For Tina

In September of 2007 Tina sent along this note:

I am going to be part of a ‘blog panel’ at the upcoming AIGA NEXT conference early october. Its about The Rules and Etiquette of Blogging

I will be surrounded by much respected fellow bloggers such as Allan Chochinov, Core77.com; William Drenttel, Design Observer; Khoi Vinh, subtraction; and Alissa Walker, UnBeige. The panel will be moderated by Steven Heller.

Ever since I’ve been asked, I have this ongoing conversation in my head now with questions along the lines of: 

What drives me to blog?
Are we all turning into ‘senders’?
Who is afraid of what the blogosphere has and will become?
What is its role of blogs as a forum for ideas?
Where’s the medium going NEXT?

I was wondering what your take was on some of these questions?

No worries if you don’t have any time to reply, I know how busy life can get. If you DO have a few minutes though to give me your point of view, that would be FABULOUS! 

Of course I was going to respond. Tina is awesome and I love answering questions! (Really, I do!)

These were my answers:

What drives me to blog?

I do it for me. My now, my future, my history. 
And by history I mean—I can google something to refresh a memory, or leave some legacy, in some cache, somewhere.

I do it for my mom, because I’m not good at talking on the phone and I want her to know I’m doing good, or well, or okay, or kinda bad.

I do it for friends. And it doesn’t matter if they stop by every day, week, month or year. But if they think of me, I want them to have a place where they can find out what’s up. 

I do it for the friends I haven’t met. The kindness of others I’ve experienced while traveling to a new city, ambassadors to the nooks and crannies, compadres in the connectedness of interests this network affords. 

In some ways I think I’m sharing insight on design, or web development, or photography, or t-shirt making, to an audience that never really considered the processes involved. I do it because I’ve learned so much from others.

Or to voters who never realized how that chad against domestic partnership or marriage or whatever, might affect someone

We may find ourselves confused, alone or overwhelmed at times, but because we make these posts and visits, life is a little better—and that community word seems more attainable.

I blog because TV can be boring.

Are we all turning into ‘senders’?

I don’t really know what that means.

I hope to think we’re all turning into more understanding folks. Learning about the world and others. How to appreciate. How to question. How to find answers. And how to think. 

Who is afraid of what the blogosphere has and will become?

People that fear?

I would imagine many who ride on the coat-tails of others (without injecting value into the stream) have some frets. There is a future, even for record companies, news organizations (notice I didn’t say newspapers), and whatever other industry is white knuckled.

The blogosphere is not a cause for concern or a death knoll. It’s a call to action. Not to be first, or perfect, or right—but to be honest and participate.

What is its role of blogs as a forum for ideas?

Ideas are thought born from something; environment, experience, knowledge, needs, challenge, feedback… Oh this list likely has no end.

An idea only suffers the consequence of not being shared. Whether fully formed or just an inkling—it relies on the influence of their creation and declaration.

Blogs make it easy to share.

A network of influence has always been present. It’s just becoming faster, more visible and far reaching. 

I like to think of these… blogs… these things… as 

People

Perspectives. 

Ideas.

None can exist without the other.

Blogs may tire as a word, but the concept will persist. 

Where’s the medium going next?

In lieu of predictions, I’ll hope some…

I hope the barriers to engage in online conversation become lower yet. To post words, photos, and video; to comment, and follow up. It’s happening, but disjointed. 

I hope it becomes easier to find meaningful connections. When Yahoo first had their directory, it was relatively neat (fun) and manageable. I want that again. Not digg tangents, but steady, real, organized and reputable ways to explore.

I hope that Dreamweaver evolves. I’m ready for the next tool to allow those that are visually inclined to create sites with dynamic content.

I hope spam stops because sometimes a dick is big enough (so many viagara ads!). Additionally, squatters need to vacate the premises. 

I hope more people start a blog. (especially a handful of friends and family I don’t keep in touch with near enough). 

I hope these excuses disappear: “I don’t have time” or “my life isn’t interesting” or “it’s confusing” or “It’s too open.” — Maybe what we need to do is rethink what a blog is. Perhaps it’s not this thing that goes on forever, but is a scrapbook of a point in time. My Vacation Blog. My Pregnancy Blog. My child’s first years Blog. Again, it’s back to lowering the barrier, but also about setting a realistic entrypoint, and the confidence to do it in a way that is comfortable.

I hope we find a common way to cite sources.

I hope backing all this stuff up becomes cheap and easy.

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Related tangent –Technologies/Sites/Software I currently admire and have hopes are a glimpse of what’s next:

Google Reader, Delicious (links), Coda (code editor), Tumblr (microblogging), Vimeo (the video quality and community kill YouTube), WordPress, Etsy, Gesture controlled interfaces, Radiohead