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'Old Media' Critic Tries to Capture Blogs' Essence

Isn't an old-school paper book about blogs sort of self-defeating? Sarah Boxer, editor of Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web, thinks not.

"I don't have a blogging bone in my body," the New York Times media critic admits to Madeleine Brand. "They are out there in a way that is phenomenally frightening to me."

And yet, she was so fascinated by the form that she spent months searching for quality entries. The journey took her to some strange, very angry places.

"I think it's sort of survival of the meanest," she says. "The fierceness, openness, nastiness. There's just a certain kind of humor that's there even when you take away the links and timeliness."

Her anthology of favorites tries to get to the essence of what a blog is, she says.

"It was kind of a challenge. I was wondering what about it is so hard to pin down."

She says she sort of figured it out in the end, without having to write a single revealing blog entry of her own.

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