When we were preparing the new paperback edition of Say Everything — on sale as of today! — I knew I wanted to add some material covering the period since I brought the book to a close (roughly the end of 2008). To keep this material as timely and up to date as possible we decided to publish the postscript online rather than add it to the book.
I offer this now for what I hope is your pleasure. The essay, “Four cases for the persistence of blogging,” stands on its own as a look at the impact of four phenomena — Twitter, Facebook, Apple’s App Store, and the rise of content farms — on blogging and the future of the independent Web.
To keep my life simple I’m not hosting comments over on the book’s site, but this thread here at Wordyard can serve that purpose.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
The Internet, as it has evolved in the nearly two decades since its emergence from the public sector that incubated it, is a messy, sometimes anarchic commons. The same openness that allows myriad novelties, including blogging, to prosper also leaves it vulnerable to con artists, junk peddlers and spam. Businesspeople from Steve Jobs on down dream of reasserting control over the environment, cleaning up the mess, banishing the hackers and cranks and porn merchants, and figuring out how to reinflate profit margins that the Web has, for the majority of industries, decimated.
For this vision to be realized, the legions of bloggers whose ascent Say Everything chronicled must drop their keyboards and docilely accept losing all the autonomy, bonhomie and voice that their posts have provided for them. No one should wait up for that to happen any time soon.