Blogs vs Talk Radio

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A reader writes:

I read the dissent of the day about a reader's fatigue with the Palin soap opera. I agree with the reader on the subject of Palin obsession, but disagree with his threat to stop reading. The Dish covers a whole host of subjects and if I find one that doesn't interest me, like Palin drama, I skip it. We are not obligated as readers to read every post, are we? Of course not.

That's why I prefer the blogsophere to talk radio. If a talk show host goes off on a subject that I have no interest in, I'm stuck. Sure I can put on some music but my political fix is left unfulfilled. With blogs, especially this one, there is plenty to sink your mind into - at your own pace.

That is part of what we've been trying to do here. Since coming to the Atlantic, I've had the chance to get the input of interns to bring their generation's perspective to the Dish. Two of them have gone on to become under-bloggers who, with the active insistence of readers, have helped expand dramatically the number of posts and the variety of subjects. The Dish, I think, is now very different than the one-man blog it started out as.

It's a clearing house for views and ideas and videos and art and argument and anecdote and reporting that create a community of discourse. It's as much your blog now as mine. The posts from readers are just as informative and often more enlightening than my own. Yes, I'm still writing or editing or approving almost every post, but the flow of conversation increasingly leads me, rather than my directing it. As I've noted before, I'm more of a DJ now than a traditional writer. The Dish is always sampling, re-mixing and generating its own music in the interaction with others.

I don't think about this much as I do it because I just follow my nose and pursue the intimations of this medium. But every now and again, one looks up and realizes how different the landscape is and how evolved the Dish has become. I am now just one voice among many here - a voice around which others can gather and contribute, but no more than that.

And that's much more exciting than anything one blogger can pontificate about in a vacuum.

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