Everyone will have a voice. Everyone will have a blog.
It is the year 2050. Everyone (all 12 billion of us) on our planet Earth have a voice that can be heard. Everyone has a blog. No, I’m not a science-fiction writer, and I’m not a prophet of things to come. I’m one single, simple human being, and you are hearing my prediction because you are reading this blog. This is the way of the future. Long gone are the days where individual’s opinions are lost amidst society’s one-to-many communication structure and the cacophony of silence created by those who wish to be heard above all others. The Internet and blogs specifically, to those who have partaken in this new culture may seem like old News, like an everyday normality. It is not. To most of humanity, blogs are babies without names, infants that have yet to learn how to speak or walk. Most are still unborn. This is the beginning of something very beautiful.
To quickly look at the human species, as if we had the ability to watch it evolving over its total time of existence, we can see that communication between people has gone through many stages. In the days of hunter and gatherer societies, tribes got together and any and every person had the right to speak their mind about a subject. Of course the elders who had more experience had more authority to speak on certain topics, but that was simply the way people learnt and shared knowledge.
Eventually (a long time later), the written word became a way for people to speak their opinions as well as prove and disprove facts and theories. People started to write books. What a phenomenon this was! We are still reading texts that are centuries old and getting inspired by these words from thinkers, some of whom mightn’t have even been able to share their ideas in the older word-of-mouth tradition (Fear of public speaking? Many writers aren’t the most extroverted…) Time marched onwards, people multiplied like rabbits with an endless supply of carrots. From villages, we moved to towns, then to cities, and now to mega-cities with up to 30 million of us living in close proximity.
Oh, we haven’t lost our voices as a collective. You can look at political and social revolutions throughout recent history where people of like mind have risen up and deposed their oppressors. It was once illegal for an African American to ride at the front of a bus in the U.S.A., just as it was once against the law for an Indian to pick up the salt that came from his or her own country. On the other hand as there are so many of us now, individual voices have long been suppressed simply because there hasn’t been a medium that we could use to connect with each other. We don’t want to connect with everyone, but it can sure feel lonely sometimes if you are surrounded by people who don’t seem to think like you, or who are interested in different aspects of life.
So this is where the blog comes into the picture. What a strange word this ‘blog’. I now wonder if ‘book’ was once considered a weird sounding term when it first came into general circulation. For those who have been reading and writing blogs for years (not even a blink in the eye of humanity’s lifetime) blogs are easily explainable, easily understood, and sit in their rightful place amongst the world. For the rest of us they are something strange, unknown, and even confusing in their concept. This is where the idea for ‘Blogspoke’ came from. Here is a blog for bloggers to share their thoughts about blogging, as well as a place for novices like myself to come and find out about what blogs can do for them.
The truth is blogs are giving individuals a voice that can be heard by other single minds. This has so many positive connotations that it is hard to comprehend or imagine the future outcomes of such a shift in our social communication process. Think about it: A planet with over 10 billion minds where all individuals have the ability to share an opinion, share knowledge, or connect with others of similar interests. Even if you can’t write, you can be heard through audio on a podcasting blog!
There are always many sides to looking at a subject, and I’ve already read from some bloggers who have grievances about how blogging is proceeding in its present structure. This is good. This is how we are going to discover the best way to do things as blogging gets bigger and used more and more by the masses. It is growing at an incredible rate let me tell you. ‘About 175,000 new weblogs are created each day, which means that on average, there are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day.’ (January 2004 to July 2006, Technorati). For me, the question arises from my sceptical side (It always sticks its head in!) on the issue of simply having so many voices to hear. How will we disseminate the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ (Zen Buddhists don’t believe in duality, but go with me here) when it comes to all of this information? How will we get to hear/read what we need out there in the growing sea of words and ideas?
That’s what I hope this blog will help us to do: Be a place where we can come and share our opinions, facts, and comments on what we like and don’t like about this ‘blogosphere’ as it rapidly evolves. You have a voice like you’ve never had one before, it’s about time you told people what you think. If you don’t have a blog yet (as there are currently around 50 million this probably means you), I’d like to hear from you on why you are thinking of creating one and what you think it could do for you. What issues and challenges have you found or do you imagine might be involved in the process?
I thought this little recipe for ‘Blog’ I discovered at a blog post written by Chip Scanlan at Poynter might taste good. What do you think? Are there any herbs or spices that you think need to be added?
By Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer is blogging about blogs. He couldn’t have done it 20 years ago. As Bob Dylan sang, ‘The times they are a-changin’.