Baker Academic

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Historical Analogs to Blogs - Le Donne

I still consider myself a novice in the blogging world.  I've only been at this for a year or so and I can barely keep up with the blogs of my close friends, much less the truly important blogs in the world.  But here is a serious question: is there such a thing as a "truly important blog"?  I've read blogs with truly important content.  And I wouldn't hesitate to call a handful of books "truly important".  Even so, I'm reluctant to think of the medium of blogging in this way.

Sometimes I think of blog posts along the lines of pamphlets.  How many "truly important" pamphlets are there?  Without a doubt, there are exceptions. Moreover, there is a history of religious tracts for the purpose of grassroots religiosity.  Is the pamphlet our best historical analog?

One is tempted to simply point to the inevitability of technological progress: from walls to tablets to scrolls to books to ebooks... But where do blogs fit into this paradigm?  Are they more like graffiti?  After all, the graffiti can be as simple as tagging and as complex as political art.  We do use "wall" language quite a bit thanks to Facebook.  This analog at least allows us to pretend that we're doing something important-ish. Although, I've often wondered if we aren't just marking territory.

Are there better historical analogs along these lines?

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