Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Brief History of Blogging

  1. From coding to writing, easy web publishing
  2. From publishing to real simple syndication
  3. From privileged to democratized
  4. From personal to social
  5. From social to post-social
  • Coding to writing sees services being created to allow users to write and publish without knowing much html.
  • Publishing to rss sees the advent of what collective minds think of as a blog. A web log, journal, that can be subscribed to so that it updates the reader just as a newspaper or magazine does in the real world. This releases the reader of the obligation to check blog sites and makes email newsletters unnecessary.
  • Privileged to democratized sees services developing easy to use interfaces and offering free hosting.
  • Personal to social (stage 4) sees individuals sharing their writings and content with others. It sees services emphasize the social aspects making it easier to share and easier to find people. The services try to create the social networks within their service. The focus here is a sort of worldcentrism making it possible to share with anyone, anywhere. The reality is a sociocentrism, because the user can't share with anyone, just anyone using that service.
  • Social to post-social sees people creating the networks the services try to create in stage 4. The user says, "I've already got the people, I just need the tools and location to be able to share with them. I have a friend using service 'x', other friends using service 'y', and I'm over here using service 'zzz24c'." So, the user goes out and integrates 'x', 'y', and 'zzz24c' so that s/he can share with her/his friends and network. The emphasis here is a sort of sociocentrism, focusing less on the novelty of sharing with anyone, anywhere, and more on the reality of sharing with the user's real life networks. The hope is that the reality of this focus is a worldcentrism, because the user can see the whole world and chooses to focus on what s/he can actually affect.

While stages 1-4 are fairly clear and empirically based, stage 5 is purely conjecture, hope, and foresight to be questioned rigorously.