Ken is a fortyish professional on the west coast. Almost every day Ken reads something in the newspaper, or on the web, then pulls up the dashboard of his group weblog and writes about it.
Meanwhile, in the San Francisco bay area, Ezra, who works at a non-profit agency, has experiences with people in his life. Invariably, Ezra writes a blogpost on a weblog he shares with other authors, to discuss his experiences.
And on the east coast, Patrick, a lawyer, copes with the demands of a law practice. He remembers when things were less hectic, complaining that he had more free time before he joined the legion of Americans who now compulsively write about things and ideas at a group weblog.
These individuals are part of a national trend in which Americans of all ages, classes, races, and genders participate in the modern phenomenon that is the group weblog…
Sound contrived? Well it is. If one takes a sample of people who are strongly connected in some fashion, or have a deep interest in some activity, and excludes all others, their anecdotes can be spun as any sort of trend or a new problem society must face. The story writes itself.
Of course if I do it, it's dishonest wanking. But when the New York Times does it, it's quality journalism.