This story could be seen as the beginning of the end of the golden age of blogging. Salon columnist Ariana Huffington wants to start a celebrity group blog.
Some excerpts from the NYT story:
OS ANGELES, April 23 – Get ready for the next level in the blogosphere.
Arianna Huffington, the columnist and onetime candidate for governor of California, is about to move blogging from the realm of the anonymous individual to the realm of the celebrity collective.
She has lined up more than 250 of what she calls “the most creative minds” in the country to write a group blog that will range over topics from politics and entertainment to sports and religion. It is essentially a nonstop virtual talk show that will be part of a Web site that will also serve up breaking news around the clock. It is to be introduced May 9.
Having prominent people join the blogosphere, Ms. Huffington said in an interview, “is an affirmation of its success and will only enrich and strengthen its impact on the national conversation.” Among those signed up to contribute are Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer and Mortimer B. Zuckerman. …
… The Huffington Post will be interactive, offering news as well as commentary from famous people and allowing the masses to comment too, although not always directly with the celebs.
You want the hoi polloi to be given the illusion of getting close to the celebs. Actual closeness just wouldn't do. :)
This series of grafs also caught my eye:
The Post will also set another blogging milestone: Ms. Huffington has signed a contract with Tribune Media Services, which syndicates her newspaper column, to syndicate parts of her blog to newspapers and their Web sites.
“Newspaper editors across the country are increasingly intrigued by the phenomenon of blogging and are open to finding ways to capitalize on the best of it,” said John C. Twohey, the syndicate's vice president for editorial and operations.
But he said some editors were also uncomfortable with the unfiltered nature of blogs and that he had told Ms. Huffington it was a mistake for her to call the Post a blog.
As a result of that concern, Ms. Huffington said, while the bloggers will be unfiltered on the Post, they will be fact-checked and copy edited for the syndicate. Mr. Twohey said the syndicate would peddle the Post to potential clients not as a blog but as “daily excerpts from a longer-form Web site to which 300 prominent Americans are contributing.” Running blogs through a grammarian's keyboard raises questions, of course, about whether they can translate to print without losing their immediacy and authenticity.