OK, something I’ve been mulling lately.
In a recent screed, I pretty much outlined my beliefs about blogs:
- Blogs are cool and fun to do, especially for the word-inclined
- Most blogs aren’t worth the paper they aren’t printed on except to the people that make them, or a “small circle of friends” (important distinction: Hey, my taste in books is worthless to others. I love my books and like my taste. That sorta thing)
- While blogs are changing things, they are not creating the earth-shattering upheavals many seem to posit for this medium
Right or wrong, that’s what I believe.
But let’s look at that last point: “…blogs are changing things”
While I don’t believe they will be the end of journalism as we know it today, just as radio or TV didn’t end the types of journalism (print => radio => TV => Web => blog) that came before each, blogs will change and extend journalism.
Each medium extended journalism – and, yes, to the slight detriment of the other conduits. That’s to be expected. But wipe out this conduit or the other? No way. Look at the most ancient conduit: word of mouth.
Still around. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen a movie, read a book, possibly even voted for a politician based primarily upon what someone else has told you.
OK, we’ve flogged that horse to death – and that’s not what I wanted to say here.
Blogs are changing things, but I think one of the most influential roles blogs – the whole blog movement – are playing is that to facilitate change.
I’ve been reading Dave Winer more closely the last few months, and through him and other folks I read/have corresponded with, I’m seeing a trend of blogs speeding change and standardization – the target is blogs, but it is spilling over to other areas.
Was that obtuse enough? Some examples:
- I don’t know – and don’t much care – about which of RSS or blogs came first, but blogs are the first place I have really seen RSS take hold. And now these feeds are popping up in places like news.com and other non-blog sites. It’s getting fairly commonplace on tech sites (understandable), but if it’s not a fad it will bleed into the regular Web news sites and then beyond. That’s good.
- There was an article Dave pointed to today that talked about RSS-to-iPod (Apple’s) software. As other sites – such as CNN – begin to deploy RSS, suddenly your iPod carries CNN headlines. We are reaching that convergence point, and it’s because of blogs…indirectly.
- The whole concept of journalists posting ALL notes/full transcript of interviews etc on their blogs (sanctioned/required or not by news outfit) may drive things to the point where journalists blog interviews with foreign leaders just like the gang at Boing Boing blog tech conferences. How cool would that be?
- There seems to be a very strong open-source developer community behind blogs, and a lot of impressive folks (Dave W., Ray Ozzie etc) are putting code or concepts out there; the community responds, BANG! Better software (or, at least, a VERY short “vaporware” interval).
This – to me – is an interesting sidebar to the whole blogsplosion.
Worth noting; worth watching.
As I said sometime earlier, no one is really sure what the whole blog thing will lead to (if anything); it may stay the same or change considerably.
What I didn’t consider was it’s impact on those around and in it.