With blog as my witness

Maybe I’ve missed it, but there seems to be a surprising lack of end-of-the-decade coverage.It probably has something to do with the name — or lack thereof — for these past 10 years. The OOs? The aughts? There has to be something better.Regardless, this decade has become the age of one of my favorite Internet inventions.  This decade saw the invention of blogs.The easy-to-start pages have quickly become a political phenomenon in and of themselves. The number of political commentators increased exponentially and, when gauging reaction to an issue, getting the reputed opinion of the “blogosphere” is virtually required.Despite their growing importance, there seems to be a reluctance to give bloggers too much respect — some people are downright hostile.With the slow deathmarch of traditional media already underway, blogs are shouldering the blame for lowering standards of journalism and increasing polarization.Kate Maltby of The Huffington Post, and a blogger herself, voiced her concern that blogging creates the illusion that we all have a voice. That is until we “realize that actually, most of us are still as voiceless as we always were.”While some concerns seem reasonable, I think they’re mostly off the mark.There are actually two blogospheres and they have to be approached and assessed differently.The first blogosphere is made up of anyone with the Internet and an opinion. This is the bad one — there’s reason to worry that good journalism will disappear if it’s entrusted to this ravenously opinionated crowd. Here’s the thing: most of these amateurish bloggers are lucky to get two hits a day — there are a ton of these blogs and almost no market for them. There’s little reason to worry that the public will trade traditional media for the webpages of some self-proclaimed PinkoLiberal or AmericaLover.The good blogosphere is really quite different. These blogs have much higher standards and many are tied to a credible publication, increasing their legitimacy.Since starting a blog is virtually free, many of these sites can market themselves to educated and interested audiences.These blogs are probably the only place you can find quality, liberal-versus-conservative opinions without unnecessary anger or ill-timed commercial breaks. If you haven’t checked out this blogosphere, go to The Daily Dish, or a similar blog, and link your way across it.Oh, yes. By the way, The Cynic opinion section writers now have their own blogs too.So check those out.