A few weeks ago, Nicholas Carr wrote a post about the end of the blogosphere as an independent, open field in which new writers can bypass the need for vetting by corporate media and rise in popularity through sheer merit.
While there continue to be many blogs, including a lot of very good ones, it seems to me that one would be hard pressed to make the case that there’s still a “blogosphere.” That vast, free-wheeling, and surprisingly intimate forum where individual writers shared their observations, thoughts, and arguments outside the bounds of the traditional media is gone. Almost all of the popular blogs today are commercial ventures with teams of writers, aggressive ad-sales operations, bloated sites, and strategies of self-linking. Some are good, some are boring, but to argue that they’re part of a “blogosphere” that is distinguishable from the “mainstream media” seems more and more like an act of nostalgia, if not self-delusion.
He’s probably right about that, but we should be grateful the old blogosphere was around long enough for Tanta at Calculated Risk to find a wide audience. She was absolutely one of the most lucid and engaging writers on the housing bubble and the mortgage industry, without whom even fewer people would have much of an idea of what happened to our economy in recent years. Tanta, whose name was Doris Dungey, died over the weekend, and will be sorely missed.