The power of the blog

Brian Schkerke: [P]ower [is] granted to those who are in power only through the masses’ acquiescence…I’ve read a lot of criticism of blogs through the years, including from people who are bloggers and just don’t want to admit it. And just this week, on a discussion board, when someone asked if anyone knew of any good blogs on a particular subject matter, someone came on and said he avoids all blogs at all costs because reading about all of the personal details of people’s lives is a cure for insomnia.

This is in contrast to the discussions on that board, which sometimes put you to sleep but more often cause your blood pressure to skyrocket–unless watching aristocrats argue and actually mean it is your thing.

Every time you lower the barrier of entry, a lot of junk whooshes in. But something worthwhile will as well. Some blogs are changing the world, some are for entertainment purposes only, and others operate in specialized niches.

Accountability is always a good thing, and blogs provide it, both for each other and for bigger, more traditional media, as well as for the bigger world that the media covers.

I’ll stay in my niches. I played the political pundit game in college and ultimately found it just wasn’t for me, so I wound up “No Left Turns” and closed up that shop for good when they handed me a diploma and pushed me out the door.

Am I a blog fan? I wouldn’t say that. But I will say I always enjoy a good web site. Some of those happen to be run by large media conglomerates, and some happen to be run by someone with a laptop wearning pajamas.

And as for when I do laundry and what I eat for breakfast… That’s for me to know, OK?

3 thoughts on “The power of the blog

  • September 23, 2004 at 9:49 am
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    I miss knowing the details of the people’s lives I interact with. That’s what makes someone on a computer screen a friend as well as a resource.

    In the heyday of the WWIV BBS’ you could log on and at most interact with a few hundred people non interactively. Some of the best friends in my life have come from that timeframe — when you don’t know what a person looks like, only what they think, you tend to create longer relationships.

    The problem is that the Internet is now considered a technical resource. You use it to find an answer to your problem and that’s it. You don’t consider that there’s a person behind the answer, and that person might make a valuable general resource.

    I’d love to complain more but another project to be finished by the end of this week just landed in my email box. That leaves 9 to do before tomorrow.

  • September 23, 2004 at 12:25 pm
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    I read blogs for two reasons:

    1. To know what’s going on in my friends’ lives
    2. To know what’s going on in communities of interest

    I blog for the same reason. Not because I think I have some profound insight. Not because I think that the world needs to know that I lost a sock. Simply because it’s my online journal, a record of my thoughts and happenings in my life that are of interest to me. If people feel they want to read what I write, great. If not, no skin off my back.

    I particularly enjoy reading planet powered sites such as planet gnome and planet debian which aggregate the blogs of members of the community. It’s a great way to keep up with what is going on in the lives of a community’s members.

  • September 23, 2004 at 12:28 pm
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    This is my favorite blog. I learn about linux, trains, servers and those who serve. I would like to hear from Jacques Pierre CousteauVermouthBouillabaisse le Raunche de la Stenche and R. Collins Farquhar IV more often. They have an unusual perspective on life because of their great wealth.
    Dave’s funny, too.

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