Spiked Online adds to the growing literature of blog bashing, with a me-too essay on how weblogs are distorting Google results. The one surprising bit is the exoneration of Google and the condemnation of bloggers themselves.
“It remains to be seen whether the blog noise problem is going to get any worse, and how Google is going to tackle it. But one thing should be made clear… in this instance it is the bloggers who are at fault.
“PageRank is a wonderful innovation, which has been of considerable benefit to web users over the past few years, regardless of what Google’s more irrational critics say. The ideal behind PageRank, of combining a faith in the judgement of others with a desire to make high-quality content easily and publicly available, is a laudable one. But this ideal has been shot down by blogs.
“The self-obsessed nature of many blogs, the incestuous relationships between them, the frenetic rate at which they are updated, and their obsessive use of links, have distorted the snapshots of the web that Google gives us. Blog culture has made links and idle comment into ends in themselves, irrespective of the merit or relevance of the content being linked to or commented upon. It is this failing of blogs, not any failing of PageRank, that has meant that the assumptions which made PageRank work so effectively are no longer tenable.”
While the newspapers I read are telling me nothing new in the dirty dossier saga (see below), David Stevens has revisited the blog correspondent Andrew Gilligan kept during the Iraq war.
Stevens derives 10 points about Gilligan, the most important of which are his sourcing is “a bit dodgy” and “Gilligan never apologises”.
The British Politics weblog has provided a truly valuable service by posting a pithy, comprehensible roundup of the dirty dossier saga. I agree as well with the anonymous author’s analysis, which he scrupulously posts separately.