I accept that the mostly unpaid, quick turnover copy that makes for most content on the ‘blogoshere’ means that a certain amount of typos and lacklustre criticism is to be expected. Sentences with ‘nd’ for and, or numerals appearing in the middle of words has become commonplace on large news websites like stuff. By and large the readers are forgiving.
What they should have less tolerance for is the simple gainsay style of blogging seen as part of sights like whaleoil. Cackling with spite over Kim Dotcom’s expertise in food technology because he is so titanic (the joke being he would know a lot about what he over indulges in) is not unacceptable as far as someone has a right to say it. But it is crude, and boring, and lowers the cranial fortitude of the readers.
I have been criticised by some for being to over-the-top with my choice of words, for being too academic to be readily understood. I take that point in my stride and try to keep the words of Orwell in my head when frantically typing; ‘Never use a long word when a short word will do’.
Slater’s problem is different, and from the point of view of success it may not be a problem at all. Readers of his do not require much in the way of discernment to lap up his prowse. But the effect is stultifying. And ultimately it may be limiting because the market for negative and quick New Zealand political blogging is limited. He may have plateaued already. The feeling I get from whaleoil is boredom. It does not make me think, or even be moved to an emotional response.
Therefore, in the course of cleaning up dirty politics do we need to first scrub the dirty bloggers? It would be worth it for it’s own sake.