February 15, 2006
Psst...Wanna be a blog critic?

Dwight is looking for a blog critic.

As I've been looking for and reading hundreds of Houston blogs with an eye toward linking them on our Opinion page, I've been thinking a lot about the quality of the posts. There's a wide variety out there, from insightful analysis and compelling writing to a lot of copying/pasting of other material, followed by what amounts to a "Yeah, right" comment . . . kind of the Web equivalent of radio's rip-and-read, with snark.

It got me to thinking. Would Houston's blogging community benefit from a blogging critic?

He lists his criteria and asks for feedback, so take a look and give him a suggestion if you have one. I personally like the idea, and I've already given Dwight a few thoughts on the matter via email. Having considered it a bit more, I actually think someone who doesn't have a blog could do this, as long as he or she has been a consumer of blogs for long enough to have a good feel for the medium. I think design and features are viable fodder for criticism along with content. And I think whoever signs up to do this is going to need some asbestos underwear.

I also think it might make sense to have more than one person doing it. A little Ebert & Roeper action might be fun now and then, and I say keeping up with the entire blog scene, even just Houston's portion of it, is more than one person can do. That the critics will do their thing in a blog of their own goes without saying.

That's what I think. What do you think? Tell Dwight.

UPDATE: Lair thinks I'm wrong about a non-blogger being qualified for this gig.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 15, 2006 to Blog stuff | TrackBack

Opposite side of the mirror here: I don't think anybody who doesn't have a blog can't do it. They simply wouldn't understand the idea.

A blog critic would help with local cohesiveness to foster cross-blog conversations or roundups, but I think what's desperately needed is a fully-functional hubsite for both blogs and podcasts.

Let's face it: htownblogs is a failure, metroblogs is chitchat, and russel's tried and flamed out.

But the critic... this one's got your name on it. Your fingerprints. Quite possibly your DNA.

Do it, man. Do it. Jay Sherman commands you!

Posted by: Laurence Simon on February 15, 2006 12:05 PM

Of course, the implied qualification: understand, favor and practice the Chronic opinion and "standards of message quality". Any laid-off Chronic takers out there? Any benefits like medical insurance or paid vacation? Wait! I haven't misspelled a word yet. Thar youse editors!

Posted by: Charles Hixon on February 15, 2006 3:24 PM

Hmmm... I didn't realize H-Town Blogs was a failure. I had no idea that their purpose was to be blog critics? Oh yeah ... and it is a self-run group, so if no one steps up to the plate and organizes stuff, then nothing happens. (I know Laurence has organized many things in the past, I'm not negating that - I get frustrated that others don't do it more often.)

I think the blog critic idea is terrible, and I told Dwight my thoughts on that already. It ties into the whole "asbestos underwear" thing.

Posted by: Christine on February 16, 2006 7:00 AM

Seems to me this would be an excellent addition to the Houston blogging community, and I think you, CK, would be the best man for the job. You'd have the information to do thoughtful analysis, and the humor to be funny without being overly snarky. Ok, off to write to Dwight...

Posted by: helliemae on February 16, 2006 5:08 PM

There are lovers and there are haters of this idea. I think the word "critic" is getting a bad reaction. The people who are criticizing Dwight's idea... it's almost like they are...blog critics, oh no!!!

Anyway, isn't every blog author a critic sometimes? We comment on each others posts all the time in our own blogs and in the comments sections of each other's blog. Maybe the title should be "blog wrangler" instead of blog critic.

Posted by: Katie on February 22, 2006 10:01 AM

Anyway, isn't every blog author a critic sometimes?

Yes. You've described one fundamental aspect of the blogosphere.

That's why the notion of a single "blog critic" who has the imprimatur of some professional journalist in town really illustrates a misunderstanding of the nature of blogging and the blogosphere.

Posted by: Kevin Whited on February 26, 2006 11:36 AM