Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Importance of Being Blog

Hugh Hewitt has the first grand unified theory of the old media collapse that I've seen. It seems like a good place to start.

The piece ties into Hugh's very fine new book, Blog. I've praised Blog before and I really do think that it's an important book for people interested the blog world's history and future. But it strikes me that Blog is also important as a thing: Hugh's book is of tremendous importance to bloggers.

Print media has come to terms with the blogosphere relatively quickly--co-opting bloggers for copy, reaching out to blogs for ideas--even integrating blogs into their presence, a la the Dallas Morning News blog.

Television is also coming to grips with blogs, albeit a little more slowly. Bloggers are now swimming with the school of baby pundits for whom cable news bookers trawl. MSNBC even has their own stable of bloggers working on their website.

So the book business is the last sector of the media to figure out what to do with bloggers. A few bloggers have managed book deals from their work, but so far as I can tell, none of those books represents a conversion of online to offline the way Hugh's book does.

If Hugh Hewitt's Blog succeeds, it will represent the first substantive step of the Internet's colonization of the publishing world. And subsequently, bloggers will find even more doors opening to them.

It's just one more reason for the entire blogosphere to root for Hugh.


Chap said...

Lots of earlier examples. Perhaps the best one is Silent America, which is Bill Whittle's self-published book.

Whittle wrote some comments on Rachel Lucas' old blog. Lucas liked the comments so much she put a bunch of them together as a post, and made him start a blog up. Those essays of his gathered a rabid following, and the book, of blog posts, is paying his dinner.

Other examples are things like Salam Pax's book and the symbiotic book sales that bloggers like Postrel or others have been given. The book business knows what to do with bloggers pretty well, is what I'd argue.

Chuck said...

I enjoyed your review of Hugh's book and am looking forward to reading it myself.