Weblogs offer a vital, creative outlet for alternative voices
Parts 1 and 2 of this series were included in the anthology We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture (Perseus Publishing, 2002).
By J.D. Lasica
Back around 1993, in the Web’s neolithic days, starry-eyed Net denizens waxed poetic about a million Web sites blooming and supplanting the mainstream media as a source of news, information and insight.
Then reality set in and those individual voices became lost in the ether as a million businesses lumbered onto the cyberspace stage, newspapers clumsily grasped at viable online business models, and a handful of giant corporations made the Web safe for snoozing.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Web’s irrelevance: the blogging phenomenon, a grassroots movement that may sow the seeds for new forms of journalism, public discourse, interactivity and online community.
“I think the Web is actually becoming more credible while established media are losing ground,” says Paul Andrews
While no one is really sure where this is all heading, my hunch is that blogging represents Ground Zero of the personal Webcasting revolution. Weblogging will drive a powerful new form of amateur journalism as millions of Net users — young people especially — take on the role of columnist, reporter, analyst and publisher while fashioning their own personal broadcasting networks. It won’t happen overnight, and we’re now seeing only version 1.0, but just wait a few years when broadband and multimedia arrive in a big way.