Blogs: Vague, Irrelevant, Decentralized, Democratic and Empowering

Blogging in the post-9/11 period closed the gap between Internet and society. Whereas dot-com suits dreamt of mobbing customers flooding their e-commerce portals, blogs were the actual catalysts that realized worldwide democratization of the Net. As much as “democratization” means “engaged citizens”, it also implies normalization (as in setting of norms) and banalization. We can’t separate these elements and only enjoy the interesting bits. According to Jean Baudrillard, we’re living in the “Universe of Integral Reality”. “If there was in the past an upward transcendence, there is today a downward one. This is, in a sense, the second Fall of Man Heidegger speaks of: the fall into banality, but this time without any possible redemption.” If you can’t cope with high degrees of irrelevance, blogs won’t be your cup of tea.The motor behind the expansion of the blogosphere is the move away from code towards content. There is no more need for empty demo design. Blogs are not a test or proposition. They actually exist. From early on, blog culture has been the home of creative and social content producers. I hesitate to say journalists and academics, because despite the fact that many have such a professional background, it would be false to locate pioneer bloggers inside institutional setups. Yet they weren’t anti-institutional either. Much like ’90s cyberculture, the first generation of bloggers possess colorful biographies. However, a dominant culture, such as the Californian techno-hippies, failed to emerge and if it exists, it is tricky to label. Blogging comes close to what Adilkno once described as “vague media”. The lack of direction is not a failure but the core asset. Blogging did not emerge out of a movement or an event. If anything, it is a special effect of software, constituted especially by the automation of links, a not-overly-complex technical interface design issue.

Read Geert Lovink’s article, Blogging, the nihilist impulse

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Filed under A democratic medium?, Blogosphere, Electronic Storytelling, History of New Media, Media Evolution, Technology, our Mirror, The Reading Room, When New Meets Old

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