/The dark side of the blogosphere

The dark side of the blogosphere

I’ve read today in El País Negocios (section devoted to business in the Spanish paper) an exhaustive review by Patricia Fernández de Lis of “La blogosfera hispana” (‘The Hispanic Blogosphere’), of which I’m a co-author. And I say “exhaustive” because book reviews tend to be very “light”; this, however, is thoroughly written. But I think I have to defend the book from certain comments, not because they are not appropriate, but because they are not fear. I’ll even dear to criticise the criticism.

Patricia regrets that we didn’t seize the opportunity of criticising the dark side of the blogosphere throughout the book, just like Gumersindo Lafuente did during his presentation. And she also missed some comments about the possible inflation of the “phenomenon”. And, finally, she writes about a “blogospheric aristocracy” founded by bloggers who link one to another, leaving the rest of them aside.

She is right in the basic concept: the book doesn’t concentrate on these topics. But I think the explanation lies in the fact that the book is a preliminary analysis of the phenomenon, simply a descriptive study which aims to dealing with the case more in depth in the future. I personally thought of writing about the inbreeding of the more influential bloggers, but I considered that a book addressed to everybody wasn?t the right place to do so.

Because we may end up confusing the readers instead of clarifying their ideas, which was what Pepe Cerezo asked us to do from France Télécom. Nonetheless, I mentioned in my chapter that the blogosphere is undergoing a professionalization process, both with the good and bad consequences that it could bring, but I admit I didn’t study the idea thoroughly.

Besides, there are some examples that prove that there is room for new bloggers in the Hispanic blogosphere. The most remarkable one is the case of Javi Moya, of whom we’ve talked in other occasions. His blog was born in 2005 and it’s already among the Top 15 in Spain. How did he do it? Working hard and earning his users. I should also mention Ricardo Galli and Martín Varsavsky, even though they started from a more privileged position.

The comment about the alleged “inflation of the phenomenon” is more arguable. I agree with Patricia in the basic concept once again: blogs have come into fashion and we may talk about them more than we should taking into account their real significance. But there are many traditional press readers who are willing that things change.

They want (we want) to be able to react directly to Patricia’s review. We’d love to be able to click on the salmon paper of El País Negocios and answer immediately to the article. Nowadays, we really want to be interactive and this need is leading us towards a real change, towards a press more given to talking and, therefore, in favour of blogs. My piece of advice to Patricia is that she should blog ;-). Her readers would thank her very much.