Back in 1995, when I was madly collecting web resources for the second edition of my book, The Internet Directory (by the way, don’t buy it unless you are an Internet historian), I kept coming across people’s personal jounals. I read all kinds of stuff that to me seemed incredibly inappropriate to be made public for the whole world to see. I just couldn’t imagine why people would want to divulge their private lives in such a fashion, and I assumed it was just a modern form of hubris. So I decided that these Web sites wouldn’t be included in the book, it just wasn’t interesting enough for my readers (I thought), and besides there were so many of them, they would just be taking up space.
As of today, technorati is “watching” 6,481,744 weblogs. It appears that I was wrong. Public journaling turns out to be one of the webs killer-apps.
When I told a friend that I had started a blog, she rolled her eyes and said, “Oh, no! your not going to be another blogger!” This is a fascinating sentiment. Since the very begining of the web, people have put their jounals on-line, but blogging as it has now developed is something altogether different. It’s more accurate to view it as a collective journal of humanity. Most of our individual journal entries are mundane and quite boring, even for ourselves to go back and look at (like this one!) but some entries, get at a bigger truth of our lives and reflect the greater experience of what it is to be human, and so it is with blogs. Taken as a whole, they provide something quite similar.