Below is a Dave replay. I was late jumping on the blog bandwagon, but I remember the feeling of joining something big. I wrote about it not long after I started this site, and have included a slightly edited version below:
You, unwittingly but very willingly, are part of a revolution. By reading this, you are perpetuating a movement difficult to measure by current standards. A shifting of the paradigm of journalism.
And to think I was just looking for a hobby.
I'm talking about the BLOG. (not to be confused with the kitschy horror film from the 50s, "The Blob") Okay, maybe a bit of a let-down, considering I made it sound more like the building of the Roman Empire. But it's interesting how journalism is undergoing a massive global redistribution of power... taken from the hands of a few large, powerful media companies (many for whom I work) and given to the fingers of individuals from Warsaw Missouri to Warsaw Poland.
Looking back, I've always wanted to be a columnist, sharing my twisted view of things with an audience of readers. Well... here I am. I didn't have to apply for a job with a newspaper... I didn't have to attend journalism school... heck, I didn't even have to leave the house. And the fact that you're reading this is a clear indication that - well, maybe that you have no life. I don't know.
The internet has long been expected to be instrumental in the shift from centralized control. It is only now beginning to see it's true potential. When you can click a mouse in Russia and turn your kitchen lights on in Chicago... or better yet, click a button on your cell phone and publish your autobiography for the world to read... you see how truly large the concept could become. People are using blogs for a myriad of purposes... showing off baby pictures, keeping a journal, group study... and it's free.
When one blogger can bring down an institution like Dan Rather, (the memogate scandal) it's a flashing, buzzing, annoying light that says THE WORLD IS CHANGING. Will this new instant access to publishing mean the demise of the mainstream media? Probably not - at least not in the short term. Billions of people still have no idea what a blog is. But it is certainly holding the media's feet to the fire, ready to shine a big bright spotlight on anything that appears counterfactual.
There is a danger, too. Unfortunately, we're depending on the honor system here... there are few rules or codes of ethic governing what can be written, other than the yet-to-be-defined outline of a broad, panoptic "morality." That's scary. For instance, I can hit a few buttons and publish in deadly detail a concocted story of a friend's nasty case of rectal warts.
I'm just giving you a few seconds to let that sink in - and then exorcise the visual from your mind.
You can see what a dangerous, exciting precipice it is upon which we stand. We will each have to decide how we will react to it. But one thing is clear. While spending billions of dollars trying to find life on Mars or Titan, we're discovering there is life on Earth. Individuals we didn't even know existed, now part of our lives... friends sharing opinions, pictures and ideas. How great is that?!?