“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,” said Thomas Watson president of IBM in 1943. Of course this turned out to be wishful thinking on the part of the few who controlled that technology in that era. In 2002 Gartner consulting reported that over 1 billion personal computers had shipped since the mid 70’s.
Kim Jong II
with Philadelphia Inquirer
I was reminded of this quote when I read an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer today entitled
Americans are blogging a dead horse in which a journalist made a similar assertion about blogging. Her article, which reads more like the journal of a panic attack, says:
- People are sick of blogs (she backs this up with a reference to herself).
- Blogs are bad because anyone can utilize them.
- The average person is stupid and should not be allowed to convey their
thoughts on blogs.
- Blogs are bad because the communication is too rich.
- People in general aren’t smart enough to discern good from bad information.
- She already knows blogs are finished and slams her 10-year-old son’s
blog as proof.
- Don’t start a blog (because you’re an idiot).
One of the most bizarre statements in this article is:
When you read a blog, it’s easy to forget that it’s just one person in a little corner of the world. You get sucked into their universe, and the words on screen give their daily dramas a validity they might not deserve.
Hmmm. Well I can see how this is so bad…I would much rather be spoon fed refined information from the Philadelphia Inquirer instead of engaging in direct communication and having to think for myself!
The irrational comments of this journalist, many of which are completely opposite of the well documented massive growth in popularity of blogs are really not that difficult to understand. Old-school journalists and information brokers fear greatly the change that’s happening now. For obvious financial reasons they are in panicked denial that they no longer hold a monopoly in the world of communication. The last sentence of this article captures the true essence of this old-school journalist’s motive, “So, please, do me a favor, don’t start a blog.”
Now no one will dispute that there are some weird and wacko blogs out there…a lot of them. However, “bad blogs” are a small price to pay for little things like freedom of speech and freedom of choice. Focusing on the blogs that this person perceives as low value completely misses the point—the blog phenomenon is about the decline of mass communication and advertising and the rise of targeted niche communication. Who am I to say any particular blog is no good? If I’m not that blogger’s target audience, as small and insignificant as that might be, whether I like the blog or not is irrelevant. Individually we’re not supposed to relate to a majority of blogs.
The cultural revolution of blogging is shaking up the world of journalists especially. The fact is, we don’t need a few people to decide what information gets communicated and how. The author of this article might be better suited to take up writing for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since they still fully subscribe to the philosophy of information control and dissemination and have been called the most censored country in the world.
Journalists of all professions should be embracing the change instead of fighting against the inevitable. The smart ones are.