What is a Blog?1st November 2010
According to what information I can glean whilst lazily ‘researching’ on the world wide web Blogging originated first as writings distributed on email lists and evolved into ‘threads’ on forums before becoming online diaries and emerging as the entity we are familiar with today. But just what is that?
The term Blog seems to have become something of a catch-all. On the one hand it adheres to the original concept of an online diary (albeit an often mundane and over entered one) on the other it becomes a platform for communicating ideas, more akin to a massive brainstorm or ‘show and tell’.
This second form is more interesting. If the right of the web to be free and devoid of constraint, as many campaigned for, was a source of fear to some (mostly those with a dark outlook I imagine) then it has been a positive breeding ground for the free thinkers. In line with the super-connectedness of the web itself, the millions of bifurcating threads of thought diverge and converge in the most extraordinary and, sometimes, exciting ways. Every link providing more layers or reinforcement.
But is the process of creating all this an intellectual exercise? I think not. Moreover it is the simple comparison of experiences or knowledge that any human has at any age in some form or another. But to follow the threads, sometimes idly, is like standing on the shoulders of giants. As the geniuses of our day benefit from the hard work of the people that came before them (many geniuses in their own right) so we move from idea to greater idea, not within the limits of our own minds, but by ‘borrowing’ the neural connectedness of a million minds, and we make our own intellectual leaps by letting others do the hard work. Often we contribute to that work with connections of our own. This is the modern day Blog and perhaps it’s a part of a new gestalten intelligence.