I’ll get off of this sort of meta-discourse on social media and blogging and better uses of the web eventually, but I came across another couple of posts worth mentioning that spurred some more thoughts for me. First, I came across this post via Manton Reece’s blog (the founder of Micro.Blog, a new social web service that is pretty intriguing to me). Brent Simmons writes:
But if you think of the years 1995-2005, you remember when the web wasour social network: blogs, comments on blogs, feed readers, and services such as Flickr, Technorati, and BlogBridge to glue things together. Those were great years — but then a few tragedies happened: Google Reader came out, and then, almost worse, it went away. Worse still was the rise of Twitter and Facebook, when we decided it would be okay to give up ownership and let just a couple companies own our communication.
I remember this distinctly — in fact, this was how I grew up in the web. My friends and I all started blogs, and it wasn’t just a method of internet-journaling. It was more than that. It helped us to form early social networks, but networks that we controlled.
Then, after following the trail of breadcrumbs a little more, I found this post by Om Malik, where he writes:
What people don’t realize about blogs is that they are never a complete story. They are incomplete and by nature more mysterious, more episodic, and thus more interesting. Blogs are meant not to leave you with everything. The whole idea is to think to deliberate, and to come back again and again, to finish what was started a long time ago. But there is no end, just a pause, for a voice to start, talking again.
Which made me think two things:
- It reminded me of my previous post about making connections — the art of the blog is almost never to give a complete picture, especially to readers. Instead, the blog’s job is to help me to make connections. I’ll be able to look back one day and see things that I didn’t see before.
- I wonder — is it possible that blogs will make a comeback in the same way that podcasts did a few years ago? Podcasts were around long before the boom of podcasting happened in… what, 2013? Everyone thought podcasting was essentially dead, or at least had outlived its novelty. The “blog” was pronounced dead not that long ago, but if Manton Reece and others like him can help us build stronger support systems to make the web itself more social, outside of the walled gardens of social media, then we might just witness a comeback in the next few years.
(Side note: I’ve noticed that since I’ve been focusing more on my personal digital space [i.e., the blog here], I’m not all that interested in Twitter anymore, which is the last vestige of any “owned” social media that I still participate in.)