|Who Let the Blogs Out?|
Who Let the Blogs Out?, by Biz Stone has a lot of good information about when and why blogging got started from someone who was part it. I read the book several years ago, and know that now, while the history is good, some of the tips and tricks for bloggers are outdated. One thing I hoped to learn, however, is why the general public is writing and reading blogs. I know why I write one--it's considered a cutting edge part of web development. I have a variety of “web presence,” from Twitter, G+, to a personal FB page, an art and photo gallery as well as a website (that covers all of the above), so I felt I should have a blog. Stone says it's good for links, for search engine optimization, for credibility. (Credibility? Hmm. I'm not sure about that. Now that anyone can develop a blog on any topic, how can credibility be ascertained?)
When I first got in the mix, I was (and am still) baffled by online Web sites and blogs that reveal the private side of the creator with pages of family recipes, pages on favorite pets, and so on. What, who, how can someone believe their life is so unique and important that they should broadcast it to the world? I imagine many of those insider looks were meant for family and friends, and the Internet was rather intrusive. Yet even with privacy choices on publishing a blog, the majority are open for all to read.
An insight in the Stone book suggests people are gaa gaa about splashing themselves all over cyberspace because it means they're being published. Blogs are considered a publishing tool, and it seems the mystique about "being published" has made blogging a godsend for many people. MY WORDS ARE OUT THERE FOR OTHERS TO READ! In his introduction, Stone says, "Blogging is…a low barrier of entry to publishing that gives everyone a voice." So what are we seeing, a world full of remote and unimportant "everyones" who suddenly have a way to make themselves seem more significant?Is that what the modern culture has come to in the industrialized world? And “selfies” fit into this, too. On this level, blogging parallels the cell phone and electronic communication mania. To me it smacks of some insecurity that a person can't even go grocery shopping without calling a friend, parent, spouse, or neighbor while they're at it. Certainly the electronics and communication industries are making billions from this, and therefore promote it heavily, coming up with new incentives: the camera phone, a joke of the day, top hits tunes, streaming live TV, eBook readers. Most of the newer ones have more computing power than the average laptop.
But the blogging provider-industry doesn't have the same monetary incentive. Many blogs are free, apps are usually built in to Web design software, and the development software (if you don’t want to use an existing service) is moderately inexpensive. Because of this, I consider blogs a more curious happening than the Madison-Ave.-induced need for electronic paraphernalia. Also, with the nearly instant Print-On-Demand trends, including DIY eBooks, there are many, many ways to get published. Yet blogging continues.
Unfortunately, Stone's book didn’t satisfy my curiosity. Maybe someone reading this will have an idea to what blogging really means (or reflects, or implies).