Let’s open up the old Shanghaiist mailbag. Our good friend and clever moniker-maker “Simon Templar” writes:
Whats with all these blogs of drivel on the internet. Who really wants to share your experience in eating jaozi in Beijing or climbing the great wall or your inane conversations with locals.
I rue the day they invented blogs. It just affords an opportunity for talentless writers to put uninteresting drivel on the net. In the old days, before the internet, if you were an inspiring writer, you sent your tome to a publisher and you learnt quick smart whether you had any talent as a writer by the time it took for the rejection letter to reach your mailbox.
Now, all these failed writers and commentators are free to place mundane crap on the internet and display their lack of writing talent for the world to endure.
Good god…give it a rest.
First, let us say that we here at Shanghaiist appreciate your readership. Naturally you must have taken the time to review our work before arriving at your opinion. We do, however, beg to disagree in one fundamental way: where you seem to see the Internet, and blogs specifically, as a medium commandeered by half-wits and failures, we see it as a fantastic democratization of information. Certainly, there are inherent dangers — more along the lines of accountability than ability we would argue — but the freedom to have access to an audience previously unthinkable, and vice versa the access of the reader to ideas, is mostly good. We leave it to the readers to decide whether to return, and in the thousands daily they do. Despite our limited resources, we are proud of the content we provide, and you are welcome to take it or leave it. But to wish to deny others the opportunity to participate, poorly or otherwise, seems like a tremendous step backwards.
For our readers still with us interested in a recommendation on where to eat Beijing jiaozi, go here; for some introductory information on the Great Wall go here; if you want to have a conversation with a local person go outside, and be sure to blog about it.
Photo from Microsoft Windows Clip Gallery.