October 10, 2004
My first reaction was "wow, blogs are finally getting some respect!" My current reaction is "wow, blogs are not getting any respect!" Why the flip-flop? My guess is that Paramount is worried about critical response, because Matt Stone and Trey Parker haven't been known for their highbrow humor. To counter that, they're trying to get "real people" writing about the movie without 4 years of film school getting in the way.
So is free stuff for bloggers a good thing? I've heard people complain about the quality of film criticism as being too ivory tower, using regular people certainly bypasses that. On the flip side, it also lets the same people who go see Hillary Duff movies into hits. To address this on the individual level reputation comes into play: if you find someone writing reviews in their blog that you agree with, then you keep reading their blog for reviews. On the macro level, if the reviews get published in RDF (although there are several review vocabularies to choose from right now) then they can be aggregated and the wisdom of crowds takes over.
Amazon has made a lot of money by allowing the public to review things. What's happened here is that film studios are treating the public as reviewers and giving ones with lots of whuffie the privileges that professional reviewers get.
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