When blogging first became popular (2003 was the point of take off and by 2006 bloggers had become Time’s person of the year) the fear was that the public sphere would be swamped by trivial, undigested, self-obsessed rantings.
Compared to newspaper or magazine journalism, blogs seemed ill-considered, ill-informed and unaccountable. What was the point of all this chatter?
That was then. We were comparing blogs with what we’d previously known: print journalism. Now, there’s a more favourable comparison. Compared to the semi-public (and barely literate) conversations on social media sites like Facebook (2007’s ‘new new thing’) blogs seem considered, valuable and highly literate. The froth has gone, but there’s something substantial left. Yet rather than being too quick and easy, the criticism now comes from those who find the process of blogging too ponderous, too dull and without an immediate feedback loop.
Next, let’s look at different means of communication in terms of ‘speed’ and ‘reflectiveness’ (a measure of how considered the communications is).
I think this places blogging in a unique position in terms of combining speed with a high degree of reflection. (This rare combination has also been the strength of the traditional diary, reflecting on recent events on a daily basis. Does anyone keep diaries today?)