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#TBT: Where Has The Love Gone?

A picture of the format of a 2007 Spectator column wishing Bwog a happy birthday

That’s us!

As you may have heard, Bwog is celebrating its 11th birthday! We’ve come a long way from the first Bwoggiversary, which came with a major party at The West End. We do a little bit more journalism, and a little bit fewer Bwog portmanteaus, but we’re still the same website… or, at least, we have been since we moved from Bwog.net to Bwog.com.

What hasn’t stayed the same has been our relationship with our campus competitors, the Columbia Daily Spectator. When Bwog turned one, former Spec News Editor Josh Hirschland, CC ’08, took the opportunity to write a column. The article is a celebration, though not one without some shade thrown. It pays homage to Bwog’s breaking coverage of Minutemen, and claims, “The blog’s greatest value lies in its role as a forum for students and alumni to debate whatever controversy or happening is occurring on campus.” (See, commenters? It’s all about you.) It also refers to QuickSpec, Bwog’s pre-2010 version of Bwoglines.

Hirschman would be surprised to see what Bwog has turned into now. When he wrote, “[Bwog did] relatively little independent reporting – in a recent seven-day period, Bwog had 32 posts. Roughly a third of those could be considered ‘news.'” However, “None of this is meant as a knock.” Hirschman acknowledges that Bwog and Spec do not serve precisely the same purpose on campus. We were most flattered by his final comparison, which read, “Bwog’s relationship to the news is much like that of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart – though there is a time for serious interviews, its primary purpose is that of an entertainer and a pundit, not an investigator.” This was well before “Columbia Student News” became the website’s tagline.

You can read Hirschman’s 4 am musings about this article on his editor blog, where he talks about the the various other options Spec had for making a birthday Bwog story. It’s a bit stream-of-consciousness, but it uncovers more about our complicated relationship – he refers to Bwoggers as “people who criticize us on a daily basis but who are, in many cases, our friends.”

Where has the love gone? Are we so busy competing that we can’t buy each other birthday gifts anymore? The closest thing Bwog has done to that in recent history was when we crashed their open house. Maybe we need to reconnect and get back to our roots. Party at The West End, anyone?

Spectator paper formatting via The Stories Behind Spec

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