Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Blogging notches another big win

Last week RTE's Big Bite featured a discussion on blogging with several Irish bloggers participating.

A big part of the discussion was really an introduction to the whole idea of blogging. I know anyone who has been reading them regularly since the 2000 US Presidential election or September 11, 2001 is probably a little stunned to find that most people in Ireland have never heard of blogs. Nothing has happened here to drag blogging into the mainstream consciousness. It's only a matter of time before that occurs.

When it happens, I expect it will be due to something similar to what's been going on in Canada. The Christian Science Monitor explains how an American blogger forced the Canadian judge who heads a Canadian government inquiry to lift a publication ban. Ed Morrissey of Captains Quarters has been getting the testimony that the judge ordered not to be published and he's been publishing it on his blog.

The inquiry story will not sound unfamiliar to any Irish reader even if the details are not quite the same (government money designated for spending on a specific project somehow ended up in the coffers of the ruling party). We've had so many inquiries over the past decade that I can't even remember all their names or whether there were any days when the testimony was "not to be published".

However, it seems inevitable to me that someday soon some blogger, probably based outside this state, is going to start publishing details about public officials or goings on that are in breach of Irish secrecy or (more likely) libel laws. This issue has arisen a few times in the past with various web sites (including my own on many occasions), but I think the nature of the blogging network will make it a much bigger story.