Addicted to novelty since 2001

Confess Your Sins Online

In the most recent issue of MacLeans, Mary Dwyer has an article called Sinners in Cyberspace. It’s concerned with a series of confession sites which most of you are probably familiar with:

In recent years, a number of confessional websites have appeared, and there’s no shortage of people logging on to unburden their souls. But based on the number of hits the sites are getting, it seems many more people are visiting to read about the misdeeds of others.

This sort of mainstream media trend-spotting article always frustrates me. They unilaterally have a self-congratulatory tone of “look what I just discovered” to them, when the clued-in among us have known about the topic for months. Additionally, these articles almost always lack sufficient context, usually because the writer has failed to educate themself sufficiently. Ms. Dwyer’s use of ‘cyberspace’, for example, suggests her ignorance of the subject matter.

Regardless, it is worth gathering all the confession sites in one place, so here they are:

6 Responses to “Confess Your Sins Online”

  1. Sean Hagen

    I have never heard of these online confesionals. And stuff like this is mainly the reason I stopped paying attention to pretty much all mainstream media ( tv, internet, newspaper, whatever ).

    If journalists can’t be bothered to do something other than trend-chase, I can’t be bothered to read what they write.

  2. Paolo

    Isn’t it a bit absurd to complain about Dwyer for writing her article and then gather up the various confessional site links (from her work) and put them on your own blog, based on the same assumption that readers will find interest in the subject.

    A quick comparison shows one writer putting in a mild effort on the subject, while the other trashes the first and then robs her links for use on his own blog.

    This is like a Google robbing.

  3. Darren

    Paolo:

    Well, I already wrote about two of those four sites:

    Grouphug.us, Oct. 20, 2003
    PostSecret, April 21, 2005

    So I don’t think I’m participating in any robbery. My criticism is that this mainstream reporter has manufactured a trend story where one doesn’t exist (or it might of, about 18 months ago). Do I think the site’s are worthy of mention? Yes. Do I think they’re worthy of 1500 words in a popular national magazine? Absolutely not. It’s lazy journalism, and lazy work from the editors for permitting the story.

  4. Paolo

    Aha. Now, see, had you included those links of your past efforts on the subject, as well as being as direct as you’ve just been, your position might have been a bit more clear.

    Considering what you’ve just said, I’d have to agree with you. It does seem a tad lazy for MacLeans.

  5. Darren

    Fair enough. As my blog’s history grows, these incidents of re-mentioning things become more frequent. I tend not to reference earlier mentions, unless there’s something in particular I want to reference. In this case, I should have, if only to highlighted the datedness of this piece.

  6. Jarrod

    As far as lazy editing work goes, you could apply a bit of grammar to your first comment above, Darren :)

    “might of” -> “might have”
    “site’s” -> “sites”

    Just being a pedant.

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