What we write about does not define us as bloggers; it's how we write about it (frequently, ad nauseam, peppered with links).
Weblogs simply provide the framework, as haiku imposes order on words. The structure of the documents we're creating enable us to build our social networks on top of it -- the distributed conversations, the blog-rolling lists, and the friendships that begin online and are solidified over a "bloggers dinner" in the real world. O'Reilly Network: What We're Doing When We Blog [Jun. 13, 2002]
What she's talking about in this article not only rings true, but it has the air of something that's starting and taking on momemtum. Not that the Weblogging community hasn't been gaining momentum for 2 years, but this article feels like the way we used to describe old WWWAC meetings. Stuff that we learned in WWWAC in 1994, 95, 96 by talking to each other - in person and on our mailing list (the 1996 equivalent of a group blog - you do remember email lists, right?) - about the content that we created online, helped drive the industry in 97, 98, and 99. To where, one might argue about, but at least we knew from experience what didn't suck. In fact, Agency.com, founded by my WWWAC co-founders, used to have a slogan click on the 'smarmy link') that said, "Figure out what sucks...don't do that."
Bloggers are in the period where we're figuring out what sucks less. Just as the old email lists, web boards, and communities of the early '90s like the Well and Echo were conversations, Blogs start conversations too. Many people, like Doc, Meg, and the rest of my blogrolling list to the left there have figured it out. I'm not sure I have yet.
But that's the point. The Internet evolves. The technology allows the people using it to find new uses, whether they make WarBlogs, Peaceblogs, or just blogs that tell you about someone you didn't know before.
In college, in my fraternity room, in the mid 80s, I had the same poster up for 3 years. It was from one of the Mac publishing magazines, and it said, in a photo of wooden typesetter's letters,
"Freedom of the Press Belongs to Those Who Own One."
Blogging gives you a bit of extra freedom. In these crazy times when terrorists attack and your neighbors and friends die doing their jobs, extra freedom is something to enjoy, savor, and use whenever possible.
So cry havoc, and let loose the blogs of war or peace or understanding or self-indulgence. And add me to your blogroll, damit. What are you waiting for? How's anyone ever going to read this stuff if you don't link to me?