Thinking back to the early web world I remember that there were no blogs, and community on the electronic frontier depended on mail lists. If you wanted to homestead there you depended on e-mail.
During my own tentative journeys on what was then being called the “information super highway” I found that personal web sites were rare. They required a good deal of technical knowledge and most newcomers simply lacked the skills necessary to code and maintain them.
The development of blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger opened the web to a broader public presence. The personal website was within reach of just about everyone, thanks to easy-to-use templates and simple control over how the site looked...background colors and images, type styles and sizes, and arrangement of sections of the blog on the page.
Those first blogs were intensely personal. People wrote about themselves, their daily lives and passions. Considerable attention was paid to the blog’s appearance and each blogger tried for a unique look.
Bloggers had different special interests of course...poetry, child rearing, politics, cooking and so forth...but they also wrote about themselves and the blogs were their way of telling the world what was happening in their lives.
Blogs were the first Facebook pages and it seems to me that the original, highly personal, function of many blogs has been replaced by Facebook pages.
The writers that you read here at Tucson Citizen are called bloggers...the reason for this we’ll discuss in a subsequent post... but as they exist, in the context of an e-journalism enterprise, they more nearly resemble newspaper columnists or freelance journalists than they do traditional bloggers.
At the risk of laboring the obvious the columns you read here are very unlike traditional blogs. Consider: unlike free blogs they can only be reached in the context of their location in the Tucson Citizen; bloggers have very little control over the appearance of their blogs, except for the banners that head them. There is no control of typeface in the body of the article. In other words these “blogs” are exactly like news stories or opinion columns in a newspaper.
Most significantly TC.com writers write very little about themselves. We know what interests them, or what their particular social or political concerns are, because those interests and concerns are the subjects of their articles. But if you want to know what they had for dinner or what their vacation plans are you’d better look at their social media pages.
Next: A Community of Bloggers