by carl wilson

Torontopus' Tentacles

(Note: This entry has been rebuilt after being hacked by some asshole.

The comments (here and elsewhere) on my last post call out for clarification: No objection to folks making a living, and I don't think the gov't should convene a royal commission on blog concentration. By "corporatization" I didn't mean CanWest: that Torontoist has recruited some (talented) Posties was just a sidenote, not a conspiracy theory. But Gothamist going Starbucks may presage the future of blogging, at least in part, just as many alt-weeklies are now parts of chains rather than independent publications. That doesn't make them sellouts - except literally. (A lot of them have turned into squishy lifestyleist advertising rags, but not all.) Economy of scale makes the shift kind of inevitable.


But since blogging has been idealized as a DIY media form, the Gothamist chain is shaped like a question mark. If the blogosphere circa 2008 will look very different than now, that seems worthy of conversation.

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, November 16 at 1:38 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (11)

 

COMMENTS

Nice work.

Posted by John on December 17, 2004 8:38 AM

 

 

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Posted by Michael Jordan on December 4, 2004 6:14 PM

 

 

hey! watch those claws!

Posted by Zoilus on November 16, 2004 8:19 PM

 

 

Oh boy, is this what it comes down to? Yes, I was one of the first in town with any kind of real-world media experience to catch on to this medium, even made a few bucks from it along the way ... and I still seem to be one of the few who actually follows and participates in its evolution for no real hope of ever making another dime rather than simply paying it condescending lip service because I don't want to risk seeming out of the loop ... and, I'm still younger than Carl Wilson ...

Posted by Marc Weisblott on November 16, 2004 7:54 PM

 

 

Ah, so your been-in-the-biz-for-a-dozen-years wisdom comes from blogs...

Posted by JKelly on November 16, 2004 7:47 PM

 

 

Buddy, I just read Paul Wells giving you a plug that sounded like precariousness to me.

Posted by Marc Weisblott on November 16, 2004 7:26 PM

 

 

Dear Marc Weisblott: you are full of something that rhymes with 'it.' Why do journos who have no friggin' idea what is going on at the Post purport to be in the know? I've been hearing this "precarious state" business from condescending been-in-the-biz-for-a-dozen-years know-it-alls since the day I started there... Guess what? It's still there. And, heck, they're building a new building on the waterfront to house it...
In any case, all that is -- in the parlance of agw -- mooter than moot. My involvement in blogging predates my career at the Post. Likewise, my friendship with a certain Torontoist editor predates said career. So when she asked me to contribute, I said sure -- not because of "frustration" with my day job, but because she's my buddy and it seems like a fun project to work on in my free time.
If only I had picked an after-work hobby like yoga or something rather than blogging, I wouldn't have to deal with stuff... If I shit in the woods, does it mean the Post's plumbing is bad?

Posted by JKelly on November 16, 2004 7:18 PM

 

 

Am I really being that obscure? Let me spell this out: My point has NOTHING to do with the National Post connection. It has EVERYTHING to do with the establishment of a blog "chain." (There may be other blog chains, by the way, but this is the first I've heard of one with a local presence.) The Post thing was just a sidenote and my point is structural, not anything about the personnel. I think it's a good thing they've got the work too. Instead, imagine that New Times or the Voice chains of alt-weeklies were starting up a Toronto alt-weekly in competition with eye and Now. That's more the scenario I'm interested in.

I think there's a weird newspaper-war-born assumption here that me mentioning anything to do with the Post has to be an attack. I think there are plenty of Post writers who are better than plenty of Globe writers. And I never meant to suggest there was anything sinister involved in there being Post writers on Torontoist.

Posted by zoilus on November 16, 2004 6:47 PM

 

 

This is all fairly natural, innit?

Consolodation, colonization, infestation, concentration... (followed, at least in Canada, by government investigation)....

Eventually, shit is only ever going to be read if it sets your pants on fire.

In other news, whether or not the McGill mafia is getting together out of frustration with conventional media/the state of self-expression seems moot. Scandalous, but moot. Because that would seem to be the reason most people got into this ridiculousness.

Anyway. As I discussed with one of those mafiosos earlier this week - people need to talk about blogging less and blog more.

There. I'm done.

Posted by agw on November 16, 2004 6:42 PM

 

 

Oh, and the alt-weeklies here are well on their way to being the squishy lifestyle rags of which you speak ... as with blogging, talk radio and cable news, we're just infuriatingly behind the times here in McLuhanland.

Posted by Marc Weisblott on November 16, 2004 6:36 PM

 

 

Carl, I've been playing the pro media game here for over a dozen years. I don't know much but I know *something* and think if some youngish blog-literate types who have day newspaper jobs want to traipse into different arenas their employers are never going to "get" (and, like the National Post Editorial Board site, risk doing it tepidly when they try) that's a good thing.

But, as a rather dedicated bloggy type--er, for now--this is certainly not my situation. And what I don't understand is why you'd put Torontoist on some kind of beanbag pedestal because of this (non-)alliance--which is, unless I'm totally wrong, partly borne of frustration from the precarious state of the NP whose arts & life & etc. coverage is a shadow of its former self (but such is the case in all the Toronto papers in the online era it seems) and perhaps not doing much of a favor for some potentially promising scribes. Who knows? Maybe that'll change.

But then, if the Post stayed its original course all along, these folks wouldn't have gotten the breaks they did ... and a Torontoist-type thing is certainly a more realistic entry level media endeavor than a national newspaper, especially when it comes to reaching the vast audience that doesn't read newspapers, and the more encouragement of such effort--especially youngish people starting their own personal sites rather than settling for lousy Bridget Jones impersonators as some kind of definitive voice of their generation--the better.

Posted by Marc Weisblott on November 16, 2004 6:04 PM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson