Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Great Concept and my pitch

I think this is a great concept, and thanks to Dave for inviting me to join in the fun.

Anyway, I blog on Autoblog, and had previously run my own site (nextgenautoweb.com). A lot of the time, the raw opinion of what is going on doesn't surface in my own writing and I hope to bring some of that to this discussion forum.

So, what does it mean to be an automotive blogger (or even an online editor for a print mag)? Will blogs replace print? What do automotive blogs need to be, news filters or outlets of opinion? I believe these are all valid questions.

I began thinking about this after I checked out a snippet in the latest Wired. Wired asked a handful of 'experts' their opinions on blogs and their relationship with mainstream media (MSM). I think one 'expert' got really close to the truth of the matter. Right now, blogging is a relatively hot phenomenon. But what will happen in 2-4 years? Will people get bored with bloggers? Will their crave something more? We cater to a fickle audience, do we not? So this 'expert' predicted that the cream of the crop bloggers would become more like mainstream media and that mainstream media will become more like bloggers and that the two will move closer to the center of the spectrum. You can already see this happening with the latest acquisitions of Gawker and Weblogs, Inc. I just wonder in the struggle to make a buck that the spirit of blogging will be crushed.

So, how does this affect the automotive blogger world?

What do you guys think?

5 Comments:

Blogger Croak said...

I think that theory is pretty much on target, as far as the two forms of media melding. And it's happened before. Print media eventually started borrowing aspects from that newfangled broadcast media (USA Today is a prime example).

As far as people getting tired of blogs/blogging, I don't think so.

What the medium has to offer has always been popular (letters to the editor have been around for a long long time), but blogging makes that sort of thing a lot more accessible.

People never get tired of expressing their thoughts. ;)

Actually, I think that IE7/Vista could start a second boom wave of bloggers/readers, further cementing the blogosphere as a permanent factor in many people's lives. That is, if the IE7 RSS features are robust enough.

But I bet that Microsoft is going to be leveraging the MSN homepage to the hilt with the rollout of the new browser/OS, and that's going to expose a MILLIONS of people to the medium.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Cars! Cars! Cars! said...

This is pretty interesting, Randall. I sorta hope blogs don't move towards MSM but I bet they probably will as some blogs gain a lot more "influence" (for lack of a better word).

MSM has let us down quite a bit recently and I think there are two reasons:

1. Money
2. Access

Let me bore you... uh, expand on this:

1. Consolidation of news outlets means advertisers have more power over more fewer publications (print or not). So if some information in the news hole (or editorial page) doesn't jive with a big advertiser it can really have a major effect on what gets published.

2. Access. MSM has crazy good access to everything and they don't want to lose that by pissing off, in our cases, some manufacturer. All Road & Track needs to happen is they piss off: Toyota, GM, Ford and Honda and soon it's harder to get press cars -- or something like that.

So, what am I trying to say? Will both sides migrate? Sure. Will it be bad? It could be if money/access becomes a big enough factor to influence the editorial product.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Randall said...

The dynamic that media vehicles offer is interesting, I think I'll post on it.

7:20 AM  
Blogger carscomblogger said...

I don't know I've found print and advertising to be as separate as possible while still having realistic crossover when needed with marketing etc.
I think I only got one complaint in all the time I was with Autoblog (the S2000 review) and it didn't stop Honda from dropping off a Ridgeline a few months later (which I had railed against for months until my drive).

10:41 AM  
Blogger Big Ford Fan said...

I'm not sure that "print is dead," not quite yet anyway. While I blog and I read others blogs daily, I still enjoy reading magazines very much. I've been reading many magazines for 20 years, as I'm sure many of you have. There is a more relaxing aspect about reading a print article as opposed to reading online.

Besides, you can curl up with a good monitor or take your computer into the "reading room" can you?

6:37 PM  

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