Saturday, September 25, 2004

why do a blog?

Although its ubiquity may make us think otherwise, the internet is still a very new medium and the consensus etiquette is still evolving.

As it becomes more prevalent, emails become more personal. Five years ago it was common for people to visibly stick all the addresses at the top of a mass mailing, and for the recipients to copy the whole list and add it to their address book for the sending of forwarded virtual humour.

('Virtual reality' is a contrivance that's almost like reality. 'Virtual humour' is a joke that's almost, like, funny).

But the evaporation of email's novelty and the advent of spam meant people wanted email only from people they know. Now, as we handle more and more personal email, and as doing your own site becomes easier, so the forwarded-funny is on the wane and the blog is on the rise.

Despite the belief of those of us who have a computer as a combination of fifth limb and second brain, the blog is still a minority interest and the entire form is still unknown to many. To those of you unfamiliar with the format, it's a clear evolution from the zine culture of the 80s and 90s. Just like a zine, it's a personal scrapbook of things, some written by the editor, some pinched and/or pointing to good stuff done by others. All of it is done small-scale for the love of it, by those conscious of having something to say.

I'm sure it's no coincidence that most of my friends who do blogs - Jim, Gyrus, Jon, Justin - are all people who did a shitload of zinery in decades past.

Like zines, blogs are as diverse as the people that make them, but with the one unifying constant - they all plug others they like. If you spend much time online, checkout others, make a blogs folder in your Favorites. And put Green Fairy in it. By far my fave, you shouldn't ever be wasting your time here if you're not up to date there.

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