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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Peggy Noonan's Great Article on Bloggers - Includes their Quest for Eyeballs

One of blogging's founding fathers, Dave Winer approvingly points to Peggy Noonan's great article on blogging in the Wall Street Journal today.

One paragraph that caught my eye was:
That you get it free doesn't mean commerce isn't involved, for it is. It is intellectual commerce. Bloggers give you information and point of view. In return you give them your attention and intellectual energy. They gain influence by drawing your eyes; you gain information by lending your eyes. They become well-known and influential; you become entertained or informed. They get something from it and so do you.

I think Ms Noonan is disagreeing with a premise in the Cluetrain Manifesto preamble which proclaims "We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers". I know we can make distinctions between traditional marketing, journalism and blogging, but after all is said and done a vision of all three groups is attracting as many eyeballs as possible. There's nothing wrong with that, but I wonder why so many bloggers deny their quest for attention - after all it is a part of the human condition.