It seems sooner or later every blogger is bound to write a post about weblogging or to be more precise, “What We Blog About When We Blog About Blogs”:http://www.tenreasonswhy.com/weblog/archives/2003/06/04/what_we_blog_about_when_we_blog_about_blogs.html, “Why I Blog”:http://www.jacobsen.no/anders/blog/archives/2003/03/06/why_i_blog.html and “what’s the point of blogging?”:http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2003/10/04#a2500
Most people find the idea of a “weblog”:http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html bewildering. For those, there are “many”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/weblog/special/0,10627,744914,00.html “explanations”:http://mamamusings.net/archives/2003/04/24/blogs_101.php. It takes work, time and effort, and in the end whats it for? Besides an elite few, a blogger is not going to make money of his weblog. There is most likely never going to be a large enough number of readers to provide a ego boost. But both these questions miss the larger issue, which is “much better explained over at Plasticbag.org”:http://www.plasticbag.org/archives/2003/09/weblogs_and_the_mass_amateurisation_of_nearly_everything.shtml. “So why blog?”:http://www.jacobsen.no/anders/blog/archives/2003/03/06/why_i_blog.html I wrote earlier on “my reasons for starting a blog”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/weblogs/2003_12/reasons_for_blogging.html, and while in itself they are reason enough to do so, “intentions evolve”:http://www.provenanceunknown.com/archive/2003/06-03_incremental.html and so has this blog with it. Originally, this place was meant to be a storehouse of the best of the internet as I came across it, a sort of backup memory till such time as we can get “AI implants with massive storage”:http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.08/pwr_superpower.html. Then, it started to grow, all by itself, and without noticing I found myself actually writing. I have written much over the years, and it all remains locked up on paper, which is probably where it belongs anyways.
A weblog is an extremely interesting phenomenon. It can be viewed as an “essentially egotist activity”:http://mama.indstate.edu/users/bones/WhyIHateWebLogs.html, building emphereal houses in cyberspace. It can be argued that weblogs, unlike real houses, don’t provide any of the many utilities/advantages of a real house to their owners, which makes weblogs useless. There are many other reasons not to blog “over here”:http://info.org.il/weblog/, ironically posted on the web using blogging software. Blogging has “risks and benefits”:http://mamamusings.net/archives/2003/01/31/blogging_risks_and_benefits.php, but unlike other real-life events a weblog is usually in full control of the author, and they have only themselves to blame for possible bad events. For some, “a weblog can lead to great things”:http://www.dashes.com/anil/index.php?archives/006890.php for some people. In America, “blogs are shaping the political landscape”:http://www.dailykos.net/archives/004513.html. The world of journalism and media in the US is learning to keep an eye on the many political blogs, for they pounce on any media bias and error. “Journalism itself is changing”:http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2003/10/16/radical_ten.html, “possibly for the better”:http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/009flofq.asp. The “American media”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/world/2003_09/the_american_media_gets_off_its_knees.html is like a massive elephant, which takes time to change tracks and the better news and political weblogs are consistently months ahead.
Salam Pax, the famous “Baghdad blogger”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/blogger/0,13814,1018987,00.html changed many people’s perception of Iraq and the war. More “Iraqi’s”:http://www.buzzmachine.com/archives/2003_04.html#003480 are “starting to blog”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/world/2003_08/baghdad_blogs.html and changing people’s perception of Iraq.
These people have stories to tell, but what about the tens of thousands of other bloggers? “Writing for the living web”:http://www.alistapart.com/stories/writeliving/ is not easy, and most people fall by the wayside. The web is littered with dead blogs, “most little seen and quickly abandoned”:http://www.perseus.com/blogsurvey/, but “more are created every day”:http://dijest.com/bc/. The only thing for certain is that “weblogs have a future”:http://www.spy.co.uk/Articles/Spiked/Weblogging/.
As technology evolves, so do people. The horseless carriage was limited to the rich till Henry Ford made mass production affordable, and the whole world jumped into the automobile. Weblogging, or to be more accurate, self publishing tools are becoming increasingly easy to use. All the buzz words in the world mean nothing in front of that. Most people have no idea how to set the clock on their vcr, but everyone has one. When blogging becomes that easy, a large fraction of the world’s internet users are going to have one sooner or later. While they might not draw large audiences, even a audience of one is a lot more than none at all. That begs the question whether bloggers are looking for a audience in the first place… while many are, many aren’t and there are arguments for either side. Some blogs end up existing more for their readers than the blogger, which can make the process of blogging a burden. As with everything else, there’s a whole spectrum, with different blogs occupying different areas, virtual worlds defined by words, with the blogger free to move his blog into whatever domain desired. Online communites have existed since the first days of the internet, and the personal blog greatly enhances the formation of closer knit communities.
Continue reading The tao of blogging