This morning I did the usual very brief scan of the headlines of both local and remote media. This exercise makes me long for the days when radio waves were less used and the internet was something my mother did not know anything about while I was using it to arrange my affairs. On a side note, do recall that I like the word affair. So, let us get back to the bit of public affairs that got me in a bad mood after a delightful morning at the keyboard composing the challenges of my latest love, the character in a novel. It is this gem in the New York Times on the new war between science versus religion.
Why is it that blogging is not about blogging? I am really quite curious about this event, and if I was reasonable, I would not be going because there is all that other stuff that I ought, should or want to be doing, and this just does not quite fit in the plan, and then it does. I am holding a workshop next month on blogging and I have been having a lot of conversations on the topic with a variety of people from theatre directors, linguists, editors, journalists, book authors, and school teachers.
Blogging in my view is today’s alchemist’s panacea. The thing is that today’s alchemists call themselves something else, but I am not quite sure what it is that they call themselves. I am having a difficult time these days taking a lot of very serious sounding people too seriously. This may all just be related to the fact that recently I had to do background checks and get claimed facts to be confirmed, and as is often the case, it is hard work that involves going offline and doing some hard cross-checking of facts, talking to people, seeing documents, assessing validity and authenticity of documents… etc, etc. These days for me, if there is something difficult to find, it is a real fact.
When in one of these blogging conversations very intelligent people tell me that blogging is just diary keeping in public, I wonder what it is that has not yet communicated and why it is that they arrive at this conclusion.
I like to turn blogging around on its head, and then look at the process of finding information on the web, including blogs. So, you have a real interest in Neurospora crassa, how are you going to find any reliable information on it on the web?
Ok, N. crassa does not turn you on, you are interested in something more real like Cuban cigars, or how to treat athlete’s foot. When do you know that you have found information that is reliable, accurate and useful?
How do you evaluate the quality of the information that you are being presented with in a website? What does that have to do with a blog?
Fact is, and this one is a fact, that blogging applications have made it possible for anybody with an internet connection and personal computer to put anything from text to video on the internet. How to make use of all of that which gets regurgitated, agitated and thrown on the web is the challenge.
Blogging is a piece of cake. Blogging is accessibility and communication technology, and it is a tool of the affluent cultures that can afford personal computers and internet connections. Its instantaneous and global character do give it a powerful reach, and those fearful of the spread of information have all the reason to be fearful. What if the facts get out there in the public? What if the best of strategic planning and agendas get to be known ahead of time?
After all, secrecy is still the currency of power. What are the power gate-keepers to do when secrecy ceases to be a valid currency because what was secret has become common knowledge?
But we are not there yet. Secrecy still rules, even in the age of information and the knowledge worker.
So, what is blogging all about anyhow?
Join me tomorrow, and we will give it a go!