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“Almost all of the popular blogs today are commercial ventures with teams of writers, aggressive ad-sales operations, bloated sites, and strategies of self-linking. Some are good, some are boring, but to argue that they’re part of a ‘blogosphere’ that is distinguishable from the ‘mainstream media’ seems more and more like an act of nostalgia, if not self-delusion.

Mr. Carr then makes a historical analogy about another amateur-dominated medium.

“Back in 2005, I argued that the closest historical precedent for blogging was amateur radio. The example has become, if anything, more salient since then. When ‘the wireless’ was introduced to America around 1900, it set off a surge in amateur broadcasting, as hundreds of thousands of people took to the airwaves. ‘On every night after dinner,’ wrote Francis Collins in the 1912 book Wireless Man, ‘the entire country becomes a vast whispering gallery.’ … But it didn’t last. Radio soon came to be dominated by a relatively small number of media companies, with the most popular amateur operators being hired on as radio personalities. Social production was absorbed into corporate production.”

Against 8

According to CNN, blacks were the only ethnic group in California to vote decisively (70 percent) for Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and passed a narrow by 52 percent to 48 percent.

Some early analyses of the turnout figures suggested that blacks provided the decisive edge for the proposition to reverse a state Supreme Court case on gay marriage, and a “meme” was born among angry gay bloggers and demonstrators - it was all the blacks’ fault.

Dan Savage at Slog says that he wept at the election of Sen. Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president, “But I can’t help but feeling hurt that the love and support aren’t mutual. I do know this, though: I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there - and they’re out there, and I think they’re scum- are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.”

Gay activists began a series of demonstrations and pickets around the state, and blogger Rod McCullom of Rod 2.0 received several reports of the kind of things said.

“Geoffrey, a student at UCLA and regular Rod 2.0 reader, joined the massive protest outside the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Westwood. Geoffrey was called the n-word at least twice. ‘It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. “you [racial epithet],” one man shouted at me,’” Mr. McCullom writes. “Los Angeles resident and Rod 2.0 reader A. Ronald says he and his boyfriend, who are both black, were carrying ‘No on Prop 8’ signs and still subjected to racial abuse.

Jasmyne Cannick recounted receiving similar reports at her Web site; both she and Mr. McCollum are black gays.

“To date, I have received several phone calls from Blacks, both gay and straight, who were caught up in Westwood around the time of that march. From being called [racial epithets] to being accosted in their cars and told that it was because of ‘you people gays don’t have equal rights and you better watch your back,’ these gays have lost their … minds. … All I can say is that I wish that had been me in Westwood some gay called a [racial epithet]. I keep bail money and a lawyer on retainer for exactly these types of occasions.”

• Contact Victor Morton.