DVDs or Blogs. Art or Punditry.

So I planned to blog about the penetration of DVDs in consumer households (29% according to CEA), and through the course of my research I came across some eye-opening statistics (albeit from May of this year) regarding the growth of this product category and the life it has injected into the consumer electronics market. The “numbers” were published in Business 2.0 in May 2002.

As I reviewed the archives of this issue I came across another James Wolcott's story “Blog Nation“. Now perhaps this article had already streamed its way through the blogging community earlier this year, but I hadn't been exposed to it. The article provides interesting commentary and includes an index to blogs and blog related stories and what it considers a list of notable bloggers.

Suddenly, I found myself digging and dredging up a whole new world of blog and blogging commentary. Funny thing is that this Business 2.0 article has a May 2002 publication date which is the month I posted my first blog entry. So by some simple twist of fate my observations on the opportunities provided by DVD player sales growth led me to the growth of Blogs. Both are approximately 7 years old. And both are growing immensely in popularity. But that's where my claims of similarities between blogs and DVDs will end (for now). Yet, I think it's worthwhile to visit (or if you did before, revisit) some blog commentary.

Check out Tim (gotta drop a pink floyd reference as often as I can) Cavanaugh's “Let Slip the Blogs of War” in Online Journalism Review.

[…] Shine on, you crazy bloggers! Someday the rest of us will hold our manhoods cheap that we did not blog with you this day. But as long as courage lives and liberty endures, every American will be proud to have you out there, blogging for an audience of none. […]

Then you have National Review editor Jonah Goldberg who remarks in Blog Your Memory:

[…] As for the substance of the blogger phenomenon, I think it's interesting, but less revolutionary than its boosters claim. The good ones are good because the people behind them are good. The bad ones are awful and not worth the free ones and zeroes they're printed with. And even the good ones can be way too inside egocentric […]

Both of these articles are laden with enough links to take you through the holidays without taking your eyes off the screen. To be sure, these articles examine blogs as political or media punditry — and the pros and cons of such as credible or worthy vehicles. Browse through them they are worth a quick skim and jumping to a link or two.

But Wolcott's begs questions about the evolution of blogs beyond news, op-ed, politics and activism:

More sorely missing — to my taste, anyway — are blogs dedicated to cultural pursuits written with the same enthusiastic, hobbyhorse zeal as the breaking-news blogs. The arts have been so marginalized in magazines and newspapers — even the Sunday Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times has been instructed to go more “pop” — that such blogs may become the only way obsessives can reassure themselves that they're not alone in the TV universe. Critics as wildly varied as rock-writer legend Lester Bangs and movie reviewer Pauline Kael didn't find their voices at prestige outlets: Bangs pounded out pieces at Kerouac speed for cheesy rock mags; Kael did program notes for a movie theater she ran. This generation's Bangs or Kael might begin as a blogger, creating a fan following and reader allegiance through direct access.

Point well taken. Blogging is for the bloggers voice. And Blogs are for the passionate — whatever that passion may be.

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot. — D.H. Lawrence

So, do you have a DVD player yet? Blog?