Thursday, March 28, 2002

SOME PEOPLE GET IT AND SOME PEOPLE DON'T
I found your site through the Blogs of Note on Blogger.com and in the short time I've had to browse through it I have to say it's really enjoyable. I've noticed fantastic commentary and links to interesting articles, oh and of course, that little bit of personal touch.

Thanks for writing for the world to see.

Jenn


Firstly, thanks to Jenn for writing. And thanks to the many other folks who've read this blog and sent the love. I hope you check back often and I hope I upload something worth your time.

But here's a question for bloggers out there - have you noticed that world can be divided into folks who get blogging and those who don't? When I tell friends I publish a blog, their response is almost always Why? These folks fall into two categories. There are those who think blogging is an online diary and they can't imagine a reason to put a diary online, available for the whole world to see. The other group - often web savvy folks - can't comprehend why anyone would expend time doing something on the web unless it was leading to bucks. For them, a good web site is a slick, high concept deal backed by venture capitalists. Oh, one more - there are also the jaded, anonymity-loving programmers who cross both groups and figure - Damn, why create content when everything dot com goes bankrupt in six months anyway? We care about projects as long as they pay and then its onto the next gig.

The idea that individuals all over the world might use a little slice of cyberspace to create blogs and reach out beyond the walls of their everyday lives sounds so alien and trite to a web pro that I might as well be typing in Martian.

Personally, I think slick, high concept sites have nearly killed the web. I have nothing against good programmers or clever sites, but sites should really offer something better than an eye-catching Flash animation on the opening page. I like blogs because they're amateurish and of utterly no interest to the professionals. And when they're good, they're real.

When all this web stuff started, people said Content will be king!. Then they realized how expensive is was to generate interesting content, so they back-peddled and said Concept is king. A good idea and market share were all you needed to be a bazillionaire. Shoes.com, that's worth a billion bucks right there, huh? Hey look, I've invented a silly Flash game that let's you punch Madonna. That's be good for a couple of million eyeballs a day, right?

Well, we've all watched that blimp burn and crash and now, we get articles like this in today's NY Times As the Web Matures, Fun Is Hard to Find. Basically, it's saying that people are finding less of interest on the web. Porn is taking over and in short, there's a dearth of compelling content.

Oops, did you notice that? We're back to content again. Here's my favorite bit from that article There are still islands of innovation and creativity on the Web. For example, iFilm .com shows eclectic video clips posted by Web users. Among longtime Web surfers, personal online diaries, known as Weblogs or blogs, are often cited as the last bastion of interesting material.

The web is about communication and a blog is personal broadcast communication at its most basic level. Face it, eMail has been the killer app for the Internet age (Instant Messaging is a close second). Both of those are about personal communication. Blogs are the next step - bloggers get to play editors in their own little world and the role of the editor is critical. That's why Chat Rooms don't interest me - there's no editor. Instead, there are a lot of losers trolling for teenage girls (or boys). When people express an appreciation for a blog, their expressing and appreciation for tastes of the guy or girl behind it. The editor.

So why are blogs worth it? People need a form of broadcast communication that's not ruled or regulated by AOL/Time Warner, the TV networks or the government. It is critical, especially in this day and age when the FCC is bending over and lubing up to accommodate media corporations with their acquisition orgy. Forget community media. Forget locally owned and operated anything. In a few years, all media outlets will be owned by five or less companies. As Warren's friend once said, Someday, you won't drink a cup of water, you'll drink a cup of Disney.

But since nobody can make a buck on blogs, nobody will care. And that corporate indifference can be your freedom.

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