The Bad Old Days of New Media

John Battelle fondly remembers “the way it used to be”, and goes out on a limb:

I believe that the personal-site-based essay is making a comeback

I won’t say that I totally disagree (after all, not only is remediary precisely what he’s talking about — but also: why else would I have registered ;) ), but I think he is overstating the significance of personal diaries. Sure, expressing yourself (rather than letting facebook, twitter, et. al. censor your ideas) can be a very “social” activity and it also fosters personal growth, insofar as writing ideas down can be a good way of clarifying them.

John continues:

I find it comforting that when someone with a truly unique point of view has something important to say, they often return to their own site to say it there.

I agree — and yet different things are important in different ways. For example, some things are important to me personally — and conversing with John (e.g. the way I am doing here and now — I expect John will “automatically” be notified of this post) is one of them.

Other things are important as topics or issues (or something like that). In this case, I think the cliques of blogging’s “early days” John refers to are best left in the past. When considering the significance of such a topic or issue — be it “Occupy” or “Water” or whatever — I do NOT want these to be left to a small group of celebrity bloggers.

I want people to become engaged and involved in society, not to merely pose as individuals.

By the way: The Wisdom of the Language (which is at the heart of what made “Facebook” and “Twitter” successful) is not at all over — it’s hardly even only just begun, baby! ;) See also this post about “Moby Dick” and also “All the World’s a Stage“. :)

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