"The implicit immediacy and ephemerality of "post" and "update," the deeply embedded assumption of referentiality (linkage being part of the point of blogging), not to mention a new of-the-moment ethos among so many of the bloggers...favors a less formal, less linear, and essentially unedited mode of argument. While more traditional print-based standards are still in place on sites like Slate and the online offerings of numerous print magazines, many of the blogs venture a more idiosyncratic, off-the-cuff style, a kind of "I've been thinking . . ." approach. At some level it's the difference between amateur and professional. What we gain in independence and freshness we lose in authority and accountability."If you'd like to learn more about the recent cutbacks in book coverage at major metropolitan newspapers, the National Book Critics Circle has launched a Campaign to Save Book Reviews.
It's Only An Opinion, But...
Writer Sven Birkerts, in a recent article in the Boston Globe, Lost in the Blogosphere: Why Literary Blogging Won't Save Our Literary Culture, writes that the shared standards of criticism that give context and value to the work of the professional reviewer are missing from most litblogs. Birkerts isn't suggesting that bloggers shouldn't write about books (mon dieu!), but that we shouldn't confuse literary criticism with expressing opinions: