Thursday, October 24, 2002

ACTUALLY: Following this whole Dash/lgf blog FIGHT! thing has been more interesting to me in a sociological kind of way than anything else. Bennett, in his Bennett way, kind of says what I was thinking:

Anil Dash, in case you live in a cave, is a New York web elf of South Asian descent who started a smear campaign against Charles Johnson a few weeks ago, implying that Little Green Footballs was a racist site because it features commentary on the Arab Muslim press instead of commentary on Java applets and other tech trivia as it once did.

Not so much the smear stuff but the comment on "Java applets and other tech trivia" which was, as far as I can tell, the state of blogland pre-9/11, pre-Instapundit. Because before that time you had to know a little HTML or whatever the kids are using these days to get yourself a blog. Or that's what it seemed like. Then Glenn Reynolds came along and legitimized Blogger, so it was suddenly okay for somebody to just push their thoughts out there without, you know, any knowledge of web design or coding or whatever other things I am terribly terribly ignorant of. Which should have been obvious to anybody who ever read the Drudge Report, but still, the way Glenn did it in his encouraging, here's-what-I-think-howzabout-you? way started the ball rolling, combined with how easy Blogger is for us HTML simpletons (there's reasons why I haven't updated my YACCS code) and how much we all needed to talk after 9/11 led to this explosion in blog content, if not necessarily blog form.

I think I'm going off on a tangent; the point is, the subtext of the Dash-lgf conflict (as I hinted at earlier) is between Generation One of bloggers, who were tech-geeky in spirit and were left-leaning, sort of, but mostly apolitical, and Generation Two, who were dorks of a thousand stripes with (maybe only in my case) minimal design knowledge but, whether left or right or libertarian, had strong political opinions. Generation Two values content more than form, and while we may be geeks we're not strictly tech geeks and I guess that's the key difference. And lgf, by the way, is keeping track of the difference; Charles has his bloggage sidebar and his anti-idiotarian sidebar and never the two will meet, I guess. Maybe Generation Three will be some perfect synthesis of form and content and I will stand from afar and hate them for having neat webby things. Or maybe I just prefer the no-nonsense readability of a Blogger template.

To sum up my long, rambling point: the lgf/Dash brouhaha is on a secondary level part of a long-simmering fight between Olde Tech Blog and New Blog Of Ideas, which of course owes its existence to the Olde Tech Blog but stands in opposition to it in valuing non-tech content above all. Okay? Okay.

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