Several possible metaphors came to mind for Emily Dooley's story in the Sunday Times about local bloggers before one came to mind that clicked - Ms. Dooley as missionary, traveling to an exotic culture where she must spend some time with the natives, not too long fortunately, just long enough for her to examine their inexplicable practices and then hurry back to civilization where she can take her fingers off her nose and resume breathing.
It turns out that this particular tribe has gotten perhaps a tad too much attention elsewhere in the media - some have even gone so far as to suggest that they are changing the nature of media anthropology itself, turning it upside down by having news percolate from the ground up rather than be dictated to the masses by an anointed few.
Then again, maybe it's just this decade's version of CB radio.
In a nod toward bloggers' potential importance, Dooley quotes a couple of talking heads saying things to that effect, then gets to what she really thinks about the matter.
"The blogosphere is the land of plenty, a letters page of infinite space, with nary a filter," Dooley wrote. "Nary"? What next - "nevermore"?
Another filter or two probably would have helped the story, because at one point Dooley wrote that "Popular local bloggers include Peter Porcupine, Otis the town drunk and BeggerBlog."
Problem is, only one of the three is a blogger - Peter Porcupine. "Otis the town drunk" is a pseudonym used by someone who frequently posts comments to what is written on the blogs at capecodtoday.com.
As for "BeggarBlog" - not "BeggerBlog," as in the story - this is another pseudonym used by someone who has posted comments all of once or twice, and not until it made the rounds that Dooley was working on the story.