News You Can Use
Time magazine has come out with its list of 2009's top blogs. Actually, Time seems to come out with a lot of lists lately (one of which covered the best magazine cover images of '08 and sparked quite a memorable debate around here as to whether or not any of Promo Marketing's covers should have been included).
Anyway, in the spirit of Time magazine, today's stream of consciousness masquerading as a blog post will cover two things:
1) The Internet
2) Lists: lazy journalism or boon for reading comprehension?
And before you ask, no. I didn't even put myself up for "best blog" consideration. First of all, it wouldn't even be fair to the others. Second, and probably most importantly, I keep it real. I don't do this every week for the fame and trophies. It's because my brain can only hold so much banter. I need multiple channels by which to dispense my repartee.
Also, my boss "appreciates" it when I, you know, do my job and blog each week. So there's that.
Let's get back to the top blogs list, shall we? Though there really isn't much of a rubric by which Time defines its compilation, there is one thing each of these successes have in common: engagement. Not much preaching. No navel gazing. In fact—save for the list's compulsory political/economic forecasters—most of the blogs subsist on heavy doses of audience feedback and information (Talking Points Memo, Metafilter, contributions Huff Po) or education (Got2BeGreen). It looks strangely familiar, actually, to a journalistic style that is particularly dear to my heart (and hated by our esteemed managing editor, Kyle Richardson).
With the death of so, so many magazines this year (and more to come, probably), it seems only natural that the Web absorb service journalism. Tip-oriented features—from the frothy, "Lose Weight While You Eat!" to the more serious, "Five Signs You're Heading for a Heart Attack"—that can be easily digested in one sitting? The format is tailor-made for the Internet, when you think about it.