Believe it or not, Jeff Jarvis posted a comment on my blog! The Jeff Jarvis
of BuzzMachine! That's
about as high as you can go on the Net or the blogosphere. Okay, he just dropped
a one-liner: "The beard is prematurely grey :)" he wrote about himself, punctuating his
comment with a smiley.
I was so pleased that he had not only read my post, "Older is better (sometimes) online", where I had written how
veterans like him and Arianna Huffington are the reigning kings and queens of
blogs, but had also taken the trouble to comment. He could jolly well see this
is a no-account blog with hardly any comments, but that didn't stop him — one of
the most widely-read bloggers — from dropping a line.
I still cherish the one comment I received from the Times Literary Supplement editor Peter Stothard. That was when he had just started blogging on the Times and I
wrote on my blog how much I enjoyed reading him. He responded with a comment —
another one-liner — and, of course, I had to write about that on my blog. I was
I admire journalists of a certain kind — who might be called wordsmiths —
for the simple reason I grew up at a time when the media possessed a certain
glamour. We grew up on books and movies like Scoop, The Front Page, All the
President's Men, listened to the BBC World Service on shortwave, visited the
British Council to read the Guardian and the Times and the New Statesman, oohed
and aahed over stories in Time by the likes of Jay Cocks.
Now, of course, the media are us. Anybody can jolly well publish anything on
the Net though it might not be a bad idea to be careful — and not only if you
happen to be in Singapore like me. Heather Armstrong got "dooced", remember?
Still, I have a thing about the real media types like Jarvis who has been not
only a newsman and an editor but still writes for the Guardian and teaches
journalism at the City University of New York.
And the best thing about him is he is so keen on the Net. In one of his recent posts on BuzzMachine, he wrote:
The internet doesn’t make us more creative, I don’t think. But it does enable
what we create to be seen, heard, and used. It enables every creator to find a
public, the public he or she merits. And that takes creation out of the
proprietary hands of the supposed creative class.