It's All Experimental

A little drop of blog syrup for your e-cakes, mister?Like the Web that spawned them, blogs are part of a grand experiment in communication. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see the social and economic results of this experiment a few years from now. Maybe they won't be called blogs anymore; maybe the concept will be absorbed into the larger homogeneous framework of the Web. I hope so, because the word is really beginning to chafe. I haven't done an actual survey, but I'm thinking the majority of writers—and by that I mean anyone who uses words in their written form—who use a blog would be thrilled to see that abhorrent blogger moniker fade away.

On the other hand, maybe the concept won't be assimilated at all. Maybe the whole idea, in its present incarnation anyway, is just one more misguided attempt to turn a minor occurrence into a major event. After all, it's just writing, even if the entire world is the intended audience in this case. There still has to be something to say; there has to be a reason to pump out thousands of words every month. And after that, there has to be a reason for people to read all those words, and not everyone is so inclined. Especially when those words are suffering.

On yet another hand, maybe it is, in fact, a movement. Maybe everyone really has been waiting for this moment, and in a few years' time, even your great-aunt Maybelline and her houseful of cats will be cranking out an e-journal for dissemination to the world at large. Wasn't there a time, not so very long ago, you said she wouldn’t ever own a computer, and then when she got the computer you said she'd never get the hang of the e-mail software? Someone probably said the same about your great-great-grandfather, just before he started publishing that newspaper in his barn—the one that wound up with a circulation of 30,000 a few years later.

It's all experimental at some point. Our entire lives are experiments, looking back at them from the vantage point of relative codgerhood. I'm sure Gutenberg had his moments of doubt and pain, but he probably took an aspirin and kept on going anyway. Maybe that's the thing to do here, too. More coffee, and more aspirin to kill the pain in the fingers, and who knows, maybe one of these days the experiment will be a success. And if not, well . . . it was just an experiment, wasn't it.


No comments:

Post a Comment