Moorcock's Metaphysics (3): The Eternal Champion
Intellectual Property

Skimming the Internet

When I started blogging, a scratch under three years ago, I had a tight circle of blogs which I read and commented on regularly. It helped that I had a gap in my work at the time. But over the years, the number of blogs in my reader has ballooned such that now I can rarely do more than skim lightly over the surface of them all, picking out the odd thing of interest to respond to. I imagine this is a common experience.

I often make the comparison that having a blog reader is like having a custom newspaper - you decide which columnists to "hire" to add content to your daily rag, and then you flip idly through the pages looking for whatever happens to interest you. Yet there are distinct differences: there are no front page headlines in your blog content, for instance, and if you miss a newspaper one day you can just pick up the next day's; if you miss reading your blog content one day, you have twice as much to look at the next.

I now acquire a tremendous proportion of my fresh information from blogs, although to be fair the feeds I read include news services such as the BBC... I'm sure I'm not alone in facing this situation. The internet has become the de facto source of information for a whole generation, and doubtless beyond. I would, I suppose, lament the fact that my new sources for information are not trained journalists - if it were not abundantly apparent that most trained journalists (in the US, at least) have all but lost any trace of the professional ethics that once went with this profession, and are more interested in the news as a profit centre (or a partisan political tool) than as a  public information service.

In a scant twenty years the internet has insinuated itself in almost every aspect of our lives, a trend that seems likely to continue.  In the 1950s, it was said to be the dawn of "The Atomic Age" - but it was the computer, and the internet it spawned, that has risen to become the most pervasive technology of our time. Now people talk of "The Internet Age". By 2050, even the internet may seem old hat, and who knows what will have our attention then. While we wait to find out, we can still take a moment now and then to marvel at the tremendous transformation that has taken place within our own lifetimes.


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I know exactly what you mean. With the barrier to entry so low, there are an overwhelming number of blogs competing for your attention. In the end, bloggers need to either have something worth saying or be a person worth following.

Jason, I had an idea after reading your reply. What if there was some kind of "blogger certification". It would be kind of like the Better Business Bureau, it wouldn't really hold any legal clout, but the Bureau of Blogger Certification would review your blog to determine if your content was worth reading. If you got "accredited", it would demonstrate that your site either has good content, or you are a person worth following & it would help potential readers make a more educated decision and filter out worthless blogs.


Thanks for the comments!

I'm glad to hear I am not alone in experiencing a touch of vertigo next to the volume of content on offer!

I suppose what you're suggesting, dj i/o, is something like the "Fortune 500" of blogs. :D

I'm not sure I would enjoy the competition that would be implied by such a situation, but at the same time I think that this sort of thing is inevitable, and arguably is already happening. But with something as diverse as the internet, we might end up seeing hundreds of different "certifications", depending upon the topic of the blog.

Best wishes!

Ah the problem isn't as nearly bad for me now as it was in the heyday of my usenet newsgroups use!

I hate to add to your blog overload Chris, but since you asked me to let you know: My own starting attempts at a gaming-related blog (as opposed to the usual personal stuff) is now in a somewhat-fit-for public viewing state. I'm far from prolific anyway though at this point. :) And like myself, it's far more 'low-brow' and not directly relevant to this site though I feel Chris! I'm not sure it would pass the proposed "blogger certification"; Hah! But I've had some fun anyway so far, which is my only real goal. :)

Aside on the internet topic: At the time I first got 'into' the internet (heh, well computers and PCs in general too - it was all new to me at once, I really jumped in the deep end!) I heard a song called "Information High" that put my experience into song rather accurately. :) Recommended! (In case anyone reading is really interested it's a pretty-much techno track but with strong female vocals & it's from the Macross Plus soundtrack, but only appeared on a Japan-only CD single so very few were (or are) aware of it, even amongst "fans", as it was also stripped from Western releases of Macross Plus on video due to soundtrack contract wrangles).

Rik: so where is this blog, then? Link tease. ;)

Oh, I see - it's linked via your name. Added to my reader and Other Curiosities list, so expect me to be skimming over your posts like the rest of the internet. :D

I'm not sure I ever read this much, even when I was a usenet junkie... I feel like I'm in a vortex of ever expanding magnitude. Oh well, at least it's a fun maelstrom. :) Best wishes!

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