What Should We Make of the Blogging Rage?

Kevin Maney, in a weekly technology column in the Wednesday edition (May 25) of USA Today, suggests the present growth of blogging will chill out relatively soon. His piece is actually a very funny spoof on the growing rage for blogs. Had I read Maney in March I might have hesitated to begin this business of regularly writing blogs.

Maney concludes about the blog business:

"So, yeah, blogs are cool. Anything that gives people a voice benefits society and makes us all better and smarter–and, as bloggers have proved, makes established information outlets more accountable. But blogs don’t seem to be the second coming of the printing press. They’re just another turn of the wheel in communications technology."

Maney pokes fun at the notion that this is a great new revolution that will "change everything." He notes that every new technology is significant for a time, and alters the dynamics of society and business to varying degrees. Blogs are doing that as well. But, as Maney properly notes, "each technology has also gone through a cycle of superhype, followed by a hype-o-glycemic crash. After that the technology reaches equilibrium and steadily evolves into a crucial piece of the global fabric."

I believe Maney is right. Blogging (at least as a cultural rage) will most likely crest and fall, perhaps within only a year or two. Most bloggers actually write for fun, simply because they like to write a journal entry or give a word to their closest friends. Most of these sites will not have a lasting impact on culture. But those who have something to say that matters for many others, and have readers who believe they do have something to say that matters, will probably blog with great effect. I fear that some of these writers will likely use the medium for great harm, which is always the case with new technologies. Many others will use it for great good.

I am not kidding myself about the importance of my own blogs I assure you. I do have a calling (vocatio) to write and teach people the gospel in all its implications for life, church and culture. I like doing this writing in a real time context that invites serious (and sometimes ludicrous) dialogue. This is a medium I plan to keep using for now. Simply put, the medium appears to fit both my gifts and calling. Only time will tell if my writing has any contribution to make that is more than passing ephemera.

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