i get interviewed all the time.

next to the girls inviting me to spend the night, requests for interviews are the most flattering… uh… flattery i could imagine.

lately a rash of college kids have asked me for interviews for their term papers.

im always curious how their professors feel about them writing papers about topics that the teachers probably dont know very much about.

be it for magazines, newspapers, or term papers, i try to keep it as real as i can.

rarely do i ever get to see the end result – the actual essay or paper, but Peter of the pgBlog posted his essay today as well as our unedited interview. go here for Peter’s essay and below you will see our interview.

1) How did you get into blogging? How did you even find out about it?

i was editing the closed captions at e! entertainment television networks in hollywood. an incredibly boring job. but one of the tools of the trade was a computer and the internet.

so during my two, 15 minute breaks, and during my hour lunch, many times i would write quickie little fantasy stories, or comment about something i heard in the hall or on tv. since most people were only writing maybe one thing a day – if that – i figured if i could knock out two or three things in a day then i was that much more worthwhile of a blog.

2) What made you choose Blogger over any other blogging website?

at the time (August, 2001) they were the only free one that all the other big people used. later they moved to moveable type and then wordpress, but im a loyal person and ive always had a very good relationship with the actual employees of Blogger. they read the busblog, link to it, and ive met a bunch of them at various events.

i also wanted to stay with Blogger to show people that you dont need anything fancy to have a halfway decent blog.

3) What do you think makes a good blog?

honesty isnt enough. you need style too. if i go to a blog and the person is super honest and has some sort of personality attatched to it then i’ll read on. a good blog also has to update every day, have pictures, be funny, be unique, and show the world their little zip code.

and if a blog cant do that, then somebody needs to get naked or set something on fire.

4) What’s your opinion on political comentary blogging compared to the journal type?

i read a lot of poltical blogs and journal types. i think that most political blogs are disingenious because they either show only one side “theyre bad – look how bad they are!” or they’ll pretend that their side has never done anything bad.

theyre also not very creative and when they do have pictures theyre dumb.

journal type are usually written by younger people and i like theirs better because theyre more honest and theres more freedom to change subjects or visual appearance, most of the time youre literaly in their bedrooms. political blogs dont have that sort of courage.

5) Why do you think blogging has become so popular?

– because people are naturally interested in other people
– because its so easy to get a blog up and running
– because everyone has a few friends
– because there are lots of people who can potentially get to your brilliance

6) Where do you see the future of blogging going?

more video
nakeder chicks
mo money mo money mo money

7) How do you think blogging has impacted the world?

blogging has become the real 4th Estate, and its just in time. my friend ken layne, whose former apartment i currently live in, warned, “this is the Internet, we can fact check your ass.”

it’s also shown how small this planet is. i never knew anything about canada until blogging, and i read you guys’s blogs and it made me believe that canada wasnt that different than the usa, and suddenly i wanted to visit to see the differences. without blogging i seriously doubt i would have ever gone there.

8) Are there any places you feel blogging has advanced too far?

in a way id say that it grew too fast for the average person, and definately faster than the average company. because it grew so fast it frightened Human Resource department heads and thats why you see all these bloggers getting fired for blogging. the bloggers knew they were just showing the world their private journal, but the HR depts didnt understand it and couldnt conceive why anyone would blog anything good – namely their real life.

9) Why do you think has been the cause of bloggins huge explosion in the
last few years?

– inexpensive computers
– free blogging software
– inexpensive high speed internet access
– the beauty of the human spirit
– inexpensive digital cameras
– 9/11 which spurred the “war bloggers” which have been the most publicized sector of the blogosphere.

it would have been interesting to see how much more blogging could have been if places like myspace hadnt shown up for people to say “here i am here i am” through pictures and stupid songs but what can you do.

oh canada + ryan_r + little kitchen

yesterday some pretty big bloggers chatted thru the Washington Post about comments on blogs

In attendence were bloggers who included Jeff Jarvis of the Buzzmachine, Jay Rosen of Press Think, and Glenn Reynolds of the Instapundit.

Because Professor Reynolds does not have comments on his very successful and popular blog, he had to repeatedly answer why he chooses not to have them.

His reasoning was threefold.

1. Very popular blogs will get so many comments that in order to keep them from being boring shoutmatches and flamewars you need to have them moderated. Moderation either takes time or money. Neither of which Glenn chooses to allocate to comments since if people have a differring opinoin they can go start their own blog.

2. He’s fearful that the Liberal Press might inaccurately attribute a statement in his comments to him. He’s also nervous that he might be held legally accountable for impropriety in the comments like libel or slander (although ive never heard of that happening to a blogger).

3. He believes that oftentimes a blogger can be influenced in a bad way by his commentors. If they cheer him on for something, Glenn fears that he might give them more of what they praise.

because i may have misunderstood his take, here are some of the exchanges that took place–

Glenn Reynolds: Some examples of good user communities are Slate’s “The Fray” (where I started) and Slashdot. Both, however, are moderated.

My own sense is that it’s very hard to preserve civility — or even a good ratio of interestingness to flaming — on sites that have high traffic without a fair degree moderation. There’s some sort of a threshold after which things tend to break down into USENET-style flamewars, which some people like, but which I’m tired of. I find the comments on Atrios, Kos, or for that matter Little Green Footballs, to be tiresome.

Jeff Jarvis: Glenn: I agree with your assessment of those particular sites. I wonder whether that is a function of size or topic or host’s tone.

[Question from] Washington, D.C.: Hi, my question is for Glenn and then maybe Jane would like to comment.

Why is it that most of the high traffic right-wing blogs don’t take comments, while most of the left-wing blogs do?

From my perspective, it looks like the conservatives can dish it out, but can’t take it, that they are uncomfortable subjecting their ideas to scrutiny on their own Web sites.

Jeff Jarvis: Heh.

Glenn Reynolds: I think that one reason has to do with media treatment. Charles Johnson, for example — who does have comments — has repeatedly faced media stories about his site in which comments made by his readers are directly attributed to him, as if he had written them. I certainly worry about that sort of thing, too. I think that lefty sites expect, and get, less of that kind of mistreatment.

I’ve never had comments. I get about 1000 emails a day, and I don’t have time to look at those, post on my blog, AND moderate comments. And unmoderated comments raise a risk of the kind of thing I mention above, as well as possible libel and copyright issues. I’ve actually considered bringing someone in to do that, but that seems too impersonal.

Glenn Reynolds: To add to this, I think that although people often act as if bloggers avoid comments with which they disagree, I think that the real danger to bloggers comes from the commenters with whom they agree. I’ve seen a number of bloggers pushed toward more extreme views by their comment section. It’s seductive, I imagine — all these people talking about *your* ideas — and it seems to exert a pull.

Jeff Jarvis: I think you’re quite right that anyone can have a blog and link and comment and, in many ways, that yields richer conversation. Still, there are times when I have something to add to a conversation and don’t want to use my own blog for that. I appreciate the blogs who allow that. Entitlement? No, I’d call it enlightenment.

[Question from] Ann Arbor, Mich.: Some of you have comments on your weblog, and some don’t–notably Glenn Reyholds and, now, parts of the Washington Post. We know about the Washington Post situation. Would Glenn Reynolds explain about his decision not to have comments?

Glenn Reynolds: I’ve already done this in one of the other posts. Basically it boils down to time, and my fear that comments by trolls would be attributed unfairly to me, as has happened to others. Plus, it’s not like it’s hard for people to get their own blogs.

Jay Rosen: I must say I have never heard of that concern before: “media reports would attribute comment trolls to me, so I don’t have them.”

I have comments at my blog, and they are completely open. I not only monitor them carefully, I’m an

active presence

in comment threads and I argue a lot with readers. I get mad at them too. A great many users have told me that while I write good posts, what they really like is the range of reactions from others in comments. For some, that discussion is a primary, not a second-order good on offer at PressThink.

Glenn Reynolds: It happened to Charles Johnson and he was quite upset. Perhaps the press would be more sensitive where you’re concerned, Jay.

as they say read the whole thing but i think in the future the good professor and the others of the right wing blogosphere who choose not to have comments should just be transparent and tell the truth: “we like to talk shit about others, we like to point fingers at others, and we know people like to talk shit and point fingers at us but damned if we’re going to provide a place to do that in our very own blogs… even though thats pretty much what blogging is about, you know, dialogue.”

as for me, tony pierce, i dont like it when people disagree with me, but sometimes im wrong about something, or sometimes i know people are going to take an opposing view. the comments allows the readers their shot at either correcting me or providing their point of view as a sort of check or balance. i know the righties pretty much hate checks and balances in government so it doesnt surprise me that theyd be against them on their own blogs,

but what is often shocking to me is when i write something that im afraid many will disagree with me about, oftentimes they dont. not because they omg love me so much but because i was just being paranoid that i was being this big punk rock rebel who would be misunderstood.

now of course i dont spread as much bullshit as most of the righty blogs do, despite my tagline, but i dont usually say the popular line either. if you recall i once said that i was glad when ronald reagan died and i berated Catholics for mourning the previous Pope’s death. virtual pissing on peoples graves dont usually bring about a chorus of amens from the peanut gallery, but if i am going to accept their praise on topic a, then its only fair that i allow them to say their peace on topic b.

and on the day that the busblog gets so many feaking comments that it needs a moderator, im pretty sure that i could either 1)find someone willing to intern for free or a very low wage to moderate a top 5 blog or 2)find a sponsor who would put ads in those popular comments that would pay for the professional moderator who would delete patently offensive comments or slightly edit comments so that they are not slanderous or libelous.

however it is curious how big time left wing blogs dont seem to have a problem letting readers of both sides comment on their posts.

oliver willis + huffington post + atrios + matthew good + daily kos

dear major newspaper or magazine, please let me work for you.

nearly three years ago today on the busblog

tony pierce?


hi, we’re a major newspaper or magazine.

oh hi. Hi!

yes, we would like to hire you.

praise Jesus.

we wont pay you much.

thats ok.

you wont get to write anything good right away.

thats fine.

we’ll make you write in our patented style.

thats cool.

you wont get a very nice desk or window.

who cares?

we’ll call you nigger boy.

ive been called worse.

you probably wont get promoted for a while.

thats nothing new.

we wont give you any coffee.

i dont like coffee.

and no smoke breaks.

i dont smoke either.

do you think this is some sort of joke or something?


i dont like your attitude.

but i dont have an attitude.

yes you do, its a positive attitude.

trust me, it’s fake.

do you really date all those girls?

what girls? oh, yes.

and you really have all those friends?

i actually have way more.

and youre saying you dont have a positive attitude?

im saying its a fake positive attitude.

so youre lying all day?

sometimes if youre bummed and you start seeing things as bummed then that can spiral into even more bummed. same goes if youre happy. if you fake being happy, sometimes nice things happen to you for no good reason.

you would never fit in here.

i know… i know.