Variety Editor Tim Gray Has A Bee In His Bonnet (And A Few Good Points)

Not sure what bee got in Variety editor Tim Gray’s bonnet (or what stick got somewhere else) but his latest column tackles bloggers and the pace of technology change in a fairly “you kids get off my lawn” sort of way. What with Tivo and Hulu and blackberries and SMS and LOL and “endless e- and i- variations,” there are too many new words, he says!

Too many new words.

We’ll leave it to someone else to determine what exactly he meant when he said Turks & Caicos “sounds like two L.A. street gangs, not a nation,” because Gray does have some decent points to make about what we call bloggers.

“Blogger” encompasses myriad online writers. There is the guy in his pajamas pounding out personal thoughts from his basement; a person who has created his or her own website to report on events; a one-person diary; sites where a group of people weigh in; and a person writing for an established news organization.

It makes no sense for them to be lumped into one word.

Just like we differentiate between supermarket tabloids and the New York Times, even though they’re both printed on newsprint, there should be different words to describe the guy breaking news and the guy doing commentary.

Hey, didn’t we say you might need a new job title?

Gray proposes a lot of silly words like “solog” for someone going it alone and “voxpop” for a group blog. Whatever. How about instead of calling people “bloggers” simply because they use an online publishing tool, we call them what they are? You could have opinion columnists, reporters, aggregators, community managers…

But if you used normal words like that to describe what bloggers do, then Gray wouldn’t have had an excuse to devote an 800-word column to em.