Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blogging about the Flint Journal blogging about cats blogging about me

With revenues plummeting and readers flocking to all things online, newspapers are obsessed with harnessing new media — and blogs in particular — to somehow wring some profits out of the internet. As a result, newspaper reporters across the land have been saddled with blogging assignments by their cranky editors, who are being hassled by their surly corporate overlords to provide something the public appears to want. (Let's set aside the fact that nobody except pornographers and gossip-mongers have actually made any money online; desperate times call for desperate measures.)

This trend has led to some strange material appearing on daily newspaper websites. Case in point: I read a Flint Journal article about the lack of murders in Flint so far this year; I blogged about the story, comparing Flint to Iceland; The Flint Journal, in turn, blogged about me
blogging about the Flint Journal article; and now, as you can see, I'm blogging about the Flint Journal blogging about me blogging about the Flint Journal article.

Stop the madness!

The only sure thing about all this crazy blogging is that no one is making any money off it, not me, the Flint Journal, the shivering people of Iceland, or the lucky citizens of Flint who have not been murdered (yet).

It's all beginning to resemble the Infinite Cat Project, but instead of cats looking at cats looking at's bloggers blogging about bloggers blogging about bloggers...


  1. Information is now being viewed by most people as a commodity. The same thing happened to web design a while back. The average individual or small business sees it as something they can do themselves (with free and easy tools).
    This trend has made web content an accessible possibility at the cost of quality in most cases. The outstanding websites are hand-crafted and the best blogs are written with a skilled effort that often involves authentic research and thought. They are forced to share the free platform with a myriad of disposable noise.

  2. Actually, the city now has its first murder. Call it the Flint Journal jinx. They write about how there have been no murders this year and the next day, voila!, a murder.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at