ESSAYS

05 Jan 2011

November 22, 2005

A Blog on Blogs: In the Beginning...

Scottsdale, Arizona

FROM SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

A Blog on Blogs: In the Beginning...

SCOTTSDALE, Nov 22, 2005 - I woke up at daybreak this morning thinking about something an IBM friend recently remarked.  After visiting my personal web site - www.yinyangbob.com - he called it my "blog." 

A "blog?"  It sounded like an insult... an alien blot on a painter's canvass; or an ink blotch on a writer's page.  My Word spellchecker didn't like it, either.  It painted the "blog" beet red.  Which is the way it turns when it gets angry with a word.  So I turned it off.  (One good thing you can do with spellcheckers that you can't with some people).

By the way, want to know how angry the spellchecker got before I put a sock in it?  When I asked it for synonyms of "blogging," it came back with "boggling, flogging, clogging, slogging, bogging..."  None of them very flattering, are they?  Which is probably why I intuitively found the sound of the term offensive.  Guess the pizza-and-coke compugeeks who invent words like "blog" don't have musical ears.  Maybe they use iPods as substitutes?

Anyway, this was the third time a "blog" had entered my life in the last month.  The first time, on a late October trip to New York, a business friend had given me a link to a mutual pal's blog that he considered worthwhile reading.  The second time, a media friend (again in New York) told me a story about some bloggers out scooping major networks.  And now this... my IBM friend's reaction to my "blog."  

So I figured it was a sign, the third time a charm, or something like that... a hint that I'd better do something about it.  Enter "A Blog on Blogs."

* * *

So my first question this morning was... "what is a blog?"  Here's an "official" answer I got from Google:

"Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or a newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site."

Well, "heck," I thought, "if that's what a 'blog' is, that's not as bad as I thought."  In fact, it's kind of good.  For, I've been doing 'blogs' for decades.  I just didn't know it.  Just as I was unaware that, when I first published my Annex newsletter via the "Newsnet" back in November 1983, it was to become a global trend a decade and a half later called the Internet.

(For more on my 1983 experiment with new media formats, see the "Awesome Power of Micros (PCs) Threatening Social and Cultural Clichés", Nov 14, 1983, in "Death of The Corporation", July 13, 1999.  You can also check out my "blog" of the late 1990s - "Truth in Media" - that became one of the world's top 100 web sites in May 1999 (#33), at the height of NATO's bombing of Serbia.  Even now, it still attracts hundreds of thousands of hits even though I have not really updated it in years).

So that's what I have been all these decades... a "blogger!"  Interesting... Guess it was a dawning worth waking up for, especially at daybreak, a very uncharacteristic rising time for a night owl like myself.  Well, at least I can go back to bed now with a new sense of my purpose in life.  Or not... since "office hours" have begun on the East Coast by now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. One of the challenges any modern-day "renaissance man" has is describing succinctly what he does to a stranger.  Twenty years ago, when somebody asked me what I did for a living, I would say, "I am a computer industry analyst."  But since that acronym spelled CIA, I eventually gave it up.  Not exactly a good marketing label.  

Instead, I started replying, "I am a writer."  That worked well, except it begged the next question: "And what do you write about?"  

"Everything," a "renaissance man" would have liked to reply.  But since that would be considered rude according to the 21st century small talk etiquette, "I write about global business and economic affairs," I usually respond.  

That seems to appease the curiosity of most new acquaintances, but is longer a succinct epithet, is it?  So now I can just say, "I am a blogger," and see what happens.  

"A blogger?  Don't be so rude!"  

Oh, well... maybe I'll wait another decade before trying that with anyone over 40. J