"Being an experienced journalist, I do not use the internet as a vomit bag. My thoughts are worked over and then edited. Most of what appears in cyberspace is what Keen terms rampant "digital narcissism". I know there's no point trying to persuade my friend, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, that good things do sometimes come out of blogs. She's right that there's an awful lot of rubbish swilling around, but then there's an awful lot of rubbish in the newspapers too, only most of it is rather more polished than the stuff you see on the Net. What puzzles me about so many of the critics is that they continually focus on the lowest common denominator, which is a little like writing a column about the Independent based solely on a week's reading of the Daily Sport.
I honestly have no idea whether blogging will turn out to be a long-term phenomenon or just another fad. But I do believe it is capable of making a difference. Of course, we're so overwhelmed with competing voices in this country that it's easy to become blasé about freedom of expression. But consider the plight of the Egyptian blogger, Sandmonkey, who feels so intimidated by the authorities that he has stopped posting. A sad, sad story. Would Yasmin describe his site as a "vomit bag" too? [Via Pickled Politics]