Do Blogs Suck?

David Appell seems to think so. Matt wallows in his own worthlessness here and here. I think Appell misunderstands the nature and appeal of blogging. It's a form of conversation, not a medium of absolute authority. He writes:

It takes weeks and months and years to understand situations, to write from anything like a position of expertise. You don't get it by quickly flying out to Aspen and back, or by reading an article from the Brookings Institute or from Harvard's 321 course on Environmental Philosophy. It takes blood, sweat, and tears, it takes going out and looking at rivers, pouring over government reports and spreadsheets, hiking to the tops of mountains for the big picture, calling 25 people a day -- precisely the thing the blogosphere does least of.

You bet. Which is why this blog contains not just my musings but links to many other deeply reported stories, essays, specialist blogs, videos, and emails from expert readers, etc. Moreover, different blogs can do different things - and this one has evolved over the years from a purely personal diary of sorts to more of a broadcast hourly magazine. The point is that I don't expect or hope that any reader relies on the Dish alone. The Dish is a portal as well as well as a blog - to all the information and ideas percolating out there. And my role has evolved from purely an opiner to a web DJ of sorts, re-mixing and finding and editing the thoughts and images and facts of others.