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August 05, 2005



It's cozy to think of a blog as just a journal...only more public. But that's not accurate--A true handwritten journal can be as honest as you want it to be. The only things you're wrestling with are your inner thoughts and sense of yourself. Those are big challenges, of course, but the point is that you handle them on your own.

Unlike a journal, the blogosphere presents the additional obligation to manage your public appearance. It's like most of life.


Thank you for the link. I still hold to the notion of the conversation, mostly because of blogging's ability to do little things like this, leave comments here and there. I think I like your term better, "conversationality." Maybe we should start using it, see where it leads? I do hope indeed in the bar, no one is transcribing what I say. I do agree with that notion of not writing anything you would not want in the NYT front page (or any other front page). I did read the Chronicle piece, found some concern with it, but also I found myself nodding that it boils down to what you do in the blog, something you point out in your piece. Best.

Yes I do, sweetie, Mum


I know that most of the readers on this blog are science librarians, therefore I am a bit surprised by the tone of the responses (and Scott’s original piece - for that matter) on this issue. Everyone seems to be writing as if blogging is a new phenomenon. Shame on you librarians, where were you during your history lessons?

In my view, blogging is just an electronic version of an old communication technique. Have you forgotten Martin Luther tacking his treatise on the door of the cathedral at Worms? Maybe it is time to remind people about our revolutionary period.

A blog, as far as I can tell, is just the modern manifestation of the old American tradition of pamphleteering. Go back to your American History classes, men such as Adams, Franklin, Jay, Hamilton, and Jefferson fought their intellectual and political battles in the streets by producing copious pamphlets on every issue imaginable. It was an age of great discourse, high and low. Any person with an idea, with an ability to read and write, could and did produce pamphlets on every issue of the day.

Blogging is not a new phenomenon, it is a return to an old American tradition. That probably explains why it is more popular here then it is in other parts of the world. Blogs resonate with us because of our historical context.

No, blogging is not a clever new idea, it is just a new format of a tradition as old as the Republic itself.

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