A Blogosphere Manifesto
A Blogosphere Manifesto or Blogifesto
Would you like to know a morsel or two more about blogging? Hopefully, I can assist by sharing my finds with you in this research and gathering along with a few of my own points of view! The blogoshpere is a world, a place, a time, an adventure, learning, teaching, filled with ideals, overflowing with hope, crowded with dreams, loaded with complaints, laden with people, virtual, real, overflowing with plenty of feelings, chock-full of confusion, a plethora of publicity, scary, sad, shocking, jam-packed with friends, complete with enemies, political, fun, consuming, sharing, distributing, crammed with concepts and one of most astonishing sets of technology and tools formed and implemented for communication that I’ve seen in my lifetime. )
The history of blogs is still being written and rewritten as we blog-on. Oh yes, archived, deciphered, pondered , argued, ranted, raved, learned, deleted shaped and reshaped as seen or believed by individuals, groups, companies, corporations, organizations, novices, experts and even governments. Who had the first blog? Who created the phrase blog? What is a blog? What is blogging? When did it explode? Where are all the blogs? Who are some of the bloggers? What are some of the milestones in blogging? How was it formed? Why blog? What has it become? Where is it going? Are blogs just a buzzword that will be remembered or not remembered? Is blogging a fad? What are blogs, blogging, bloggers and the blogosphere all about?
The first question I will look for some answers to is what is a blog? Here are just a couple definitions consolidated by Google “Definitions of Blog on the Web: ”. A couple samples here from Google: “
“A blog is information that is instantly published to a Web site. Blog scripting allows someone to automatically post information to a Web site. The information first goes to a blogger Web site. Then the information is automatically inserted into a template tailored for your Web site.” ( http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/netterms.htm )
“A public web site where users post informal journals of their thoughts, comments, and philosophies, updated frequently and normally reflecting the views of the blog's creator.”
( http://www.geocities.com/Athens/2405/glossary.html )
There is a vast variety of definition that can be found for the definition of blog:
blog - (n.) Short for Web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author. (v.) To author a Web log. Other forms: Blogger (a person who blogs). (http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/b/blog.html )
“Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer” ( http://www.m-w.com/info/04words.htm )
blog (blg) n. A weblog. intr.v. blogged, blog•ging, blogs To write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog. ( http://www.thefreedictionary.com/BLOG )
Definition of "blog:" A blog is a journal (online diary) made available on the Internet/web by any individual. Most blogs are maintained by people who know nothing about web site design or development. ( http://webweevers.com/blog.htm )
noun (plural blogs)
Same as weblog
intransitive verb (past and past participle blogged, present participle blog•ging, 3rd person present singular blogs)
Definitions: have weblog: to create or run a weblog"
( http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_701704685/blog.html )
Blogging MSN Encarta article: ( http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_701713240/Blogging.html )
Enough of the definition for now I’m sure you have more then a drift of the many definitions and an idea of what a blog may be at this point. Now off to more of the origins of at least some of the opinions of where web logging and blogs get their roots.
A quick overview with a few noteworthy highlights, from several resources with many different contributing events, passing us through the past, present and into the future of the blogosphere:
Dave Winer contributing that, “The first weblog was the first website, http://info.cern.ch/, the site built by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. From this page TBL pointed to all the new sites as they came online. Luckily, the content of this site has been archived at the World Wide Web Consortium. (Thanks to Karl Dubost for the link.)”
BlockStar has quick reference timeline that states, “June 1993: Netscape begins running it's What's New! list of sites.”
Wikipedia cites, “Originally, International Weblogger's Day had been commemorated on the 9th of June, but truth be told that date was a random choice. In order to come up with a more sensible background to such an important date, it was decided that the day shift 5 days to the 14th, the day whose roots lie back in 1993, when the word 'weblog' had not even been coined yet. (Yes, Jorn Barger did coin the word in December 1997, with Peter Merholz abbreviating it to 'blog' in April or May of 1999).”
The blog origin according to several sources could be a bit illusive but we can visit the ones that are appearing widely accepted.
“Justin Hall, who began eleven years of personal blogging in 1994 while a student at Swarthmore College, is generally recognized as one of the earliest bloggers”, according to Wikipedia Blogging Begins section. Some additional notes in the same section about who named web-logs and blogs, “The term "weblog" may have been coined by Jorn Barger in December 1997. The shorter version, "blog", was coined by Peter Merholz, who, in April or May of 1999, broke the word weblog into the phrase "we blog" in the sidebar of his weblog.”
“I PROPOSE A NAME for the intellectual cyberspace we bloggers occupy: the Blogosphere. Simple enough; the root word is logos, from the Greek meaning, variously: In pre-Socratic philosophy, the principle governing the cosmos, the source of this principle, or human reasoning about the cosmos; Among the Sophists, the topics of rational argument or the arguments themselves. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language)” posted at the DailyPundit. The Blogosphere was re-coined in 2002 by William Quick according to Blogosphere – Wikipedia page. The term blogosphere was originally coined on September 10, 1999 by Brad L. Graham, as a joke, according to Wiki too.
More and more people find out about blogs. There is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge to know what is a blog, how to blog, where to blog and for general knowledge on blogs, blogging, bloggers and the blogosphere. Then there is almost an overwhelming response to provide this type assistance and understanding.
There is an enormous amount of history within the many links provided via this post that can assist you in becoming an expert in the area of weblogs and how they have formulated to the current frenzy of activities. I’m sure some good researchers could even dig up so interesting facts and aspects that have been misplaced or forgotten. The perseverance, dedication, attitude and ingenuity of the many bloggers out here are some of the reasons for so many rising stars as part of the blogosphere, in my opinion.
This brings me to the plethora of contributions of the net citizenry, tools, services, blogs and the blogosphere itself. Or maybe in this case we can call the net citizenry the blogzenry and blogger citizenship can be blogzship. I’ll have to define a list of new terminology for this some where if I’m to maintain the title of blogosphere manifesto.
Weblogging may have been a bit simpler and more comprehensible for a few intelligent or like minded thinking people to enjoy in the non abundant days with less usage and patronage; still I’m sure it had its many challenges. Then from the end of the 90’s to the present day the masses emerged not only as visitors but as bloggers, publishers, software, services, companies, and so much more. Blogs now exist in the millions, instead of a handful, for politics, churches, governments, politicians, organizations, hate groups, peace movements, revolutions, moms, dads, writers, marketers, education, sex and in more subjects, flavors and variations than most of us can possibly envision.
Or the phrase dooced became well known as this blogger and others learn some dangers of blogging about work and losing their jobs.
Tools and services have come in hoards for creating, utilizing and being able to try and make heads and tails of the blogosphere. Blogger, OpenDiary, TypePad, Movable Type, Wordpress to mention only a few of the large list that entered and changed the blogosphere forever. There are plenty of blogging directories, portals, aggregators and search engines to help sort through the blogosphere such as: Blog Catalog, Blawg, Blogarama, Blogebrity, Blog Universe, Blogchild, Band Weblogs, Technorati, Intelliseek's BlogPulse, Popdex, Google Blog Search, IceRocket blog search, Feedster, BlogFlux, Bloglines, PubSub, BlogExcerpts, BlogTree, QuackTrack, Bloggernity and BlogsNow. Here are a couple listings of blog directory listings at Open Directory, Yahoo Directory and Google Directory.
Memes, games, contests and snarky along with rants and raves join the maze of musings that hit the blogosphere. Moms, Dads, life styles, hobbies, photographers, religion, non-profits, news, politics and students storm the blogging world.
Bloggers and citizen journalists are covering everything in the news and out from wars, celebrities, disasters, news, politicians, events, elections, corruption, companies, technology and even other bloggers. They are beating the mainstream media many times because they are already there or have less bureaucratic channels to deal with. They are serving themselves and not the bottom dollar that companies do have to worry about. There are disadvantages to this to such as bias, lack of training but those exist in the mainstream media too. There are talented individuals and groups both in and out of the mainstream media. As I said in the past I don’t really like calling the old media outlets the mainstream so I will call them the old media.
Splogs, spam, comment spam, commercialism take hold it’s not all bad commercialism has its goods and bads. Commercialism brings resources, money, people and interest. The spam and splogs and comment spam also seem to increase when commercial interests arrive.
Blog traffic generators seem to be doing better then the web counter parts in that they are not filled and almost only contain splogs but plenty of real bloggers can be found in these exchanges. A couple of the Blog traffic exchanges include: BlogExplosion, Blogclicker, Blogsoldiers, BlogAdvance, BlogAzoo and Blogxchange.
Trolls, lurkers, predators, stalkers, spyware, scams, viruses and even bosses and family at times can be dangers of the blogosphere in today’s day and age. Knowledge, safety precautions such as anonymity, security software package can help in prevention of becoming a victim. You lock your car at a busy mall, well there is a lot more people on the internet to beware of then the mall parking lot.
The journalism vs. the blogosphere wars come in and out of the lime light for a while.
Blogging has become a living and growing multi-media. In my view it is prevailing over what is currently still called the main stream media of 2005 but blogging has taken on its own mainstream aura. There are groups, conferences, consortiums, meetings, gatherings, rights, protection, movements, battles and organizations. For blogging to continue and grow with integrity, power, usefulness and momentum it will need serious insight and pro-active action along with reactive action to learn and not let the power itself corrupt. There will always be exploitive, copious and manipulative tactics at labor that can make an astonishing and captivating collective become ineffectual.
The quantity of words, text, images, sounds, videos, voices, books, articles, blogzines, graphics and ideas from the masses can be overwhelming and even tend to make some back off wanting simpler answers and solutions. They are all simple answers but quantitative mass media explosion can make the simplest of things overwhelming and seem insurmountable in the information overflow era. However, at the same time these same masses can bring enlightenment to the masses that will make the printing press and nuclear physics seem like drops in the bucket of history.
The past history of blogging origins is absorbing, fascinating and worth musing. The present is exciting, incredible and a menagerie of complexity. The future is exhilarating, exasperating and can be very rewarding or disappointing.
My mind just races with the possibilities and probabilities of social networking, blogging, Podcasts, RSS, forums, vlogs, communities, technology, Web 2.0 and much more that I comprehend a small portion of it all.
There are walls to be leaped, traditions to be broken and learning to take place. We are living in a new world that the blogzenry needs to take on great responsibilities. It is a time where governments need to be changed enormously. Learning to change quicker with better choices and understanding for all is in the works. It is a massive feat to be learned, taught and embarked upon but there will be many victories and bumpy rides along the journey that could be sparked from the blogzenry itself.
I will need to explain this term a bit called blogosphere inverted pyramid, which will be called blogovermid, as I progress with this blogument. Blogovermid is from my journalism days of learning the inverted pyramid style of writing. Where you place all the important items in the top sentence and work your way down the article in order of less precedence the lower you get. This way an editor could easily chop parts of an article from the bottom for space or other reasons with out worries that the story would be unfinished or not have the substance needed to make the article important or understandable. Now I applied this in a some what inverted form to my days of learning computer programming languages and other higher programming languages and scripting. The idea of creating the programming technologies tools is for greater efficiency many times so you start at the bottom and build for the bigger picture. Now a higher language has tools that are already made and can be dropped and dragged to create code faster, easier and more efficiently. The point is that technology and communications are working in the inverted pyramid mode but from the bottom up. It keeps multiplying exponentially. This creates what I call the blogovermid. The blogosphere is multiplying in this blogovermid mode that is still only in its child stages. Now the question is as a society and network are the blogzship ready to take advantage of the stages heading our way. Will it be taken over by the governments and corporations or is the blogzenry ready to take control and make it a better world exponentially.
Blogs, blogging and the blogosphere future is filled with so many things that can take off and become entities of their own. A blog is relatively a simple and small item. It is the creative ideas, communication and collaborative associations created by individuals and groups that produce the wonders and beauty of this beast the blog. It has already had strong affects on the media, politics, politicians, companies, corporations, health, help, police, communities, projects. As these small ideas are generated and acted upon as a group they can have magnificent results. Yes, there can be disastrous results also and that is where cautious and thoughtful communication and cross-talk is very beneficial. Nothing is perfect in this world that I ever new of and probably never will be. However, there is great hope as the individual can take control of their own lives. Large corporations and government don’t have the ethics, feelings, power or strength to do what the individuals can. They are a system that has to follow a set of established rules and like a computer and can not realize or take action as quick or with human thought process as the individual can. In a world of lighting fast changes the individual through blogging and other web technologies have the opportunity to take much more control of their lives and help a lot more people in the process.
Imagine a blog literacy program started small in one community. It could become big success and as the internet becomes free in more communities and cities such as Charleston SC and San Francisco CA there will even be more opportunities for such programs. The same opportunities increase as computers become cheaper or free to most Americans. Nothing is free I know but working smarter and fairer not harder and corrupted could benefit a lot more people. The tools are available to make things like this possible where all Americans could read. How about a place where there was more virtual schooling. Only once a week would children actually go to a school, four days a week they stay at home and learn virtually through the computer with their class and teacher. You don’t need schools to be as big to support students because you could have 1/5 of the school in attendance one day a week. This way there is still non-virtual contact and socializing. School buses would only need to be at ¼ or 1/5 of the normal usage. Gas would be saved, traffic would be lightened. Yes, I know there are problems such as the need for fewer teachers and less drivers. However, this is where some funds are funneled to other programs and jobs that you always wanted but couldn’t have because you were short on funds. You create other positions and add to other more productive devices such as digital photography, online book resources and other alternatives. This is one idea of the many things that can be done through blogs, social networking and other web technologies. Start small thing big and plan, review, test, execute and re-review again in a cycle of constant improvement. What future blogging ideas do you have that might be able to be deployed or tried? Let others know maybe they will like the idea, maybe they will help, maybe, it will change the world. What will the Blogosphere of the future be like? Where are we going to take it to?
These are not my all my thoughts alone but a gathering from many sources and attributed where and when appropriate. I am far from the expert on this subject and have little more then references, some participation and some memories of logs, weblogs and blogs or whatever you prefer to call them.
Below are a few of the references and places I visited for some of this information:
(IMPORTANT NOTE: I thank all of these people and groups for the resources they have provided, shared and contributed to the internet and with all of us in the blogosphere!)
BlogCruiser October 1, 2005
Please feel free to send feedback and to add additional historical, present and future tidbits to the comments, that I’ve failed to observe, which might need adding or that further expansion should be considered, thanks. My own personal health, physical, psychological and financial issues as I will put it should not affect my published material as much as it has lately. I’m trying to be a bit more dedicated with this one and hopefully creating something worth everyone’s time and being of some substance, use and maybe even a contribution to those in the blogosphere. I’ve gained so much from the blogosphere and people involved; hopefully this blogifesto gives a little back.
blogger citizenry = blogzenry
blogger citizenship = blogzship
blogosphere inverted pyramid = blogovermid
main stream media = old media
a long blog post = blogument
The living, breathing and growing blog manifesto = blogifesto
(Note with this concept I will try and continue to build upon this blogument blogifesto. I know I’ve only scratched the surface and the blogosphere is an on-going massive creation of many participants. I’ve missed so much in the past, present and future that I will try and continue to build on this blogument. It just took me a lot longer to even get this far into it, which is not where I wanted to be at this point. It is a much larger task then I anticipated it being, especially for the quality I wanted it to be. It’s not the quality or quantity but it may have to do for now, sigh, argh and all that.)
WARNING: Incomplete Post In Progress but if it’s anything like a blog or web site then it may always be incomplete but at least I’m trying… :) I have s lot more I would like to do to this post as an on-going project.