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David Lee King

A Blog from Britannica Should Know Better (or, Gorman is blogging?)



I’m sorry. It’s just so hard to not write about this! If Gorman were a mainstream celebrity, and I was, say, Jay Leno, I’m be lampooning him heartlessly on late night tv. But I digress…

So… MG is blogging. (Reader: Hmm… didn’t he coin the term “blog people” a couple years ago about those people who “read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them… ?” David: Yep. Same dude.). Upon first read, I wanted to pick apart his two posts bit by bit. And then it dawned on me – I don’t have to. Instead, I can complain about the Britannica Blog!

On the Britannica Blog, under the “About this Blog” section, it states: “We’ve given our writers encouragement and a lot of freedom.” I’m guessing that also means the Britannica Blog doesn’t have an editor. Case in point: read the title of Gorman’s [cough cough] “blog posts,” and then read the posts themselves.

The articles are titled “Web 2.0: The Sleep of Reason” – so you’d think the articles would actually be about web 2.0, right? Wrong. His two articles focused on how “printed authoritative sources” are somehow better than online sources (part 1) and on how young people prefer collective rather than individual sources (part 2).

So… how are those two topics about web 2.0, you ask? Beats me. He DID mention the Internet and Sergey Brin of Google… but he didn’t actually write ANYTHING about web 2.0. Not one jot or tittle. Nada. Nothing.

Come on, Britannica – you can do better than this. Your blog is subtitled “where ideas matter.” At the least, let’s get a clear idea up there… not a loose ramble.

As for Gorman, he claims “I’m no Antidigitalist.” And yet, he has written about the evils of blogging and attempted to write about web 2.0 being the “sleep of reason” (although again, he didn’t actually manage to mention anything remotely web two point oh-ish). I begin to wonder… since Gorman is now blogging, and his blog posts to date simply don’t make much sense, I think it’s entirely possible that [his] intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.” Instead of, say, the Wikipedia article on web 2.0.

(For some reason, I keep hearing the song, “I am My Own Grandpa” playing through my head… [stop it, David!] :-)

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  • Liza

    I was informed via Twitter that “stuff” was going on at Brittanica Blog, so I went to read Gorman’s article, only to find myself hopelessly lost. I set the window aside to try to focus on later, attributing my lack of comprehension to simply being too scatter-brained by work stuff to be able to focus enough to understand. But having now read a few (much more comprehensible) responses to the article, I’m relieved to learn that it’s not just ME… it’s that his blog post really DOESN’T make much sense. It seems that Gorman is attempting to hide his own ignorance by burying his point so deeply in random rhetoric that no one has any hope of understanding him.

  • Liza

    I was informed via Twitter that “stuff” was going on at Brittanica Blog, so I went to read Gorman’s article, only to find myself hopelessly lost. I set the window aside to try to focus on later, attributing my lack of comprehension to simply being too scatter-brained by work stuff to be able to focus enough to understand. But having now read a few (much more comprehensible) responses to the article, I’m relieved to learn that it’s not just ME… it’s that his blog post really DOESN’T make much sense. It seems that Gorman is attempting to hide his own ignorance by burying his point so deeply in random rhetoric that no one has any hope of understanding him.

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  • http://www.librarianinblack.net Sarah Houghton-Jan (Librarian in Black)

    Right on. I was disappointed in both the specific posts and the blog in general, and wrote to Britannica. You’d think that with all their history and resources they would have thought this all through a bit more carefully.

  • davidleeking

    Sarah – exactly. Britannica should simply do better than this.

  • davidleeking

    Sarah – exactly. Britannica should simply do better than this.

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  • http://www.librarianinblack.net/ Sarah Houghton-Jan (Librarian

    Right on. I was disappointed in both the specific posts and the blog in general, and wrote to Britannica. You'd think that with all their history and resources they would have thought this all through a bit more carefully.