taste tribes

joshua ellis has a wonderful piece on "taste tribes" over at mindjack that riffs on many things - including blogging...
many people – myself included – use their blog not only as personal diaries, but as a sort of informal critical journal. surf any random blog and you'll find a few reviews of books, movies, albums, or concerts. because bloggers are not under the same commercial constraints as mainstream media sources, the length and subject of these reviews tends to be far more diverse – one blogger may write a 2,000 word critical essay about the clash's london calling, another might write a 500 word review of the local band they saw last night. i might write twelve different pieces about bruce springsteen's nebraska while drunk, and probably have.

while it might be argued that this tendency to publish one's opinions is somewhat self-indulgent, the same can be said of professional criticism. my personal experience as both a blogger and professional journalist is that the level of quality in the blogosphere is pretty much on par with the mainstream media which perhaps says more about the mainstream media than anything else.

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