Is blogging still relevant in this age of social media? Scott Rosenberg thinks so, and I’m inclined to agree.
His book, Say Everything, is a fantastic chronicle of blogs, their authors and their detractors. Though I was already an avid reader of early bloggers back in the day — notably Justin Hall — there are many more key figures whose contribution I can only now appreciate. They include:
Dave Winer, who invented the first desktop blogging client and had a heavy hand in the development of RSS;
Robert Scoble, who ventured deep into the belly of the beast known as Microsoft to become the Internet’s first corporate blogger;
Evan Williams, who struck gold twice in one lifetime as the co-founder of both Blogger.com and Twitter! Surely such a public service is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize or knighthood or something…
Every bit as fascinating are the constant dismissals of blogging through its decade-plus history, as both a literary medium and an alternative to professional journalism. And Rathergate, the defining moment when the latter got its comeuppance, is thoroughly documented.
Say Everything is empowering for anyone seeking a voice in online media. Blogging is easy, it’s democratic, and in aggregate it’s the most unique and compelling form of news and literary expression that this nascent century has seen.
Social networks may be the darling of this particular moment, but in these days of constant updates and questionable achievements blogging still very much has a place on the web.