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Bloggo ergo sum.
Friday, December 31, 2004
ABC names bloggers people of the year.

Dec. 30, 2004 — A blog — short for "web log" — is an online personal journal that covers topics ranging from daily life to technology to culture to the arts. Blogs have made such an impact this year that Merriam-Webster named it the word of the year.

"There's a blog for every niche. There's a blog for every interest," said technology writer Xeni Jardin, who co-edits the blog boingboing.net.

Dylan Verdi, an 11-year-old known as the world's youngest videoblogger, says she covers "things that I've seen that I like or that I've heard of, or just anything that happened to me that day that I'm thinking."

When I started blogging in late 1999, the phenomenon was about as common as drinking absinthe. Blogger was the only game in town. When the dot-com dark ages swept through, Blogger itself became a one-man company, with Ev running Blogger out of his bedroom. Two years ago I was touting a then-new idea, using blogs to capture and distribute corporate knowledge -- and people couldn't imagine what I was talking about. Six months later, I asked a European audience of 300 knowledge management professionals and students how many knew what a blog was; only two hands went up. In late 2003, I was the lone corporate guy amid a crowd of 40 people attending the first Ed-Blogger Conference.

That was then. This is now. Now everybody knows. Blogging has crossed the chasm and entered the mainstream, sparked by the Dean Campaign, the downfall of Trent Lott, and blogging the Democratic Convention. As the ABC release notes,
There are millions of blogs on the Internet — a new one is created every seven-and-a-half seconds. More than 10,000 new additions are added to the "blogosphere" each day.
early adopterBlogging has entered what Geoff Moore clumsily used to call "the early majority." It has migrated up the adoption curve to that red circle. And with that, I lose interest in blogging per se. I'll continue to blog and I'll recommend blogs as components of solutions to problems, but I don't plan to spend much time on the arcana of HTML, color codes, Perl scripts, and browser features. I'm shedding those interests in favor of new stuff entering the blue circle.

I'm an enthusiast by nature. If you'd met me in the early days of the IBM-PC or the Internet or the Web or eLearning, you might have labeled me fanatic. Promising new fields infatuate me. The initial meetings of the SF PC Users Group, the Bay Area Internet Users Group, and TechLearn had the magic of Woodstock: the tribe was convening. We kindred spirits shared a vision of how things should be. Outsiders were clueless.

Normal people (and by definition, most of the world falls into the red circle) don't easily understand the mind of the enthusiast. Let me draw an analogy. Remember the first time you fell in love? You couldn't get your lover's image out of your mind. You'd walk miles...you'd climb mountains...you'd swim oceans if that's what it took to move to the next step. Life without your lover would be worse than death. Inconceivable. My early descriptions of the web or of eLearning were love letters.

Blogs were a great girlfriend. We went steady for more than four years. Now that relationship is over (we'll still be friends). I'm ready to cavort with some new technology and concepts. Bring on the new year!


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