GuyClapperton 12 Staff Writer

I've been watching the blogosphere or whatever we're calling it with interest for a fair while now. Not because I think it's going to take over from 'proper' journalists like me; I have 20 years' experience and although this can of course be duplicated, it kind of takes 20 years.

One of the things about being experienced and trained is that you don't make silly mistakes like the guy who's just tried to sue the Tolkien family. He's made allegations I'm not going to repeat because I know nothing of the truth of them; the thing is, one of the family accused him in a comment on his blog of being dishonest, trying to profiteer from the Catholic Church, all sorts of things.

He sued for defamation. And failed. Because the judge considered, all told, that he was by definition the editor of his own blog. And if he'd left a comment to stand - or fester, or whatever you want to call it - then frankly it had to be there with his approval. And you can't sue someone for a comment of which you have clearly approved by leaving it there.

He's claiming he's distressed and has been damaged. He hasn't realised he's the de facto publisher. My guess is there's going to be a lot more fallout as people realise they're suddenly in publishing with no infrastructure, training or experience behind them. I will of course report such occurrences as they happen.