Sunday, January 11, 2009

To blog or not to blog: a raison d'etre

In 2003 while enrolled in a cutting edge college course called "Community Information Systems", we were very excited with the then emerging Web 2.0 and the phrase "Second Superpower" being assigned to describe what Web 2.0 was quickly becoming. ( Since then "blogosphere" has been used for the same large phenomenon. )

By late 2007 I'm a grad school dropout a month from having our baby being born. I decide to start this blog. I started writing, and the long, odd hours up with a baby actually helped me write more. So here I am, and millions of others -hyperactively serving in the Second Superpower army. Surely we are changing the world.

No doubt we have. One-to-Many media is perceptively less informative these days. The media outlets with user contributed content are where we get the most current news video footage. Many-to-One-to-Many (e.g. CNN's iReport.com) is amazing in getting new info to the masses. To speak in specifics: Web 2.0 radically changed civic critique of power by allowing whistleblowers a free, easy, ubiquitous channel to get their message to the public.

Then Obama was elected. Web 2.0 won. We may still want the countercultural Second Superpower, but we should also want to be a part of the new monoculture. We have a President who is addicted to his Blackberry, and who understood the Second Superpower well enough to get his unknown self elected. He will be in the Halls of Power. It would be foolish for the rest of the Second Superpower not to follow him there.

Counterculture may be over.

On a personal growth perspective, I've had an epiphany. It happened by me looking at my own blogging words. My last blog entry, Mandate to end Postmodernism, ended with a summation:

A survey of what is hot and what is not: 1960-2008 Making-shit-up in your head and finding others who agree was the new cool. 2009-? Engineering and empiricism are in, making things and finding other to help make it better is the new cool.

"Making things up and finding other who agree" sounds an awful lot like blogging. If it is, then I'm done. If it is an infinite free fall of complaining or positing bizarre social critiques....then I'm getting off that train. I like the way "Engineering and empiricism are in, making things and finding other to help make it better is the new cool" sounds. Time to take my own advice.

In the last month my programming skills have been getting better. I would drop out of blogging for several days, and obsessively program. At the end of a project in which my skills made great progress, I took a break from programming and wrote Mandate to end Postmodernism. I'm glad I did. It gave me an orientation for the next few years. I'm still deeply embedded in the Web 2.0 world, but it will be as programmer, making web applications that tangibly help our culture, not counter it.

Addendum

Of all the things I've written in this blog so far, there is one entry I am not only proud of, but will try promoting as a social critique and shaper of all public policy. It is The Acid test of Legitimacy.

1 comment:

BFGalbraith said...

Look on the bright side, most of us don't agree with you, at least not 100 %

:)