Are Blogs the Vinyl Records of the Internet?Posted: April 18, 2014
The quote comes from a full article in the Washington Post about the decline of blogging in Iran. A few years ago, Iran emerged as a culture filled with high traffic, powerful blogs. It was called Blogestan. But, these days, as in many other cultures around the world, personal blogging is retreating in favour of corporate social media sites such as Facebook, twitter, and tumblr.
First, the premise of the article is vinyl records are better (like blogs) but they have no impact on the record industry anymore.
I don’t quite know how to judge that. What would it mean to have impact as a *format* rather than as an *artist*. Maybe I’m being stupid, but I can’t really grok it. It makes sense as a statement only if you equate impact with money. In which case, yes. On the other hand, the sonic textures that you will be enjoying in two years on your iPod are spinning right now on a short run vinyl release in some Athens, GA apartment. You haven’t heard the band, and you perhaps you never will. But just like so much in pop music today can be traced to aesthetics of mid-to-late 00s releases, the same thing will happen again. In fact, I would not doubt that the Future Sound of the Format Formerly Known As Rock is floating around currently on cassette. So format, schmormat. In philosophy I believe Gilbert Ryle called such comparisons “category mistakes”.
Secondly, I’m still on my tunnel-vision streak of seeing the re-share issue everywhere. Blogs have been replaced by….Tumblr? Um, Tumblr is at heart a blog with a reblog button. That’s the innovation there. The behavior (and integration of the non-writer into the community) is a result of that. And in fact, as you look at migration to online communities and away from free-standing social media, one of the big sells is the re-share (or retweet, re-pin, whatever). Worth thinking about why that is, and whether we in educational technology could learn a thing or two from that. A nascent thought. But still a thought. Maybe people who re-share but never create are more important than we think, right?