October 26, 2005

Blog ubiquity, or dubiousity?

From Jill/txt:
"According to a survey just done for Mandag Morgen (full text subscription only) and reported in Dagbladet, every third Norwegian published something online last week. Isnít that amazing? On the other hand, there are only 30,000 Norwegian blogs, and even thatís just an educated guess based on various data and not, obviously, an exact number. "

Why do we publish SO MUCH?

I'm interested in why people want to publish, and if everyone's publishing, what does it mean for print culture and mass media in general? When mass print first became ubiquitous, people were enthralled. It was a whole new world of possibilities. Now, it is hard to find a place to rest your eyes without some text appearing in your field of vision.

blogs could be considered a whole new world of possibilites as well, but, with everything given, something taken, and vice a versa. What exactly is the significance of what we might now call further mass publishing, rather than mass printing. This seems like an opportunity to dissect the various ideas of what it means to "publish" something.

Public television offers time slots for people who want to put their own show on television. Public radio offers opportunities for listeners to call in. Anyone can print up a pamphlet or a flyer, or even their own magazine or newspaper. But, the big question is: who are you reaching with these mediums, and to what outcome?

The great leveler?

The ease of self-publication creates a crowded but democratized mass media--supposedly. but you can pay premiums to search engines so that your business will be first hits. In advertising the big bucks get the best slots.

I need to think about it more, but what exactly does the popularity of blogs actually mean? Is it a trend? A natural phasing out of the pen and paper journal? A formalized chat place? A place for 15 minutes of recognition?

Looking back on the history of orality, literacy, and publishing/communicating, I'm more apt to think that the web is not a phenomenon, but a part of the process.

I've been reading Tim Berners-Lee's book, Weaving the Web, about the advent of the World Wide Web. His comments on the Web really resonated with me. To paraphrase, he said that all information derives its meaning in relation to other information. i.e. the dictionary defines words with other words. He said, what is important, is the STRUCTURE of the information--the connectivity, which is what I've been rhapsodizing about all semester.

In that way, blogs are perfect for the web. So often, the postmodern is isolated, even barren, thinking there are no commonalities between us. But, everyone is connected, and the web can illustrate that, especially through the mathematical routes that we may not have thought of on our own.

But, then,can the altruistic intentions of the web actually work? What the Marxists forgot, is that for the plan to work, everyone has to agree on the philosophy, and it's awfully hard to achieve mass altruism. Posted by wood0072 at October 26, 2005 11:15 AM