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I'm watching the panel here at IPI Helsinki on the Future of Broadcasting, with among others, Jacob Weisberg of Slate and a blogger named Jotman (at right in pic) whose claim to fame was initially having been among the first to blog the 2006 coup in Thailand. Jotman talked about the need to integrate bloggers more thoroughly into the mainstream media and using crowdsourcing for information. The problem, it seems to me, is that for individual bloggers, there are declining returns to specialization.
That is: Say you're a blogger like Jotman and you happen to be in Bangkok during a coup. You blog about it, you're the first one there, and your blog suddenly goes from 500 hits a day to 50,000 hits in a day. Then the coup ends, and there's nothing happening in Bangkok anymore. But you don't want to go back to getting 500 hits a day. You want to go look for that post that's going to get you 50,000 hits again. So what do you do? You may have to go get a ticket and travel to Cambodia to find a war crimes trial, or to Waziristan, or someplace else where the news is big enough to get you those hits again. And pretty soon you're what we used to call a traveling correspondent, but at a much lower pay grade, and all your local expertise, which was the added value that you brought, is lost. How do bloggers reconcile themselves to the fickleness of fame?