Blogging About Blogging About Nothing

January 30, 2007

The Cornell blogosphere is on fire again! Latest topic of interest is Tara Tavernia’s “Blogging About Nothing” piece in The Cornell Daily Sun. A small section sums up her point:

The problem is that the interesting stories are mixed with the blogger’s commentary, which is my main complaint about blogs. Very few bloggers are experts on the field about which they are writing (I mean, really, can you be a pop culture expert?). Yet, everyone wants to give their two cents on every topic.

Perhaps that may explain why only very few blogs have a substantial audience. Does this mean the rest of the population should cease all online publishing? Should we also introduce filters to make sure only approved content ever sees the light of day?

Ironically, she is writing about blogs, something she is clearly not an expert on.

But wait. It gets better:

Every publication has a website, and many are now adding the newer variants of online media as well — photo slideshows, forums, blogs and podcasts. I cannot grasp why the media — magazines, newspapers and even television — has to transform itself into such a fast-paced environment. Sure, it’s great to read the news ten minutes after it happened, but inaccuracies are bound to occur with so little time for editing and fact-checking.

I hope she realizes The Cornell Daily Sun is one of those publications (with photos, forums, and blogs).

Christian Montoya adds:

In the end, the funny and ironic thing about Tara’s rant is that it sounds more like a blog entry than a newspaper editorial to me. It’s poorly written both in grammar and structure and full of weak arguments and Tara does nothing to prove to us that she is an expert herself, considering how few blogs she actually reads.

Elliott Back points out:

It’s not fair to claim that making money is an impure motive for writing a blog, unless you want to include all mainstream media as well. The New York Times is plastered with ads.

I stand by my previous claim: bloggers love to blog about blogs.


The Sun Catches Lehman Between His Global Travels

October 3, 2006

In between his travels around the United States and, indeed, around the world, former President Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77 took some time to talk to The Sun about his international workload and some of his plans for the future.

Read the full interview in The Cornell Daily Sun.

Life on the Hill: the Community Responds

August 31, 2006

Bloggers love to blog about blogs. The Cornell blogosphere has been on fire over the launch of Life on the Hill, the Cornell Student Blogging Project.

Elliott Back:

Reading over their last forty entries, the content seems to be about on the same level of insight and quality as the median of Livejournal, Myspace, and Xanga. … The short of it is that the Cornell University Student Blogging Project is just a watered down PR machine written by a gang of unfocused novice bloggers.

Christian Montoya:

This editorial from the Daily Sun sums it all up nicely. If you don’t want to read it, at least read this quote: “… in trying to maintain a positive face for the student body, they’ve chosen a group that does not truly represent the breadth of that body.”

Caroline Dias, one of six Life on the Hill bloggers, responds to my post:

In all seriousness, let me use this entry to point out what I actually want to do with this blog. I intend this blog to be informative to prospective students on what it’s like being at Cornell today. If I get lost in the inane details of my daily life, please call me on it.

Let’s see what prospective students think. Sam Jackson:

This seeming failure to launch brings us back to what I keep saying and trying to stress to some of my institutional readers–authenticity is more important for good PR than anything else.

Much ado about nothing or is Cornell’s blogging initiative really a big deal?

New Day New Sun

May 11, 2006

Earlier today, The Cornell Daily Sun came out with a revamped web site featuring a new look and a new backend. After roughly two years, the College Publisher partnership was dropped.

From one of the new Sun blogs:

As you can see, got a facelift! This new website will hopefully do more than just give you the daily news of what’s happening on the hill. Check out our brand new forums and wikipedia sections! Post your event on our online daybook! Read your favorite columnists’ blog!

Skorton Inauguration Date Announced Yet Again

May 2, 2006

As declared in today’s Cornell Daily Sun, “David J. Skorton will be inaugurated as Cornell’s 12th president Sept. 7, the University announced yesterday.” “The Ivy League school announced Monday that Skorton’s installation will take place Sept. 7, on Cornell’s historic Arts Quad,” wrote the Ithaca Journal. Other area news outlets had similar stories.

I was under the impression that the news outlets should report news. The Cornell Chronicle Online ran a story on April 12 that read, “Thursday, Sept. 7, has been set as the date for David J. Skorton’s inauguration as Cornell’s 12th president.”

Maybe the Chronicle piece was edited later on. If only there was some sort of a web publication that tracked changes. Wikipedia’s entry for Cornell University from as far back as March 15, 2006, clearly stated, “Inauguration: September 7, 2006.”

I certainly hope that more research is done for the important stories hot off the press.

Facebook 2.0

March 16, 2006

Extra! Extra!

Top story at The Cornell Daily Sun Online (narrowly edging out “C.U. Prof Solves Sudoku”):
Students React to H.S. Addition to Facebook” by Rob Fishman

Roughly two years have passed since Facebook opened up its virtual doors at Cornell. Yet, somehow anything related to Facebook can still become a hot story. So much for the novelty wearing off.

All that aside, the story raises a good point:

While college students require a .edu email address to gain admission to the website, high school students, who do not have standard school addresses, can register for the site with their personal email. In the past, has distinguished itself from sites like Myspace by requiring specific email addresses for confirmation.

The initial appeal of Facebook was its exclusivity. In its early days, only the top schools were part of its network. It slowly expanded to virtually every college in the nation. Now, anyone can join. Welcome to the new Facebook. Another MySpace/Friendster/Orkut clone.