Well, it seems that Ms. Braunteuer's argument about the superiority of essayism to blogism gains further credibility by the minute. Her article has unfortunately entered the part of the web that requires registration. The "long-lived ... essay" indeed. If I were a betting man though, I would wager that someone might likely reply to this post with a copy of the article... Stay tuned.
I don't have much to add to what Cristi has already written, but I will say this. What Ms. Brownworth's article fails to realize is the community aspect of blogging. I don't believe that anyone would argue that blogs are as meticulously constructed as the holy essay. Why should they be? The essay comes from a different time of publishing, where it was more expensive and demanding to publish a piece of writing for popular consumption. If you were going to write something, it had to be exactly what you wanted it to be. With the internet, people can reach more easily reach a wider audience than ever before. Publishing one’s ideas is as simple as opening an account with www.blogger.com.
But this is bad she says, because the blogosphere isn't subject to the same checks and balances that essays, newspapers magazines etc are? The point of blogging has been missed. I conceive of our blog in this way: When you're thinking, reading, writing on your own, you have no idea how your thoughts square with the world at large. With a blog, your ideas can be turned loose to peer review. The checks and balances are the people that read your blog, the people that leave comments, the people that make reference to it in their blogs. Invented Usage is a collaborative learning environment. Certainly there is a modicum of authority placed upon Cristi and I as blogauthors, but the site must originate from somewhere. Beyond that, we don't assume the essay attitude of handing down knowledge from our ivory tower. We're entering the trenches of intellectual debate, and our blog is the fake ID we use to get past those who believe that you need "credentials" in order to think. That you need “credentials” in order to have ideas worth sharing.