Thursday, October 26, 2006

Blogs: Reading between the lives

Ever get the feeling someone is just skin deep? Well, obviously they're not. Every person is just like you: a living, breathing ooze of bloodvessels, electricity and swarms of emotion. While in the past the evidence appeared to the contrary (reckless driving, boozing, infidelity), we now have an exquisite resource for plumbing the depths of the human condition. Of course, we already know what it is: it's the blog.

There used to be documentaries about the human body. This is Joe's heart, or this is Joe's lung. It was fascinating, but not nearly as fascinating as Joe's Blog. (I've just googled Joe's Blog and sure enough you get: - not sure if it's everyone's cup of tea though).
And that's just it. Every blog is different which sets them apart from the dime a dozen newspapers and other content we get beamed to us. Blogs at least provide us with truly customised content - content from our friends, family or simply someone we agree with or like to expose ourselves to. A blog offers the one thing mainstream media doesn't: micro media.

I have a blog ( and I have my own captive audience of around 20. I'm not looking for a mass market (some like are). I have an ex-girlfriend who reads my blog religiously (when I visit her office unexpectedly her screen is often on a webpage I've posted in the last hour). If someone is visiting me blog it means its one less person clicking on major content providers here like

I'm predicting that blogs will soon be encouraged and then become compulsory at school level. A blog will serve a number of functions. One: establishing the identiy and personality of the blogger. This function cannot be overstated. By giving your webaddress to someone you provide not only an extremely elaborate business card, but also The Complete Guide to (fill in your name here). That can be a valuable tool for landing a job, and if you're a good blogger (if you write with panache and your content has some style and color) you might attract some fanmail, even a girlfriend.

I had a woman from Florida suddenly discover my blog and within days I was receiving some pretty lurvy durvy emails from her. Which brings us to do the down-side. Blogs can be used to spread malicious code, to slander, and to create a virtual world which bears no relation to an actual life. Freaky.

But used in the right way blogs can do a lot of good. When you meet someone at a bar or a barbecue, a fully fledged blog can very quickly provide someone looking for someone else with clues to actual compatibility (whether for friendship, romance, a job, someone to move in with etc). Blogs can provide the sort of information that builds trust, and when bloggers form a network, then these data streams arrange themselves in teams and patterns that might prove to be very meaningful.

Blogs give visibility to the invisible man, a voice to the meek and small, and a grandstand to those wishing to communicate to the crowd. In time the library of our lives will swell and bloom in Cyberspace, filling the void with supernovas and glittering galaxies of information. So beware: everything you say (every thing) may echo out there for who knows how long. So make sure you say what you mean, and mean what you say.

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