least they can do is SHUT UP." -- Tom Lerher

  • Dude, I hope you don't mention your nickname to women... or anybody for that matter.
  • Thanks for defining blog for me. I couldn't figure out what it meant until I went to the homepage of slashdot.
  • According to BlogShares [], the number of blogs has grown from 1 million to 2.3 million over the past 6 months. It seems like information overload. It also seems like the number of blogs isn't really relevant - most of the attention ends up being focused on a very few blogs run by people already in the media (like Instapundit []).
  • Meanwhile (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <> on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:49AM (#11232317)
    A group of linguists declared "blog" to be a word they want stricken from the English language and I couldn't agree more. []

    Other previous hated words:

    metrosexual (2003) -- although it made a funny South Park plot
    chad (2001) -- the little piece of paper that chose our President
    paradigm (1994) -- sadly, still used in 99% of business presentations :(

    - JoeShmoe
    • despite how much you wish a single group of elitist linguists made up language, you're mistaken about how languages are formed. language is formed by the mass, i.e. words that are generated and perpetuated as the norm. all the words given on your 'list' have made it to that level, and as such should be added to every major dictionary.
    • Dude, learn to RTFA critically. None of the people mentioned are linguists.

      "Group members act as "linguistic sounding boards," said John Shibley, co-compiler of the list."

      John Shibley has just informed us that he is not a linguist.

  • Interesting quote... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <spam&pbp,net> on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:51AM (#11232321)
    "Dylan Verdi, an 11-year-old known as the world's youngest videoblogger, says she covers "things that I've seen that I like or that I've heard of, or just anything that happened to me that day that I'm thinking.""

    "videoblogger?" great, another buzzword. I wonder what her "videoblog" is about - what 11 year old girls really like? Oh brother, that oughta be a hoot.

    A chick named "Dylan?" Now that's a new one!

    But *that* is something that Time considered worthy of "People of the Year?" An 11 year old with a video camera talking about what she likes? (they failed to link to the blog, though)

    There are so many other people that are far more deserving of the title than effin *Bloggers* - blah.
  • by aardwolf204 ( 630780 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:52AM (#11232324)
    For a while I thought blogs were stupid, but thats just because I had looked at live journal sites published by 15 year old girls. I like the services that offer, and even use for its picture blogging service. I just wish I could have this all on my own domain and not be tied to a company that might not be around in 10 years. Are there any open source packages that I should check out? I've got experience with PHP.

    Happy New Year
  • Blog Defined (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LakeSolon ( 699033 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:56AM (#11232336) Homepage
    A blog - short for "web log" - is an online personal journal that covers topics ranging from daily life to technology to culture to the arts.

    Did we really need 'blog' defined in the blurb? This is Slashdot after all...

  • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @02:15AM (#11232381)
    When the Web was introduced to the masses, everyone down to the last AOLer talked about building their own websites. But up until now many of those sites have been poorly updated piles of rubbish, a far cry from the web of individual voices and opinions around the world that many people thought the Web would bring.

    So here we are in 2004, where blogers are now "people of the year" and when we look back at what's changed, it's almost nothing except for one thing: content management systems. You give people Frontpage or Dreamweaver, and they'll put out a poorly done site that's too complex for them to convienently update, but all of a sudden the simple blog-style of content management is introduced, and all of a sudden that vision of voices around the world is coming true. Was this the only thing we were missing the whole damn time?

    I'm finding myself slightly stupified at the prospect that the only think keeping this vision from coming true is that we needed to take away the ability for users to make their own site, and then make the whole thing a little easier to update. We still have things like blogs about cats, so I'm not sure the content has become any better, but was this really all the user really needed? It boggles the mind.
    • I'm finding myself slightly stupified at the prospect that the only think keeping this vision from coming true is that we needed to take away the ability for users to make their own site, and then make the whole thing a little easier to update. We still have things like blogs about cats, so I'm not sure the content has become any better, but was this really all the user really needed? It boggles the mind.

      Interestingly enough, it is this characteristic that Jakob Nielsen has been harping on about for yea

    • It boggles the mind.

      Did you mean bloggles? Or wait, was that googles...
    • but was this really all the user really needed?

      Yeah, amazing, isn't it? Look at the web itself; the internet didn't really take off until the web did, even though we had TCP/IP, DNS, FTP, e-mail, gopher, Usenet, and so forth before anyone knew who Tim Berners-Lee was. All the web did was add a simple mark-up language and tie it all together with hyperlinks.

      It truly is amazing how far the little things go in this world. For another example, look at today's music and movie piracy situation. It's always

  • Kevin Sites (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jea6 ( 117959 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @02:17AM (#11232392)
    The most important blog this year, bar none, was []. You can't top it.
  • ...Is the fact that politically-conservative blogs made a huge difference in the 2004 US Presidential campaign.

    I cite two reasons for this:

    1. Conservative blogs spread the message of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "527" group far beyond what was possible in the past. I mean let's face it: because most media outlets ignored this 527 group, it took the power of conservative blogs to spread the message, along with conservative radio talk shows and the Fox News Channel. Of course, it didn't help the Kerry
  • Cats of the world rejoice!
  • by benna ( 614220 )
    I think there is alot of hype about bloggers over maybe not nothing, but certainly not anything substancial. The web has been used by individual people for a while now to express their views. Yes, there are now more people doing it, but it is not something that just came out of the blue this year. I consider myself to be pretty internet savy. And yet, when my dad asked me earlier this year if I had a blog, as he thought I must based on the hype he had heard, I told him no, I've mostly only heard about t
  • I mean really, who reads these things?

    I'm an engineer and work with a bunch on technically savy people. I know of one one person who commonly reads blogs. He is a ultra conservative, very religious, weirdo who uses blogs as a way to confirm his own beliefs. Other than that cares.

    Most of them are crap. The only ones I've ever come upon that are even a bit worthwhile are ones where people log cool techno projects. These aren't any different than written descriptions that have been on the web since it s
  • ... I know I do.

    'You're fired!' on hit list in word ban campaign []
    (`blog' is on the list too. And rightfully so. In fact, it should be at the top of the list!)

    (Not that I'd try to `ban' a word, but I *do* hate it. Almost as much as `surf' for clicking on web pages.)

  • When I started to write my blog [] I thought people might be interested in what I had to say. Traffic is encouraging and trending up. And then... I looked at my logs. I'm surprised that traffic has come to me after searching for things like, "hot water pipe is frozen south korea," "chuck woolery wives" or the always popular "carrot top shirtless."

    Carrot Top shirtless! Someone's gotta get a life.

    Google also sent a lot of traffic my way because of an entry I had which debunked a popular picture of a tanker s

  • Hugh Hewitt's Blog : Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World [] has an Sales Rank of #155 and his book will not be available for another six-months.

    The PowerLineBlog [] was chosen by Time Magazine as "Blog of the Year" [] perhaps in no small part due to PowerLine being a clearing house for Dan RaTHer's education about MS Word vs Typewriters []

    Perhaps like other less-frequent Slashdot readers, I am puzzled why anyone would want to $ub$cribe to $la$dot ;-);-);-) [] given that Sla

  • by Xepherys2 ( 174396 ) <xepherys AT xepherys DOT net> on Saturday January 01, 2005 @03:17AM (#11232518) Homepage
    So many people here seem to want to reiterate that this is a site for "nerds". That we're supposed to make a difference. But in the same breath, they bash others for using "l33tsp34k" or net abbreviations. They'll bash a teen LJ user for posting their virtual diary, but put forth the fury of crap on their own site and tout it as a masterpiece. What's crap to you isn't crap to others.

    As for blogging in and of itself, why could it be considered bad? If Xanga allows for these types of issues, perhaps the creators of Xanga need to be blamed, not the trend of blogging. Blogging can be such an interesting look into the lives of others. Some of you are so far into nerddom that you are antisocial and don't care what others think. That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But those of us that are curious about other people, or... God forbid... outgoing or extroverted, blogs let us see what's on the other side... the other side of the bridge, the city, the state or the world. How can this ever be a bad thing?

    Yes, yes... almost everyone that comes to this site knows what a blog is. Maybe somebody doesn't. Maybe they are a neo-nerd, fresh to the community. Are you ACTUALLY offended that the term was described in a quote on the front page? Seriously... some people need to get over themselves. There are plenty of things that occur, are said or are shown on the internet that I feel are ignorant or ill-advised. But generally (this post, of course, being an exception), I just let it go. /. used to have a pretty decent sense of community. About the only time you see people being a group is to bash M$ or team up for the new project. Yes, we've always disagreed... that's part of a community. But either I've grown very old very quickly, the /. populace has becoem extremely immature, or the community has just broken down for no apparent reason.

    It's sad really...
  • Bloggers can do good work, but there is no institutional/programatic/architectural assurance that they're telling the truth.

    Bloggers can post anything they want, w/o refutation, or consequence (barring libel suit, natch)-- there's no way to proximally refute a blog's BS. Journalists, at least, are held to some standard, and their outlets -- papers, magazines, networks, have to at least occasionally genuflect at the altar of veracity. A journalist who lies and is caught becomes unemployed; not so the blogge
    • Bloggers can post anything they want, w/o refutation, or consequence (barring libel suit, natch)-- there's no way to proximally refute a blog's BS. Journalists, at least, are held to some standard, and their outlets -- papers, magazines, networks, have to at least occasionally genuflect at the altar of veracity. A journalist who lies and is caught becomes unemployed; not so the blogger, who can spew and rave unchallenged.


      Deliberate lies, misrepresentation and lies by omission happen every single
  • 142 comments and no mention of blogger's biggest kill- perhaps when their importance was proven beyond a doubt.

    I'm sure you'll all remember that a week or two before the election, Dan Rather went on 60 minutes with a story about how Bush allegedly got special treatment when he was in the air national guard. To prove this, CBS posted PDF's of supporting memos, 'from' the 70's, on their website.

    Within hours, someone mentioned on freerepublic that the documents looked like they came from microsoft word.

    Over the 12 hours, [] , with the help of blew the lid off the story.

    Here's a detailed analysis later put together by a guy who pretty much wrote the book on computer typesetting: Dr. Newcomer []

    Bloggers showed that CBS had aired a story based on piss-poor forgeries made with MS Word 2003 default settings within hours, and then let so many people know about it so rapidly that there was no turning back for Rather and 60 minutes. His retirement this spring was announced within a month of this fiasco, IIRC.

    Now, regardless of what you happen to think of Bush (Dr. Newcomer was a Kerry fan), basing a story on fabricated evidence is inexcusable. Basing it on such obvious forgeries is beyond inexcusable, and reaches into incredibly stupidity.

    Bloggers busted 60 minutes on this. Huge story. And I'm suprised I'm the first one posting it.
  • Don't forget that Time singled out the mighty Powerline [] as blog of the year. As you may remember, Powerline played a major part in exposing the Rathergate forged documents scandal, and their commentary is consistantly insightful and well-written.

    Congratulations to Hindrocket, The Big Trunk, and Deacon for producing such an excellent blog.

  • by gregwbrooks ( 512319 ) * <gregb@ w e s t - t h i r d .com> on Saturday January 01, 2005 @04:08AM (#11232609)
    OK, let's start with the givens most folks will admit to:

    • Most blogs are crap. At least, if you're comparing them to wide/deep sources of general information.
    • Blogs do clutter up the results of the major search engines.
    • Some blogging/CMS tools are elegant, but many -- including many of the leading ones -- are pretty kludgy.

    Now, here are the givens that too many Slashdotters won't admit to:

    • The web isn't here to serve you and you alone. Maybe parts of it are, but on the whole it's a lot more like a community (and like a community resource, if you're talking about the infrastructure and tools such as Google) and a lot less like your l337 hax0r basement clubhouse. We geeks cannot simultaneously bitch that people should become more technically literate while at the same time shooing Aunt Edna away from the web because her MT weblog is boring and plastered with comment spam.

      You want to tell me you popped out of your mother's womb and started coding Perl before you could crawl? Please. We have all ascended a tech learning curve -- and the smart ones are continually looking for new ones to climb. Blogging is in its infancy in terms of both form and tools -- it will evolve for the same reasons you're not still coding COBOL -- people, left to themselves, will find increasinly efficient ways to communicate and transmit information.

    • For millions of people, weblogs have created what many of us found incredibly valuable in our formative years: A cadre of People Who Understand. Most people (usually as adolescents), cast around in search of a group they can feel like they really belong to -- a group that understands and appreciates their viewpoint and contributions to the group. For many of us, it was finding someone who knew Linux, or hanging out with other D&D players, etc.

      But you know what? That big issue of finding a community of one's own isn't limited to geeks -- it's indicative of the prevasive loneliness that may be one of the most dominant characteristics of modern, first-world society.

      And blogs have had a huge impact on that.

      Today, there are thousands (perhaps millions) of interconnected online communities centered around blogs. No, they're not running FUDforum or other bulletin board software, but they still fit the core definitions of a community, whether online or off. Millions of people are learning more about how the internet works and information that was isolated is increasingly communal and (wait for it, RMS...) free.

      How can that be a bad thing?

  • As Homer J would say, it must have been a pretty slow year!
  • Is Slashdot a 'blog?
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <> on Saturday January 01, 2005 @04:21AM (#11232656) Homepage
    Here in Brazil, people tend to shorten "fotolog" or "photolog" as... "flog". It is fair to suppose 99.5 percent of them have no idea of what it means in english. X_X
  • by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @04:27AM (#11232678) Journal
    I enjoy some blogs, although I have to admit that the signal-to-noise ratio is pretty bad. Here's a few which I personally find interesting and read regularly. I'm a neuro, space, and robotics geek, so the list is biased as such.

    * Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) News []: The most thorough spaceflight blog around, focusing on reusable systems.
    * NASA Watch []: A well-known site with regular critiques of NASA.
    * Free Republic []: Like slashdot, but for ultra-conservatives. I sometimes like to go there to get a better understanding of what goes through the heads of people who think differently from me.
    * Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log []: "Quantum fluctuations in space, science, and exploration"
    * Democratic Underground []: The extreme left's version of Free Republic.
    * Instapundit []: The slashdot-equivalent of political weblogging, with a somewhat libertarian slant. Known for causing "Instalanches" on innocent web servers, analogous to "Slashdottings."
    * Daily Kos []: Probably the most influential liberal blog.
    * Transterrestrial Musings []: a libertarian space analyst who helped me understand why it's possible to be intelligent and support the war in Iraq at the same time. He sometimes posts some fantastic satires.
    * theferrett's livejournal []: sometimes writes some very insightful and well-composed essays
    * spacexploration livejournal community []: Space-related miscellany and discussion.
    * politicsforum livejournal community []: Sometimes has some pretty intelligent political discussion.
    * []: Robotics news
    * Space Politics []: "Because sometimes the most important orbit is the Beltway"
    * Rocket Man Blog []: Rarely updated, but has very insightful and informed analysis of spaceflight and rocketry.
    * Howard Lovy's NanoBot []: Nanotechnology news and commentary
  • "Among the 22 expressions on the "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness" are "blog," "sale event," "body wash" and "zero percent APR financing.""

    Story here []
  • by eagl ( 86459 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @10:23AM (#11233355) Journal
    And all bloggers ought to thank Jerry Pournelle for starting the original blog, although back then he called it a daybook. His site still has his original content going back many many years. []

  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @12:31PM (#11233749)
    Every major outlet in the Big Media was very pro-war when the Bush government was busy pulling the wool over the public's eyes, promising a short, easy, inexpensive war where the Iraqis would welcome foreign troops and everybody would be richer and the world would be a better place, blah, blah, blah. --Which turned out to be a bunch of lies based on more lies about WMD's, and all of which was driven by the desire to rape the public purse for insanely over-priced 'reconstruction contracts' and weapons sales which is right now making certain people very, very rich.

    The whole thing stunk to high heaven and nearly everybody bought it because they had been trained to believe that the talking heads on TV were smart and wise and good rather than being a bunch of state-owned propaganda dupes. -Amazingly, this was all largely done in the same style of tactical manipulation employed by other great psychopathic power mongers throughout history.

    And the Big Media pushed and sold this bullshit. 'Freedom Fries', anybody? (Does everybody still hate the French for not being as gullible? Nobody likes to be shown up as stupid after the fact, so I bet most people do still hate the French.)

    Anyway, my point is. . .

    The ONLY place I was seeing the opposing message in any force during those horrible 'watching a train-wreck in slow-motion' days was on the Web, --primarily through individuals posting their views and research on simple web-pages and discussion groups. Like Slashdot.


Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"