On Blogging and the Internet

 

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For my first blog post, I thought it appropriate to comment on this community that I am now entering.  The Internet today is a very different place from when I first experimented with web authoring about a decade ago.  Back then, it seemed like the only people making websites were those who were paid by a company to do so, or those that had a pretty good handle on scripting and HTML tags.  Corporate websites looked better than personal ones because they had access to more resources and better languages, but compared to today’s modern websites, they were rather boring and promised limited features.  Personal websites were hideous by today’s standards, mostly created from scratch.  For an average person to be able to create a website that was at least somewhat presentable was a feat. I’d like to think that I was one of those ‘average people’ capable of a ‘feat’.

Well, life intervened and I spent a good part of the time since then absent from web authoring.  I did some side projects here and there, but in doing so mostly relied on my skills with basic HTML in addition to some online resources on CSS.  The work was the same, though, mostly raw-coding everything.  In creating this blog I have completely departed from that mentality.  I am forcing myself into what I consider the ‘new web authoring community’.  I held nothing back.  As I write this, I am sitting in a Starbucks using their Wi-Fi.  This entire blog is generated by WordPress and I edit it through their editing software, which gives me a word-processor interface. All of the coding is done completely in the background.  I don’t see any of it. I could edit the PHP and CSS files that define the template that this site is based on, but I have chosen not to. 

In doing this, I have come to the conclusion that unlike when I started out with the internet, the medium is now truly accessible to anyone.  To put content on the web today is something that someone with a basic knowledge of computing can do.  Based on the patronage in this Starbucks and what I have seen and read about blogging and twitter and the other explosive Internet content outlets, I see a dramatic shift in the common web author.  Sure, there are still specialists, who know how to write code and use their knowledge for profit or just to further a hobby, but in my opinion they have been eclipsed by the modern blogger.  I honestly have no data besides my own observations to back this up, but I truly believe that this technical environment has been taken over by non-technical people… bloggers.  To me, the typical blogger (once again based on what I have seen in Starbucks and read in preparing for this endeavour) owns an Apple or HP laptop computer, accesses wireless Internet at home or at a social location like Starbucks, and sticks to user-friendly applications like WordPress, Skype, MySpace, Facebook, iTunes, and so forth.  I see these people as the dominant and growing source of Internet content.  

That said, it is not a bad thing.  I have many friends who meet this exact criteria and I don’t hold it against them.  I just see it as a departure from the way things were, and an ever-expanding source of ideas, opinions, and general content on the Internet.  The Internet is accessible to the average person, without needing to go through a tech-savvy middleman.  Ideas flow more freely and content is expanding astronomically.  The Information Age, over the past decade, has reached the masses and they are eating it up.

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