Culture Technology

Do blogs mean anything anymore?

Self-reflexive navel-gazing has long been the province of the blogger. “Look at me. I have a microphone. I have an opinion. You should, if not respect it, at least listen to it. Who knows, it might improve your life.”

I sometimes wonder if we bloggers are any different from the guy who stands in front of the San Francisco Shopping Centre with a megaphone and a placard strapped to his chest touting the imminent arrival of Extragalactic Overlords.

Social network zealots will argue that blogs democratize (if not flatten in a Tunguska sort of way) communication between individuals, groups of individuals, individuals and the industrial media complex, individuals/groups and their government, etc. Those of us interested in the signal-noise ratio blogs invariably produce would alternately argue that a lot of people don’t have anything to say, but they keep on talking and typing as if, like a zit, their point will pop out and splatter against the mirror of modern society.

Blogging is egalitarian. Egalitarianism is, by definition, good. But the egalitarianism of a thing does not present the case for its necessity, its value, or its importance. Because blogs can be anything they want to be — from free-form poetic associations to lucid coherent analyses of [insert topic], their range creates considerable variety and color. People feel heard and can share through an instrument that no one can police (sort of). For all these reasons, I like that blogging is here and here to stay for a while.

Given all these reasons, I wonder what we actually accomplish?

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