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The increasing popularity of blogs has me worried. My
first thought was that as more and more people document
their lives, journalists may become mere curiosities: You
mean you actually get PAID to write for a living? What an
antique notion. Today, I realize that the more interesting
issues concern how the trust between reader and author
evolves with this new documentary form, and how that
becomes subverted and perverted as the casual and
anecdotal blogspeak takes over for real reported work and
thoughtful analysis. I'll get to this in a moment, bear
with me for now.
It could be that 2004 will be a watershed year for the
Web: from this moment, more people will be writing blogs
than reading them. If this doesn't happen, it certainly
seems imminent. And I am sure that somewhere someone has
already made that assertion on their blog.
A good blog is hard to do. It takes a lot of time to
write, and to post, and to read comments and respond to
them. They provide insight into the blogger's daily trials
and tribulations, a combination of modern age diary and
Kerouac experiential writing.
Sometimes, the boundaries between a blog and a moderated
discussion page or a frequent Web column (such as this
one) are hard to really define -- at least for me. One of
my former colleagues -" a very prolific writer and
successful columnist -" tried to write a blog, and lasted
a week or so before giving up.
But despite these hurdles, soon everything will be
transcribed and documented by someone online. Good
indicators of this trend are what I call clogs -" CEO
blogs "- that are done by the head honchos of Sun
Microsystems (Blogs.sun.com) and the Dallas Mavericks
(www.blogmaverick.com). Both have been blogging away for
some time. That link to Sun's site will lead you to dozens
of other employee-based bloggers, some of whom have
thousands of visitors. Maybe this is why Sun is in such
trouble: instead of blogging away, how about selling some
more product and getting a better handle on this Linux
thing for once and for all? But I digress.
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