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Talkinghead leftg.png           Talkinghead rightg.png
Screenshot of
Type of site
Video discussion (political · scientific · current events)
FoundedNovember 1, 2005; 16 years ago (2005-11-01)
OwnerRobert Wright
Key people
EmployeesFewer than 10
RegistrationOptional (required to comment)
LaunchedNovember 1, 2005 (2005-11-01)
Current statusActive (sometimes abbreviated "bhtv") is a political, world events, philosophy, and science video blog discussion site in which the participants take part in an active back and forth conversation via webcam which is then broadcast online to viewers. The site was started by the journalist and author Robert Wright and the blogger and journalist Mickey Kaus on November 1, 2005.[1] Kaus has since dropped out of operational duties of the site as he didn't want his frequent linking to be seen as a conflict of interest.[2] Most of the earlier discussions posted to the site involved one or both of those individuals, but since has grown to include a total of over one thousand individual contributors, mostly journalists, academics, scientists, authors, well known political bloggers, and other notable individuals.

Unregistered users are able to view all of the videos which are contained on the site, while free registration is required to comment on the individual discussions, or participate in the forums.

In April 2022, Wright announced that Bloggingheads will be ending, stating that "the era in which Bloggingheads makes sense is kinda over."[3]


Bloggingheads discussions are conducted via webcam between two (or more) people, and can be viewed online in Flash format, or downloaded as WMV video files, MP4 video files, or MP3 sound files.[4] New diavlogs are generally posted daily, and are all archived for future viewing. The diavlogs are generally broken up into a series of topics and subtopics a few minutes in length, links to which are placed below the video window to allow viewers to navigate to a given topic if they do not wish to view the whole discussion.

Most of the discussions posted to involve well known (or semi-well known) journalists, bloggers, science writers, scientists, philosophers, book authors, or other specialists in segments of current world events. Many of the discussions are of a political nature or are related to the current political environment. Those with differing points of view are often matched against one another.[5] Diavlogs involving guests appearing for the first time often take the form of an interview, more often than that of a discussion, with a longtime Bloggingheads contributor playing the role of interviewer.

Regular segments[edit]

Although most episodes and matchups do not occur on any kind of a regular basis, there are a few notable exceptions to this. There is a frequent diavlog matchup between the two co-founders of, Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus, generally related to politics in some form, that usually occurs on either Wednesday or Thursday. While some of the other diavloggers are frequently matched against each other (e.g. David Corn & James Pinkerton) there is usually not a regularly scheduled time at which they take place.

John Horgan and George Johnson in a discussion on a "Science Saturday" episode of

"Science Saturday" was the name given to the weekly episode appearing on Saturday that was always science related. Its last episode was released on December 24, 2011.[6] It usually (but not always) involved either one or both of the science writers John Horgan and George Johnson. Many well-known people in the science community were a part of Science Saturday, including Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine,[7] biologist PZ Myers,[8] Craig Venter of the Human Genome Project,[9] aging researcher and biogerentologist Aubrey de Grey,[10] and philosopher David Chalmers,[11] among many others. However, in September 2009, four high-profile science bloggers who had previously participated in discussions publicly distanced themselves from the site and stated they would no longer agree to appear in segments. The scientists – Sean Carroll, Carl Zimmer, Phil Plait and PZ Myers – all criticized what they claimed was a policy by to provide a platform for the anti-scientific ideology, Creationism without an opposing point of view for balance. PZ Myers said: "[] was setting up crackpots with softball interviews that made them look reasonable, because their peculiar ideas were never confronted."[12]

Aubrey de Grey being interviewed by Eliezer Yudkowsky on[10]

"The Week in Blog" was a weekly segment which normally appeared on the site on Fridays. Its last episode was released on March 7, 2012.[13] The format was to discuss what has showed up on the past week on both liberal and conservative blogs, from both a liberal and conservative viewpoint. The three regular hosts of "TWIB" were Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis, Kristin Soltis of the Winston Group, and Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller. Original host Conn Carroll of The Heritage Foundation stepped aside in early 2009. Guests who appeared on the show are Armando Llorens (of Daily Kos),[14] Amanda Carpenter,[15] and Nate Silver (of FiveThirtyEight)[16] among many others.


On November 1, 2005, the site launched, with Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus as the only two initial participants in the video discussions.[17] The site has since featured more than one thousand other diavloggers.

On October 18, 2006, a site redesign was launched, with a revised home page and improved functionality: ability to comment on diavlogs was added, and to participate in forum discussions.[18]

In January 2007, it was announced that cable TV pioneer and C-SPAN founding chairman Bob Rosencrans, with a loose network of others, would become an angel investor of The infusion of cash[2] kicked off a dramatic expansion of the site's content, and a corresponding growth in viewers.

On March 24, 2007, in a diavlog between Garance Franke-Ruta and Ann Althouse, Althouse became quite animated and angry (to the point of yelling) over a comment Franke-Ruta made (in reference to an earlier controversy involving Jessica Valenti and former US president Bill Clinton[19][20][21]) referred to as an on-air "meltdown" by some.[22] This led to many blog posts and news stories in the following days on both the initial controversy and Althouse's on air behavior.[23][24][25][26]

On October 13, 2007, a conversion to Flash format from the initial Windows Media format took place.[27]

On October 24, 2007, entered into a relationship with The New York Times, whereby selected video segments from the Bloggingheads site would appear in the "Videos" section on the Times website, under the Opinion subsection.[28][29]

On December 13, 2007, a site redesign took place which removed the familiar green pages in favor of a more "Web 2.0"-look, featuring more user generated content, new navigation, new forum software for the "comments" section, and other updated features.[30]

In 2008, several new segments and diavloggers were added or made more regular, including "Free Will", "This Week in Blog", and "UN Plaza". Other updates and tweaks to the site, such as the addition of the MP4 video format were also gradually phased in.

In April 27, 2022, during an appearance on "the DMZ," Wright announced that Bloggingheads will be ending, with the remaining segments moving to their own independent platforms.[31]

Media recognition[edit]

Traditional media outlets, such at The New York Times[5] and others,[32] have written mostly favorable reviews of Stories are also often written about individuals who take part in the video discussions,[33] as they are often well known individuals in the scientific, academic, journalism, or blogosphere community.

The majority of coverage of the site, however, has been in the form of blog coverage[citation needed] sometimes on the form of the blog of the person participating in the Bloggingheads discussion, and sometimes in the form of other blogs.

Some events and personality appearances on have led to larger than usual amounts of media coverage, such as the March 24, 2007 Ann Althouse controversy described above, and the appearance of Andrew Sullivan on December 26, 2006 and January 1, 2007, when he discussed in the most clear terms up to that point his reversal of viewpoint on the Iraq War, and his plea of apology for supporting it in the first place.[34][35]

Site terms, features, and technology[edit]


The term "diavlog" (sometimes written "dia-vlog" by some bloggers[36]) means a type of video blog (or "vlog") generally in which two people participate, as contrasted with a (mono)vlog in which one contributor is featured. The word "diavlog" is a portmanteau of the phrase "dialog video weblog" (or, alternately, "video weblog dialog"). The diavlog format is most popular for political, world events, or other types of conversational video blog discussions in which two (or more) people are actively participating in a real-time, give-and-take discussion of ideas.

The term "diavlog" was first adopted and put into wide use by contributors, (initially by Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus), though its original coinage is subject to debate.[37] The term is widely used both by people on air, as well as commentors, refer to a specific conversation.

Although initially coined on the Bloggingheads site, the term has come to be used in other parts of the blogosphere and among journalists who frequently (or infrequently) participate in the encounters.[37][38][39][40]

The term is sometimes spelled "diavlogue" by those outside the United States.[41] (see: American and British English spelling differences)

Direct video linking ("dingalink") and embedding[edit]

Button used to direct link to a relevant part of the video or to embed video in another website.

Dingalink is a direct link to a specific place in a video. (a beginning time and an end time) Dingalinks have the ability for users to direct viewers directly to a relevant part of a video, without the viewer having to watch the video in its entirety. They are used with video blogs when others who write blogs, articles, emails, etc., have the aim of discussing only one segment of an entire video post. The term was named after's technical advisor Greg Dingle, who initially developed the technology.

On, direct linking is often useful in the discussion surrounding a specific "diavlog" to refer to a particular point (or points) in the discussion to clarify what is being commented on. The direct linking can be automatically generated from the Bloggingheads Flash video player, through the adjustment of the beginning and end of the video that one might want to display. (Start/End time can also be manually edited once the code is generated.)

Embedding of video is a feature that was added to in 2008 as a consequence of converting to Flash Video. It allows for bloggers and other websites to embed the video player into their blog or website so that the content can be viewed locally instead of the need to visit the actual site. This feature is similar to the YouTube and Google Video (among others) feature which had previously become prevalent on the internet.

Contributors to[edit]

While many of the initial diavlogs featured Wright and Kaus exclusively, other regular participants at have grown to include many differing ideologies and viewpoints, politically, scientifically, and philosophically. Regular contributors include Ann Althouse, Peter Beinart, Rosa Brooks, Jonathan Chait, David Corn, Ross Douthat, Daniel Drezner, Conor Friedersdorf, Jonah Goldberg, John Horgan, Ezra Klein, Eli Lake, Glenn Loury, Megan McArdle, John McWhorter, James Pinkerton, Mark Schmitt and Matthew Yglesias, among many others.

Apart from the regular contributors, a host of well known occasional guests have appeared, usually in the form of being interviewed. Among others, the political scientist Francis Fukuyama talked about his book America at the Crossroads; the Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg discussed his book The Accidental Empire (about the history of the settlements);[42] The Washington Post columnist Joel Achenbach on an article of his about global warming deniers[43] (among other topics[44]); Andrew Sullivan on his book The Conservative Soul;[45][46] biogerentologist Aubrey de Grey on how to defeat the "disease" of aging;[10] philosopher David Chalmers;[11] Nate Silver (of;[16] and Craig Venter, director of the Human Genome Project, who spoke of future scientific innovations he is currently pursuing.[47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BusinessWeek Profiles Robert Wright's | The New America Foundation". July 3, 2006. Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Eat The Press | Bloggingheads Gets A Cash Infusion From Angel Investor Rosencrans: "Obviously There Is The Possibility Of Financial Gain, But That's Not The Point"". The Huffington Post. January 26, 2007. Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  3. ^ A Biden-Trump Rematch? | Bill Scher, Matt K. Lewis & Robert Wright | The DMZ, retrieved April 28, 2022
  4. ^ Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Bellafante, Ginia (May 4, 2006). "Watching Rigorous Talk on a He Said, He Said Blog". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  6. ^ "Science Saturday".
  7. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on November 4, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  8. ^ "'PZ Myers on Blogging Heads' by -". July 22, 2007. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  9. ^ "The Loom : Tomorrow: Talking To Craig Venter". Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c "diavlogs". Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  11. ^ a b "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  12. ^ "Phil Plait ditches bloggingheads, too!". Archived from the original on September 10, 2009.
  13. ^ "The Week in Blog".
  14. ^ "diavlogs". Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  15. ^ "diavlogs". Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  16. ^ a b "diavlogs". Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  17. ^ "First diavlog ever posted on". January 1, 1970. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  18. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on September 2, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  19. ^ "Althouse: Let's take a closer look at those breasts". September 15, 2006. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  20. ^ "post 005716". Feministing. September 16, 2006. Archived from the original on June 25, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  21. ^ Beyerstein, Lindsay (September 16, 2006). "Majikthise : Let's take a closer look at those nuts". Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  22. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  23. ^ 7 Diggs (March 26, 2007). "Ann Althouse loses it…". Crooks and Liars. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  24. ^ "Althouse gets a bit angry... | MetaFilter". MetaFilter<!. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  25. ^ "Reason Magazine – Grande "Conservative" Blogress Diva Ann Althouse Among the "True Believers" -What Really Happened?". Reason. December 29, 2006. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  26. ^ "Matthew Yglesias (March 27, 2007) – A Medium Comes into Its Own (Media)". The Atlantic. March 27, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  27. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  28. ^ Fish, Stanley (April 21, 2001). "The New York Times > Editorials and Opinion". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  29. ^ "Bloggingheads: The God of Baseball | New York Times Video". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  30. ^ "diavlogs". Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  31. ^ "". Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  32. ^ "Two Bloggers Set Up a Web Site To Go Head to Head". The New York Sun. November 13, 2006. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  33. ^ "Econ prof Loury takes on the blogosphere – Campus News". Brown Daily Herald. Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  34. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on September 2, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  35. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  36. ^ [1] Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ a b "LISTSERV 14.4". March 1, 2006. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  38. ^ "Althouse: Official Song of the Althouse/Goldberg Diavlog". December 26, 2006. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  39. ^ "Appearances and Media". Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  40. ^ "Global Warming Skeptics: The Tempest – Achenblog". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  41. ^ "diavlogue -diablogue - Google Search". Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  42. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  43. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  44. ^ "". Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  45. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  46. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  47. ^ "diavlogs". January 1, 1970. Archived from the original on November 26, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2009.

External links[edit]