Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blog on blogs

I've been using the Internet since I got my first copy of Mosaic for Windows 3.1 back in the early, early 90s. I've used collaboration tools such as the precursor to Lotus Notes, Usenet newsgroups, Videotex, BBS', online forums, CompuServe, GEnie and more. I sent my first email in 1981. I created my first Internet web site in 1998 and my first intranet site before that.

All this time I've been fascinated with the power and potential of people being able to share information and interact with others from around the globe more easily than they might with their next door neighbor, or the person sitting opposite them on the train.

But never have I been both fascinated and perplexed with any other Internet phenomenon as I have been by the blog.

The ability to create a web site was dizzying when I first discovered it. It was empowering, yet humbling. It wasn't without its warts, but it seemed like more than anyone would ever need to join the global, intellectual community.

But I discovered, as apparently many others did, that the unlimited power of creating a web site was not the ultimate empowerment. There was still too much of a barrier of entry, both in the technical expertise and knowledge base required. Also, the tools, consisting mostly of simple forms, were still too crude for those not computer literate. Forums struggled in vain to replace newsgroups using early web technology.

But slowly, critical mass of Internet users and convenient web technologies like Javascript, Ajax, etc. came together to make the Internet more approachable than ever before.

And has it ever been approached!

The blog, a simple way to, in effect make a web site - an interactive web site - has reached an amazing groundswell, from people posting their ideas and opinions, to others just sharing their daily lives in a sort of universal, collective, online dairy.

As much as I've thought and dreamed of this vast, level playing field for discourse, the popularity and potential of the blog is still something that I have yet to fully embrace.

This is the reason I've decided to start my own blog. Sometimes one can only fully understand a new concept by doing.

This thread will be my bell weather for future directions. But in the near term, it will just serve as a catch all for ideas and possible future topics.

Consider this to be the "coming soon" thread.

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