Dialog: a conversation between two or more persons; an exchange of ideas and opinions
-from Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, ca 1965
The Internet has always been about access to ideas and information.
From its earliest beginnings, the Internet has been about sharing information. The earliest chunks of “Internet” allowed the mainframes at four different universities in the US to communicate with each other. If you had access to those machines, you could share resources of the other machines.
Years later the World Wide Web has made this ability to exchange information more accessible to a wider range of people. The increase in availability of bandwidth and inexpensive web hosting in the late 90′s and early years of this century allowed businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the Internet to communicate with their customers and market their products and services.
Personal web sites have long been a part of the Internet. If you have ever seen an Apache configuration file, you know “personal” home pages have long been a part of the culture. If you’re the kind of person like me who draws generalizations about culture from web server configurations files. Until recently they tended to be set up once and infrequently maintained. Some people who work on the Internet a lot would update their personal pages frequently, other personal pages would languish.
Blogs are the natural next-step in the evolution of the Internet culture
Blogs empower any individual who wants to say something. And not just those who have decided to create a blog. This blog and most others encourage comments from the readers. In this way everyone can have a voice in the dialog.
In the past year we have seen “blog” as the most looked up word at Merriam Webster’s OnLine, http://www.m-w.com/info/04words.htm, bloggers were the ABC News People of the Week, People of the Year (whatever that means) http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/PersonOfWeek/, and it is rumored they were in the running for Time’s person (sic) of the year. Bloggers were accredited press at both the major US political parties’ conventions this year if there’s any remaining doubt as to how much a part of our greater culture they have become.
I’m excited that this thing I have been fooling around with for a couple years is getting more exposure, that there’s a buzz around technology that I’m involved with. I hope over the next year, we’ll see bloggers all over the world engaged in constructive open and free dialog. I wonder what something like that will bring.