Three A-list blogs that make me smile

All blogs are not created equal, which is good, because it gives little dogs some role models.

These three celebrities were tempered in the traditional media: radio, television, and newspapers. They share a trait that all serious bloggers can cultivate, which is an acute awareness of the audience. All three are as much at ease on camera as with the written word. Of course, editors make a difference, if they’re involved. Only one of these blogs is self-published.

A Prairie Home Companion

Who doesn’t like Garrison Keillor? You may not think of him as the avant-garde of new media, but he’s got all the right stuff. It just so happens that his well-established brand of audience interaction is a prototype for bloggers.

A Prairie Home Companion’s website is delivered in a magazine format displaying a prominent blog, Posts to the Host, in which Keillor answers letters from listeners and readers. You can also download a podcast of The News from Lake Wobegon, read short stories and poems submitted by fans, and follow several regular columns. The site is meticulously managed. In addition to requiring that anyone commenting be at least 13 years old, American Public Media applies these rules:

Your submission may be edited for length, clarity, or content, and may be posted on this or other APM Web sites or read on the air. APM reserves the right to reuse or republish your submission, or to withhold it from publication.

Talk Show: Dick Cavett Speaks Again

Okay, part of the reason I enjoy Dick Cavett’s blog is nostalgia. As a teenager, I watched his talk show on ABC. Apparently so did everyone else, as this recent comment on his blog indicates:

Mr Cavett – I was a fan of yours, as a youngster, when you were on TV, but now that I am older and wiser, I have become a devotee. Please can you come back to television for the benefit of those who love to think. Surely there must be enough of us left to make it worthwhile. If that is not possible, please re-issue your shows as DVD’s. There is almost nothing else left to do with my television set.

Sydney Davis

After all, Bill Moyers came back and made television worth watching for at least one hour a week, but he’s not as funny.

BuzzMachine

Jeff Jarvis is the only A-lister whose blog I read faithfully. Among other things, Jarvis is a columnist for the Guardian, a faculty member at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, and consultant to a long list of media corporations.

A large portion of what I understand about new media I’ve learned from BuzzMachine.com and its links to original sources. Jarvis posts frequently, offers strong opinions, and never seems to worry about whether anyone agrees. It’s an amazingly effective approach, as long as you’re reliable. Overlooking the typos is a small price to pay for the sound advice this media critic dispenses freely.

Today, each of these blogs has a Google PageRank of seven. The most popular blogs in the English language, which are focused almost exclusively on technology, have obtained a ranking of eight.

These pros demonstrate that anyone who speaks of bloggers as an undifferentiated horde of content producers has only one excuse: ignorance.

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