August 10, 2004


Cheryl Morgan

Depends what you define as a blog. If you simply mean something published online as opposed to in print then sure, at least one of my reviews has turned up in a blurb. I know of other online reviews that have been blurbed too.

A more interesting distinction might be between for-profit web sites and those that are entirely amateur or at least not profitable. But not profitable certainly includes me, so the milestone is still passed.

If you want to get into that murky area of distinguishing a blog from something that claims to be a review magazine or similar then I don't know of any that have been blurbed, but I guess it is only a matter of time. Matt Cheney would be a good candidate.


I guess I've already achieved one milestone, since I, in my capacity as a litblogger, have blurbed books. (Jim Winter's NORTHCOAST SHAKEDOWN, fwiw.) Also, one of the earliest reviews I ever posted to my blog is going to appear in the paperback edition of a debut novel published back in January (although I believe the accompanying tagline lists me as working for January Magazine, which is true, but fudging things a little bit.)

Kevin Wignall

My agent told me she loves Thanksgiving because it's the one holiday no one in America has yet managed to commercialize. That's what is so beautiful about blogs - editorially, there's no money in them. Someone cracking that market would be a milestone of sorts. I think there'll also be a subtle milestone (possibly already reached), after which new blogs will find it hard to make an impression against the now-established pioneers. You guys are a little like the Russian Oligarchs of the 90s, getting in there before everyone else, staking your claim, only without the billions in the bank!

tod goldberg

The blurbing thing reminded me of the curious importance of Harriet Klausner, who is so frequently used as a blurb on people's books, you'd think she actually gave a real critical response to things. I'd welcome blurbs from blogs, personally, because I think the average person might spend more time here or on Sarah's blog or whomever's, than they might spend trying to find the book reviews from the Cleveland Plain Dealer or Walla Walla Union Bulletin.

Kevin Wignall

Tod, your kidding me, people have used Harriet K as a blurb! That's like saying your mother liked it. I mean, God love her, but she hardly separates the wheat from the chaff. As for the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, please tell me it's a real paper - it would be worth having a blurb from them just for the name. If it's real, I'm getting my publicist to send them a copy of For the Dogs? ;-)

Scott O'Connor

The second printing of 'Among Wolves' will have a blog blurb on the cover. Maybe two.

Scott O'Connor

Mixing blog review quotes with print review quotes is going to become the norm real quick, methinks. What's the readership of some of these sites? Thousands of poeple a day, in some cases. They're known commodities now.

Dan Wickett

Interesting, most have focused on the positive question - will blurbs come from blogs (or, it appears, where have blogs been blurbed already)?

The libel question - would you be able to circumvent any possible actions by placing a statement somewhere on your blog that all comments not enlisted to TEV are from outside sources, and may not state the thoughts or beliefs of the owner of this site?

It's an interesting question TT has thrown at the blogosphere. I'd like to see more people focus on it. The fact that HK has been blurbed already says more than enough towards the other question.


As far as blogging milestones, why not commercial endorsements (Old Hag Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Maud's Mod Hair, etc.)?

More seriously, I think today marked a milestone of sorts with Sarah being named the Baltimore Sun's mystery critic (which as I type it has a strange sound to it, as if the "mystery" connotes that Sarah herself is an "x" factor, running around Baltimore in dark glasses & wig, offering feedback on whatever comes her way. "Who's that?" "Oh, just our mystery critic.")


Oops, Dan, I just saw your comment. In light of Terry's post, I was thinking of posting something like what you suggest at Tingle Alley. I was also wondering if it might be wise to have some sort of stated stance toward what grounds might cause a Comment to be taken down (e.g., egregious character assassination, etc.).

Cuz I'd hate to close the area down. A lot of interesting stuff arises in the discussion, and I value the comments a lot, even when they aren't the proprietor's views. And obvs. I enjoy tarrying in other people's backblogs as well.

Dan Wickett

That's sort of along the lines I was thinking of CAAF. I'm sure most bloggers, especially those concentrating on the literary aspects of life, probably aren't too up on banning people from commenting or censoring their sites.


Kevin Wignall

As you're neither the publisher of the backblog (that would be blogger etc) nor the author of the comments (and the authors are duly noted) I'm not quite sure how a successful action could be brought against you.
Agreed, Sarah has crossed one of those milestones today.


The libel question is a tricky one, but I for one think it will still be a while--if ever--before this is addressed in court. I don't believe any libel suit has made it that far, because of free speech concerns or common misunderstandings about what actually constitutes libel.

I'm thinking in particular about Daily Kos, when one of his guest bloggers went on some rant that caused the ire of someone who decided to sue, and also of Phil Kaplan's FuckedCompany, which was sued (or threatened with lawsuits) so many times and nothing ever came of such things.

I have seen the kind of disclaimers Dan W refers to: At Roger L. Simon's blog, one such disclaimer opens every comment thread, because things can get very contentious over there all too quickly.


I'm eagerly awaiting the first blogger suntan.

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