Blogs, A Force Of Nature

Blog, a simple word, from web and log: log – a journal, record of events, thoughts, inspirations, opinions, and since they happen to be on the internet, a blog. Yes, an easy, simple word that reminds one of other simple words like fire, water, air; all simple yes, and all representative of immense power, primal force, the stuff of creation itself. Like a fire that begins slowly then blazes out of control, blogging began in 1983 with message boards that were used to convey simple information that changed from time to time – calendars, lists, agendas.

In the 90’s blogging exploded, and in the words of one writer, “There is no end in sight.” Simple information turned into highly impactful banks of information with the potential to create change. Truckloads of data, to borrow a term from the recently defunct Industrial Age, were loaded on the web followed by storefronts from every type of business everywhere. Desktop publishing, graphics, music, media all went through explosive growth and change. So imagine a web surfer back in the 90’s moving from one static storefront to another when suddenly confronted with many and cheap opportunities to express his/her/their feelings, thoughts, and opinions with others who have similar interests.

Many have followed that opportunity to connect with others of similar tastes, and that, in and of itself ,is magnetic, the ability to find someone that shares interests no matter how outlandish, how rare, and even how evil those interests may be. Presidential candidates, Hollywood celebrities, neighbors, friends, co-workers, corporate America, dog lovers, pool players, heroes, leaders, charlatans and thieves have spoken, conned, shared, lied, maneuvered politically, exposed, gossiped, made bunches of money, lost bunches of money, triumphed, and fallen via blogs. The marketing and political potentials are limitless and those limits are being pushed. Dichotomies and ideological clashes occur in every area. For instance, one is horrified by the blogs the child predators use and awed by the efforts at some of the crime blogs that are working to keep the children safe.

In short the blog and its effects are a type of re-living of human history. The relationships between humans, the sacred and the profane, the good and the evil, have always been there, only now things are going quite a bit faster. What would take months to cross the country in the late 1800’s and went only to people of privilege is now there instantly for anybody who can access a computer. In a way the blog is even faster than nature. We usually know when a hurricane is coming or when a tornado is nearby. Since the blog is operating at mental speeds, you know a hurricane hits when you’re in it.

Consider that all the tools are present – creative, marketing, technological – at a very affordable price for anyone to say whatever they want about literally anything and anyone. Add to that the ability to find people that have an affinity with you no matter what you’re saying or why, and you have a mighty tool with which you can further a cause, make a name, make lots of money, destroy a reputation, build a reputation, and/or any number of options limited only by the human menu of possibilities . That’s powerful.

When the primal force known as humanity makes use of a potential like this, as is happening now, even as we wonder about it, we certainly have the ingredients for a butterfly effect – a moth flapping its wings in Japan sets off a series of events that fuels a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Can we and our children use that power for the good? We hope so. And while we must use our technology wisely, is it our technology we need to sorry about, or is it how we plan to use it?