NEWS FLASH: Think Secret is Not a Blog

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AppleInsider, PowerPage, and Think Secret are not blogs!

Surprised? You should be. After all, the approximately 4,826 mass-media stories that have covered the Apple lawsuits against these sites have all focused on the “Apple vs. bloggers” angle.

The what? Apple versus who? These sites aren’t blogs any more than C|net is a blog, or is a blog. Just because they publish exclusively on the Web doesn’t make them blogs. Just because they publish news doesn’t make them blogs.

TAB is a blog. MacInTouch might be considered a blog. MacMinute is definitely not a blog; it’s news. It’s Mac-related news, but it’s news, not a blog.

Anything that calls itself a blog is, as far as I’m concerned, a blog. But the converse also applies; if a site does not claim to be a blog, it isn’t a blog. The three sites in question have been around since before the über-trendy word “blog” — as a shortening of “Weblog” — ever existed. AppleInsider, PowerPage, and Think Secret are not blogs.

The mass media outlets have turned “blog” into a dirty word just as Republicans did with “liberal” in the 1980s, and it’s time for that to stop.

It’s no big secret that I despise the rumour sites. John Gruber has covered all the salient points in the “why rumour sites are bad” argument, and he’s right. The rumourmongerers are hurting Apple, primarily by building up expectations that can’t be met.

That’s no excuse for shoddy coverage by the mass media. AppleInsider, PowerPage, and Think Secret are not blogs, and by associating them with bloggers, the media are impugning the credibility of bloggers everywhere. “Blog” should not be a dirty word to be used in discrediting an opponent’s argument.

If the mass media needs a catchy epithet with which to attire unscrupulous wanna-be newshounds, well, what was so wrong with “rumourmonger”? It was good enough before the dot-bomb, and it’s good enough now.