Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was reading, as is his wont, Outside the Beltway yesterday. Of all of the items posted there, one drew his attention more than others. James Joyner wrote a bit called the “Professionalization of the Blogosphere.” In it Joyner does a little thoughtful analsis based on a post by Conn Carroll at the National Journal.

The Carroll piece, the salient portion of which is cited in Joyner’s post, states that the blogosphere is being more and more dominated by professionals. Professionals being defined as those with advanced degrees and in fields at least somewhat related to the content of their blog. Joyner goes on to say that this stands to reason as, at least in the field of political commentary, only those who have a passion for a subject (like politics) would want to spend the time commenting on that subject in the way that a regularly updated blog requires.

A salient point of Joyner’s piece is this:

Furthermore, I’m not sure why amateurism in the sense of not having a clue about the things one opines about is all that desirable. The lure of political blogs, to me at least, is that one often gets better insights from them than from the professional punditocracy. Many if not most of those who are regulars on the television and radio talking head circuit simply don’t have much to offer as commentators. They might be attractive and have soothing voices but most of them are just recycling the conventional wisdom. Many of us watched those shows and thought “I could do better than that!” but had no way to prove it.

Your Maximum Leader can certainly agree with that point. And it is that point that stirred around and around in your Maximum Leader’s mind. There was something wrong about it but he couldn’t figure out what.

Then it came to him. Amateurish.

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t often use the word amateur in the negative sense. To your Maximum Leader a true amateur is one who pursues an activity because he loves it. Afterall the root of the word amateur is the Latin “amare” which means “to love (something).” Bloggers are, for the most part, amateurs in the classical sense. We love whatever it is that we spend our time commenting upon. That could be politics, culture, sports, or… Jennifer Love Hewitt.

For the most part bloggers are amateurs in the sense that Olympic Athletes used to be amateurs. We have a passion for what we blog about (sometimes it is ourselves) and we want to comment upon it.

Carry on.

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