You Know the Blogosphere Is Real When …

Although I’ve been writing journalism in one form or another for a long time, I would like to think that I am not the kind of journalist who makes friends or family uncomfortable about saying something casually that that they don’t want known publicly. That said, it does happen that someone will mention something over dinner, e.g., and then quickly say “Now, that’s off the record” or “That’s not for public attribution.” I’m pretty sure I’ve never violated that trust, and I hope I never do.

Something along these lines happened yesterday — three separate times, to my amazement — but, even more to my amazement was the twist that accompanied the request for retroactive off-the-record status. On three separate occasions, involving three different people in three different locations, someone said something interesting to me yesterday and then quickly followed with: “Now, that’s not for the blog, please.”

The blog? This little thing?

I didn’t even know that these three people read the blog. I was, of course, happy to honor their request. (Even though the three pieces of information were in fact pretty juicy, none of them were really appropriate for this blog anyway — well, maybe one of them was, but since that discussion was also governed by an NDA, it was very, deeply off-limits.) The biggest takeaway for me was this: the blogosphere is real in a way that none of us, journalists or economists or parents or cops, could have imagined a few years ago.


lermit

Tear them appart and they will both respond to you. With a crush. Let's make some crush.

.lermit (forgetful)

egretman

Can you say "drudge report"? This is old news.

I thought it didn't count if the "off the record" is after the fact. Isn't that a journalism 101 lesson?

editorguy

Does this mean we have to like it?

I come here because you guys are pros in your respective fields and wrote a pretty nifty book together. Speaking of books, I haven't read it yet, but I mean to get Andrew Keen's "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture." Have you read it? If so, what's your take?

With certain exceptions, when I think "blog" I think "amateur." Yet here I am, perhaps proving my own point. Yikes.

Milko D. Georgiev

Stephen, can you imagine a whole country being 'off the record'...? I'm not exactly the type of guy to complain anytime anywhere about anything, so I apologize for being little bit off-topic, but I wanted to share something with you guys here. Bulgaria, the country I'm from and where I'm actually living, being a member of EU since less than an year is trying to silence bloggers by harassing them by the police. 3 days ago, a prominent blogger was summoned by the police and the warned not to publish any information on upcoming protests in Sofia on a very controversial court case... So, we're totally 'off the record'... If anyone of you is interested in more information on the case, please, be my guest, I'll be happy to provide it. Sorry again for the off-topic...

Forrest Kolb

I didn't even know the NY Times had a blog until toninght! But you can't blame me, I watch sunsets instead of sunrises.

I'm glad I found you and I too am blown away by the extent blogging has integrated into our culture. Did you ever think the world was going to celebrate the birthday of the oldest blogger together?

lermit

Tear them appart and they will both respond to you. With a crush. Let's make some crush.

.lermit (forgetful)

egretman

Can you say "drudge report"? This is old news.

I thought it didn't count if the "off the record" is after the fact. Isn't that a journalism 101 lesson?

editorguy

Does this mean we have to like it?

I come here because you guys are pros in your respective fields and wrote a pretty nifty book together. Speaking of books, I haven't read it yet, but I mean to get Andrew Keen's "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture." Have you read it? If so, what's your take?

With certain exceptions, when I think "blog" I think "amateur." Yet here I am, perhaps proving my own point. Yikes.

Milko D. Georgiev

Stephen, can you imagine a whole country being 'off the record'...? I'm not exactly the type of guy to complain anytime anywhere about anything, so I apologize for being little bit off-topic, but I wanted to share something with you guys here. Bulgaria, the country I'm from and where I'm actually living, being a member of EU since less than an year is trying to silence bloggers by harassing them by the police. 3 days ago, a prominent blogger was summoned by the police and the warned not to publish any information on upcoming protests in Sofia on a very controversial court case... So, we're totally 'off the record'... If anyone of you is interested in more information on the case, please, be my guest, I'll be happy to provide it. Sorry again for the off-topic...

Forrest Kolb

I didn't even know the NY Times had a blog until toninght! But you can't blame me, I watch sunsets instead of sunrises.

I'm glad I found you and I too am blown away by the extent blogging has integrated into our culture. Did you ever think the world was going to celebrate the birthday of the oldest blogger together?