Sunday, October 01, 2006

Phenomenon.

I'm not sure what is happening. Over the past few weeks many stories I have read in my daily newspaper have been familiar, that because I had already read them on a blog days previously.
It occurred to me that a newspaper is really a blog. An old technology blog, a legacy blog where one to many communication takes place with limited feedback.
This has also happened to me with the television news.

I know that we are in the midst of a revolution.

I never intended to be a blogger. It has been only five weeks since my first real post, and it has been a learning experience and great fun. My perception of blogs previously was that of an online diary, dutifully kept by someone wanting to share their thoughts with the world.
This could not be farther from the truth, albeit that some people do work this way.

I have not watched much TV over the past five weeks, nor have I slept as much as I need.

What I see are online communities, many many virtual communities, like small towns, fuelled by the rise in broadband, these online towns structure themselves by like interests and by the ultimate communication tool, human intellect.
Obviously real human interaction plays a part where people who physically know each other communicate, but their online communication also serves as a value indicator of the existing residents to other potential residents of the online community, drawing those attracted to that online community.

This view has actually spilled over into reality in my friend Doctor Mom's blog entitled 'You've got 2 B Kidding' where she is cleverly using online contests to attract visitors with the reward of virtual occupancy.

I have lived through many communication fads. I have experience of bulletin boards and citizen's band radio, and I see many elements of those incorporated into what is happening, although this is much more revolutionary. Bulletin boards did allow many people to exchange messages, but never all members in real time. And they were slow, painfully slow. CB radio did allow all members to listen and contribute, but only locally and in real time.

This, whatever its final name will be, allows Global participation in what is essentially real time, and also allows storage so that anyone can leave a message when others are elsewhere.
This is new; this has never been possible before with a mass communication tool. TV & Radio are usually one to masses tools, telephony is usually one to one, newspapers are one to masses, with feedback on a views page, but usually the next edition or next day.
Email can be one to many or many to one, but only if you know the address.

Blogging allows masses to masses communication, with everyone both receiving and contributing material in an endless exponential positive feedback loop.
With blogs you can skip through from blog to blog, like the pages of a catalogue, reading & commenting on those that take your interest. And thus virtual communities build up. We now have blogs emulating tribal existence and doing virtual battle with each other, determined by the number of visitors.

We also have the rise of the new online celebrities, whose talent is clear in their blogs, and as such draw huge numbers of visitors who like what they read and will become repeat visitors.
This can be worrying as the normal funding route for consumerism, namely advertising is losing readers from TV and Radio, and is turning to these online communities to increase their exposure. This shift from normal advertising routes can allow people to make a living from their blogs, but this in my view, can create a perverse incentive to attract visitors solely to increase advertising revenue.

Yet, it has been only five weeks since my entry into this existence. There is much I do not know, and many other things may be clear to others who include me in their online world.
As such, I invite you all to comment, giving your views and whether you think any or all of this post is ill informed or true.

We are in the midst of an evolution. It will evolve and adapt as people and technology always do. I don't know which way it will go, whether it will get better or worse.

But this I know, I like it. It is addictive; in fact it can become the main drive in your life, to the exclusion of all else, including eating and sleeping.
Trying to keep a real perspective is difficult. What happens when your virtual life becomes better than your real life......what?

8 Comments:

Blogger Mo said...

Oh Sans you were so SO wrong.... For instance, MY blog is NOT a diary. MY blog has impacted politics and re-defined pop culture as we know it. It has shaken down presidents and influenced polls and elections. We've seen rising star candidates' careers disintegrate practically overnight, all because of a well-timed entry in MY blog. A blog is MUCH more than a diary. It changes history. I'm humbled by it all, really....

4:22 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

What happens when you virtual life becomes better than your real life......what?

Then...you become me.

Let me know how that works out for you :)

7:21 PM  
Blogger Mo said...

Works out for who? Me or Sans?

4:25 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

My life really hasnt changed that much since I started blogging. I had already been through the no eating or sleeping phase 10 years ago when I first was introduced to chat rooms. I was a bit obesessed. I rarely chat anymore, although I guess commenting on blogs is kinda like chat.

I dont even subscribe to a newspaper anymore, I get all my news online. the Weather too :).

5:37 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I agree with this post..

& It is definitely addictive!

>>only five weeks since your entry into this existence...<<
I'm glad you entered
& I hope you stay

=)

5:42 PM  
Blogger Sans Pantaloons said...

Yes Dick, I was very wrong. The only way to find that out was to jump in and swim.

The Fab, Fabster, mr. fabulous, welcome and thanks. We may be closer than we know. I'm sure life will unfold as should.

Dick, you are my paradigm.

Mel, I had not considered chat rooms, probably because I am too old. This would then fit the post as everyones virtual living room is a chat room, coffee anyone?

Jen, Yes five weeks and two lifetimes. I was already on a minimum sleep pattern and that got shot to lleh. It's easy for me to forget I'm five hours ahead.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Mo said...

Sans, Sans, Sans, You don't NEED to identify your true age in chat rooms, for heavens sakes.... Say that you're 25 and muscular (an rich, of course). Nobody will be all the wiser.
For instance, in MY chat rooms I'm 18, and I'm built like Sylvester Stallone (well, him in the 80's, not today where he's all sagging and falling apart, and I use his picture)....

6:45 PM  
Blogger Sans Pantaloons said...

Hail Dick!,
Yes, I'm playing a double nested bluff. I AM only seventeen years old, a multi-billionaire and have a six-pack on my 6 foot 5 inch gorgeous body.

Oh wait, that's my OTHER blog...

8:16 AM  

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