... a corpus delicti: Blogging and the "common reader." (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
The search engine Technorati currently tracks "112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media" on the net. The number keeps growing. In the face of 110 million of them, simply by saying "all blogs are X" the person who utters (or writes) that sentence betrays themselves as foolish. ... It is pretty much impossible even to try to keep up with the blogosphere without reading widely in it -- only a newsfeeder allows you to do that systematically.
I found what Susan Hill is quoted as saying in the Vulpes Libris post that is linked to interesting:
Some bloggers see themselves as the same as book reviewers in the papers but they are not. You are unedited. You are uncut. You write about what you want not what they ask you to; you are writing in a more relaxed way. You do not stick to publication dates etc. or only new books.
Well, in the column I used to write - which was edited, of course, and by some very good editors - I wrote about what I wanted, I wrote (I like to think) in a pretty relaxed way, I didn't necessarily stick to pub dates, nor to new books. True, I was the assigning editor, but I also ran pieces by books that had come out decades earlier (ask Roger Miller). The primary aim of my column was to recommend a book I had enjoyed reading. But it didn't always end up that way. I was initially much taken with Paul Theroux's Blinding Light, but ended up hating it and saying so. The same was true of J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year. I read it because I thought I would like it - I had liked Elizabeth Costello.
I should also add that not one of my editors ever toned down any negative criticism I wrote.