If a blog is a window into another person’s world, then what is the
ultimate blog? Many science fictions stories have speculated that eventually
will be able to port, record and broadcast (or narrowcast) the sensory
information arriving at any given brain so that others could experience
The technology to do this actually exists today, at least if we are
talking about a brain belonging to an individual like Glenn
by the frequency, chronological sequentially, and depth of his postings
spends at least 15 hours a day working at his computer. Logic suggests
that for Glenn, the pixels of his monitor are, to a high degree, the
sum and substance of his sensory input, at least for long stretches of
What if you could see an exact mirror of everything that flashes across
Glenn’s screen, AT THE SAME TIME HE SEES IT. You could actually watch
over his shoulder as he composes and posts his profundities! Read his
personal, private email! Watch as he googles and insinuates himself into
databases and rumor mines, ferreting out the good stuff like a coon dog
after a pregnant possum! Talk about access to sources! How much
would you pay for THAT? How about $4.95 an hour?
It would be like being behind Glenn Reynolds’ eyeballs! It would be
the ultimate in reality reporting, an insight into the creative process,
and an intolerable invasion of privacy. Screen sharing technology
has been around for a while, and it would be no technical problem to
webcast the live Glenn Reynolds computer screen feed. Even sound, for
a complete sensory experience, is eminently possible.
I chose Glenn as my example both because he seems to be constantly posting,
researching, poeticizing and pontificating online, and because his
work, both in conception and execution, is of such high quality that
I suspect I would enjoy reading his laundry list or watching him de-spam
his inbox. I mean no disrespect, and am sure Glenn is a nice guy.
In fact, we were introduced at BloggerCon by Dave
myself struck uncharacteristically mute, I mumbled something and shook
his hand before wandering off. I was stone-cold intimidated, and I don’t
intimidate easy. Later, in retrospect, it seemed that in Glenn’s
presence saying anything less than brilliant, incisive or profound would
be not only embarrassing but somehow sacrilegious. This tends to
put a damper on conversation.
I imagine this can be a problem for Glenn. Later that night I
saw him at the reception in solitary conversation with Eugene
around them knots and gaggles of bloggers argued, mocked, baited and
joked, but around the two supernovae in the Blogging constellation a
buffer zone of respect and fear had formed. Not due to any conviction
that there were secrets being discussed, or that we were witnessing some
Blogging equivalent of San Martin meeting with Bolivar
in Guayaquil in 1822. I think it was sheer intimidation factor due to the stature
of the intellects involved. It’s lonely at the top.
Of course, fame is relative, and context driven. Glenn and Eugene
were probably chatting in the single room on the planet
where their particular brand of fame had the most weight and relevance
at that moment, given who else was there. On
the other hand, among certain Amazonian tribes of my acquaintance Glenn
and Eugene would be more likely to wind up on the menu than on the guest
Be that as it may, we seem to have digressed rather far from the original
point. Which was, if memory serves, how many of you would be willing
to pay $4.95 to watch everything that goes on and across Glenn Reynolds
an hour? I know I’d pony up for a couple of hours, just to check it out.
Would enough of us get sucked in to make it economically viable? I
guess that depends on how badly Glenn needs money. Probably not badly
enough, at least not yet. In addition, it will require a special personality,
some sort of cyber-exhibitionist, combined with sufficient celebrity
to make it work.
But I would wager that it will be sooner rather than later that we will
be able to experience this ultimate in reality blogging. The closest
thing to plugging into another person’s sensory input we are likely to
experience until we all have uni-plugs protruding from the bases of our
brainstems. Live feeds, 24-7, from internet luminaries around the globe.
Secrets of the superstars. Volume discounts available.