The end of candor

One of the reasons blogs worked so well for so long is that we could believe them.

One person, one blog, just the truth. The truth on the surface (it’s a simple interface and you’re not missing anything) and the truth a little below the surface (it’s a personal, authentic monologue).

There have been plenty of signs lately that this is officially over. Today’s Times drives that home: The New York Times > Arts > Pro-American Iraqi Blog Provokes Intrigue and Vitriol.

With corporate blogs and fake blogs and cia blogs and calculated traffic-driving blogs, it’s not authentic media any more.

I’m not whining, here. Instead, I’m pointing it out because your expectations as a reader and a writer have to change. The benefit of the doubt is gone.

[added a few hours later: I’ve gotten a bunch of mail assaulting my “endorsement” of the NY Times. Hey, I have no idea at all if the NY Times is right. I have no idea if the CIA is running the blog in question. That’s not my point! My point is that with all the movie producers, drug marketers and PR firms running blogs now, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least that the CIA is running a blog. That’s the point. If our confidence in the authenticity of this medium is that thin, then we’re already on the slippery slope. Just like email before it, nobody can know you’re a dog (or not). So don’t assume that you’ll be trusted.]