Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Blogomedia vs Blogosphere 4.0

Blogosphere 4.0

[NOTE: This is an exact replica of a post I published at Vaspers the Grate.]

One of the major blogocombat and blogoconstructivist projects I've been working on since early 2004, now going into 2006 with even more aggression, is Blogosphere 4.0

Blogosphere 4.0 is the forced evolution of the Blog Revolution from the Information Reformation that was Blogosphere 3.0 and into the multi-media, omni-functional mega blogs of Blogosphere 4.0.

Blogosphere 1.0 was Tim Berners-Lee and others who began "What's New" pages on the early internet and then the web. It consisted mainly of simple lists of other network locations and a brief commentary on what you'd find there. Thus, the first blogoid objects, the tech/dev update pages, were Link Logs. Not "diaries" of personal trivia drivel without focus or purpose.

Blogosphere 2.0 was when it became a geek trend to put up a variety of personalized pages, still generally oriented to the subculture of networked geeks, but adding ideological asides. This is where the "smart mouthed, sharp tongued blogger" arose in all its radiant energy and finesse. Blogocombat was born in corporate blogs, that were called "online gaming forums" at the time. Business blogs, or more accurately, product loyalty mosh pits, were filled with one geek hating another geek's favorite OS, computer brand, or industrial noise band.

Blogosphere 3.0 was born with Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, Metafilter, Technorati, and other factors that made it possible for non-geeks to have a personal page, or more precisely a constantly expanding book of pages called a "blog". Now anyone could, did, and does have a blog. That's both good and bad. Good because each new voice added to the blogosphere is another blow against the empire of MSM information hegemony. Bad because every crap blog does its part to lower the overall credibility, usability, and information value of the blogosphere.

Blogosphere 4.0 is now forming, based on the 9 core values of blogging, the fast pace of new blogging tools and communities, and a declared and definitive Total War Against Information Hegemony by religions, governments, corporations, and MSM mainstream media. The New Super Bloggers are being trained and unleashed, with Vaspers the Grate Web Group (VTG blog, Blog Core Values, Sleialgnion, Art Test Explosion, etc.) helping the transformative process.

Nothing is inevitable except uninevitability itself. Please keep that in mind as we now ponder...

Blogosphere 4.0

This article represents a brief and necessarily tedious introduction to the vast subject of What the Blogosphere Is...and Shall Maybe Become.

The following quoted text is from Open Source Media/Pajamas Media's "About [OSM/Pajamas Media]" page, a "letter" entitled "From the founders", an explanation of what I call "blogomedia".

[QUOTE--with STREIGHT running commentary embedded.]

From the founders

"Free speech, not free beer!"

[STREIGHT: ...but free beer isn't such a bad idea, either. Free beer just might make everybody's speech a tad more free, free and easy, free and even savage.]

In 1985, that's how the Free Software Foundation first described an idealized world wherein innovative ideas would flow freely though the collaborative environment of the internet. In casting about for a term that would denote freedom, not freebies, those who followed FSF coined the term "Open Source," intending it merely as a reference to the "source" code in which they programmed. It turned out to be much more than that.

The open source ethos helped drive the great boom in information technology that made the internet ubiquitous in the 90s and led to the creation of over 20 million personal weblogs--or blogs--in the first half of the oughts. But the term "Open Source" had a ring to it, as did the idea behind it, and the notion quickly spread, leaping to other fields. Linus Torvalds, the father of the open source operating system Linux, once said, "The future is open source everything."

[STREIGHT: What about Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, WordPress, Typepad, etc.?

How about the reduced home computer prices, low-cost dial up connections, expanding broadband availability, net music labels, iPods and podcasting, emachines, HP printers, Best Buy, designing with web standards, Google search, RSS/Atom feeds, Firefox browser, Windows OS?

All these, and many more factors, contributed greatly to the popularity of blogs and the historically significant speed of the blogging trend. Odd that "open source" is given all the honors of begetting Blogosphere 3.0 and its organizing philosophy.]

At OSMTM (Open Source Media), we believe that to be true—that freedom, openness and transparency in media is an inevitable

[STREIGHT: Whoa, hold on right now, what "freedom"? what "transparency"? what "inevitability"?

Some bloggers are free, others write in subversive code talk. Some blogs are transparently sincere, with upfront owner identification, staff bios, working links to reliable sites, easily found contact information, topic consistency, and trustworthy endorsements/testimonials/word of blog mouth. Nothing, like I said, in the blogosphere is or will ever be "inevitable". The inevitable crumbles before the onslaught of the fiercely advanced possible.

Sure sign of sloppy thinking, this "it was inevitable" business: a hind-sighted, after-the-fact phrase.

It was not looking "inevitable" while the idealistic innovators and implementaton pioneers were wrangling with it. It didn't seem "inevitable" to investors, nor was the general public much impressed.]

result of the technological advances

[STREIGHT: It's not just "technological advances" that create democracy, free expression, independent, non-conformist thought. There has to be an underlying philosophy.

Look at Red China, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia for technology without correct philosophy. A certain morality, a foundation for freedom and human rights, must prevail, and not just raw "technological advances".]

that have given every citizen the chance to breathe deeply of the news, thought and opinion that hovers in the ether between us.

[STREIGHT: Is that what you call what "hovers in the ether between us"?

I think we must examine and explain what this "news, thought, and opinion" really are, and why "facts, faith, statistics, research data, photos, digital art, cartoons, audio theatre, scientific webcasts, project collaborations, PDF files, music, video, podcasts, comedy", etc., are excluded from this vision of the mythical, illusory Blogomedia.]

Readers unfamiliar with blogs are sometimes puzzled by the concept, thinking that they are mere online "diaries," where egoists and sentimentalists

[STREIGHT: omission--"and political pundits, usability specialists, college students, interns, web designers, bored lovelorn teenage mall rats, scientists, economists, anthropologists, mommies, police chiefs, and others..."]

record their thoughts and feelings

[STREIGHT: how are feelings expressed but via thoughts via text via typing? Also they record or display facts, stats, figures, critical analysis, photos, digital art, computer games, podcasts, interactive devices, mp3s, etc.].

But the phenomenon of blogging is much more than that; it's the modern equivalent of the Gutenberg revolution, a way of putting not just published material in the hands of the public—but publishing itself.

Where journalists once gave us "experts say," blogs give us the experts themselves.

[STREIGHT: "experts"? maybe--plus a buttload of nincompoops, ninnies, and no-skill numbskulls.

To err in delusions of grandeur makes the blogosphere open to legitimate sarcasm and disparaging remarks. A sober assessment of the blogosphere's advantages and problems is mandatory.]

And where faceless, "objective" editorial boards once handed down opinions and endorsements, bloggers sound off, the numbers on their public sitemeters lending them unassailable credibility as voices for the rest of us.

[STREIGHT: This "numbers on sitemeters" and "unassailable credibility" are false assertions, exposing an extremist view, a fantasy blogo-utopia that cannot and will not exist, where every blogger is nice, trustworthy, ethical, sincere, charming, intelligent, and soothing. And tells you what you already understand or believe. Yawn. zzzzzzzz...

The number of hits a web site or weblog gets is no indication of value, authenticity, or trust. Many hits could have been curious web surfers attracted by hype and alienated by content, never to return. This is like judging the literary, intellectual, or moral superiority of published books by number of copies sold. Or the musicianship of a band by total CD sales.

Popularity can be based on other considerations than "credibility" or "integrity". Often, a comical writing style or prior celeb status helps a blog gain readership. Some blogs are like vanilla trainwrecks: bland performances of lonely isolates that captivate and addict with nudity, odd anecdotes, or nasty language and rantings of clinical madness.

"Numbers on sitemeters" is an attempt to convert the New Non-media of Blogs into the Old Mass Broadcast Media parameters and terminology, called "message receptors" or "market reach" by advertising, "target audience" or "pairs of eyeballs" by marketing buffs, and "butts in seats" by Hollywood.]

OSM's mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them, providing bloggers with a forum to meet and share resources, and the chance to join a for-profit network that will give them additional leverage to pursue knowledge wherever they may find it.

[STREIGHT: Er, don't I already enjoy such liberties and powers now, without you? And that "pursue knowledge wherever they may find it", not the most exciting user-benefit promise I've ever seen, means "pursue the knowledge we say is knowledge, which you'll find right here on our website.", does it not?]

From academics, professionals and decorated experts,

[STREIGHT: Experts are now "decorated"? all lit up like a Christmas tree? I'm an expert on blogology, so who will decorate me? Make it gothic country bubblegum style, please. Not Pink Freud.]

to ordinary citizens sitting around the house opining in their pajamas, our community of bloggers are among the most widely read and influential citizen journalists out there, and our roster will be expanding daily.

[STREIGHT: This "roster...{that is} expanding daily", what does that remind you of? The blogosphere itself perhaps?

If your blog is sucking the "best bloggers" into it, isn't this an abnormal Sub-blogosphere?

If your roster expands daily, I know for sure I won't have the time or energy to read it daily. Too many bloggers in one measly blog.]

We also plan to provide a bridge between old media and new, bringing bloggers and mainstream journalists—more and more of whom have started to blog—together in a debate-friendly forum.

[STREIGHT: A "debate-friendly forum"?

Is this a forum that's "friendly" toward debates as a concept?

Or is it a wimpy "debate forum" that is "friendly", well-behaved, sedate, boring, monotonous, limp, tiresome, snobbishly dull? The emaciated, castrated "Bloogosphere" or "Blogomedia" where everybody gets along without any harsh words or disruptive ideas. Bah!]

In the 1960's, the medium may have been the message, but in the new century, it's time for the medium to get out of the way.

Call it the blogosphere, call it citizen journalism, or call it (we hope) Open Source Media—but the next phase in the democratization of ideas has begun. Stick around, read some blogs, and come back often. Our door will be open.

[STREIGHT: How is this contrivance any different from a typical "portal page" that MSN, Google, Yahoo, etc. try to attract us to? "Start at this blog--and may your further adventures and explorations, with us as your perpetual starting point, be merry and fruitful." Y'all come back now, y'hear? Hillbilly aesthetics.

The "next phase" is not this Blogomedia utopia of sleazy MSM journalists shaking hands with stoner pizza mongering blawggers. The "next phase" will be what I declare it to be: Blogosphere 4.0 with the taste of vengeance in its sharp-tongued mouth, a massive, all-out assault on the MSM and religio-politico-corpo information hegemony.]

Charles Johnson

Roger L. Simon


Thanks to Paul Woodhouse of the Tinbasher blog for notifying me about this scandal. Who shot whose dog with a rifle?

I am the Sign pointing to the Light.

Vaspersians arise and take over the Blogosphere 3.0

(using posts, comments, emails, trackbacks, web forums, RSS feeds)

thereby transforming into the Blogosphere 4.0

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


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