JP Rangaswami points me to The Life Cycle of a Blog Post, by Frank Rose, in Wired. It features a large interactive (I guess flash) graphic that places even the icky stuff (such as spam blogs, or splogs) inside the ‘system. I haven’t looked too much at it because I get annoyed by its interactivity. (What’s wrong with one big graphic file I can scroll around?) Still, interesting. When I have time to look at the whole thing with more patience than I have now, I might have more to say about it.
Meanwhile Wired’s Chris Anderson writes,
|Today it’s digital technologies, not electricity, that have become too cheap to meter. It took decades to shake off the assumption that computing was supposed to be rationed for the few, and we’re only now starting to liberate bandwidth and storage from the same poverty of imagination. But a generation raised on the free Web is coming of age, and they will find entirely new ways to embrace waste, transforming the world in the process. Because free is what you want — and free, increasingly, is what you’re going to get.|
All good stuff; but missing, or put in different terms, is the because effect — making money because of something rather than with it. I make zero money with blogging. (No advertising. Love that.) But I make more than zero because of blogging. Not enough to make me rich, but enough to make me valuable. And far more than I would make with advertising alone.
And the value I create isn’t just for me. I see what I do here as a positive contribution to the world: open prose that’s like open code: simply useful. Or, in other terms, NEA: something Nobody owns, Everybody can use and Anybody can improve.
At its best, anyway. Some of what I write, I’m sure, is useless. But most of the time I’m at least trying to do something helpful. I think all the best bloggers, like the best programmers, the best builders, the best Wikipedia contributors, all try to do that. Whether they sell it or not.