I'm listening to 'The Hammer' flog his new book, "Blog." And despite this year of exams, I may just have to break my moratorium on reading (reading anything that is not NCARB related) and read Hugh Hewitt's latest book. Far from being the peak or even the twilight of blogging, this era of pajama journalism realized the end of its beginning with resolution of November's Presidential Election. The Dueler and I made our transition from ICQ debates, intranet skirmishes, and Free Republic pontifications, to the world of the blog during the waining days of the beginning. I'm looking forward to continuing our own journey along with others out there in this expanding universe of real-time enlightenment - an open-source forum for the consideration of reality in the medium of what now has truly become the 'information' superhighway... bypassing the old pitted turnpike of agenda journalism. Who knows where this phenomenon will go. As I wrote Hugh last week, regarding the "Bigs" attempting to take over the Blogs...
Think Homebrew. Recall that the microbrew craze of the early nineties grew out of a homebrew trend by which people were trying to create a product that was not in the market. Laws were changed and these small brewers (the best of the regional homebrew competitions) were hired to be microbrewers. My college friend, Kim was the youngest female brewmaster in the country brewing for the first Belgian Brewery to fill the void (Celis in Austin). She cleaned the clocks of the ‘Bigs’ taking medal after medal at the Great American Beer Festival. The trend continued for a few more years until the ‘Bigs’ began to buy up the micro’s. The products changed and the variety diminished for those that were assimilated. Miller bought Celis, and simplified the recipe. Ultimately they closed the brewery altogether and the label was gone. Today, only a fraction of the independent microbreweries remain. Even the brewpubs have been institutionalized. There is still variety on the shelves, so the overall effect of microbrews remained. But, the novelty wore away with the loss of specialization.
Last I heard, Kim worked in marketing for a biotech corporation; her talent removed from the field. New talent has emerged, however, and the general palette has been transformed forever.
It may be that the ‘Bigs’ will attempt the same move with the blogs… watering down and eliminating the competition and otherwise trivializing the movement. But, then opinions abound and the future is uncertain. At present, I participate as the zeal for understanding inspires a need for thoughtful introspection and the world that I see evokes open reaction for the consideration of anyone who might be interested. Sometimes that is no one. And at a time, I might touch thousands. For predictions and analysis of the phenomenon itself, I will rely on the opinions of my mentors (Glenn Reynolds), and the consideration of one who has heretofor displayed a keen and unique prescience for the significance of a movement that begins to build a crushing degree of momentum.
Go get the book! Get a few and pass them out to friends and family and anyone who thinks "a Blog" is a giant, red, amorphous, mass, that grows as it devours hapless victims. Then again, perhaps they are right. But, they should come to know the truth about the thing that has already devoured Mainstream journalistic malfeasance and offers a new medium for truth.
Meantime, Hugh or Duane (over at RadioBlogger) might want to sift the archives for some theme music for Hewitt's new book. Might I suggest this original Theme Song from "The Blob" (1958). It is somehow appropriate... in so many ways.