Thursday, September 30, 2004

Luther was a blogger!

Luther was a blogger! Lileks (who works at the Minneapolis Star Tribune aka the Twin Cities Star and Sickle) with trenchant-as-usual observations on the relationship of MSM and bloggers. RTWT.


Wally said...

It's a neat metaphor, especially for historical enthusiasts like us. It also is a nice meme to establish for Hugh's new book project. I may need to change my tagline: "An Anabaptist in the Information Reformation..."

Corrie said...

Hugh's meme seems to be comparing the blogoshpere to traditional media - Lileks as comics section, etc. I wrote him with the following:

RE comparing the blogosphere to the ols-line media, I'd caution against the analogy, or at least against taking it too far.

Back in April 2000, I presented the following at the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention.

"Converging Media and Education:Instructional applications of networked interactive broadband synchronous, asynchronous, symmetric, and asymmetric communication technologies"

(Conference presentations have to have long titles)

A main point of the presentation is that when a new medium first appears, it simply copies that which has gone before. Gutenberg's typface looked like blackletter Gothic calligraphy. (I didn't make that point in my presentation, but it's certainly applicable in the light of Rathergate.)

The first movies were filmed stage plays.

Then someone invented the pan/tilt head, figured out how to move the camera, etc. But these effects were just used as special effects for their own sake. It took visionary storytellers like Hitchcock and
Eisenstein to incorporate the new tools into a new form of communication.

Today, we all know what it means when the camera zooms in on the sweaty face of the hero and the music shifts to a minor key - it's become part of the language, the cultural landscape.

Early radio was just the newspaper being read over the air. That changed on a certain Halloween in the late 30's, when the power of mass communication was vividly demonstrated by Orson Wells.

My point is that the blogosphere has passed the point of imitation. It's NOT a shadow-copy of old media. It's its own thing, and still defining itself. Lileks isn't like the comics - you can get comics on the web
already. Lileks is... Lileks! Somedays it's side-busting observations of everyday life, some days heartwarming Gnat stories, some days incomprehensible rants about architects long dead, often center-right
socio-political commentary. Not even Berk Breathed covers that much ground.