July 31, 2003

Convergence

Very interesting article on the convergence of the Angloshpere and the Blogoshpere.

.... Separate as the British and American information universes have been until now, a process of convergence has begun that will continue until there is only a single Anglosphere information universe. In this, the differences between right and left (for example) become more important than the distinctions of national origin. This process is already foreshadowed in the leading edge of the information universe, which at this point in time is the blogosphere -- the world of the Web logs, or blogs.

Several interconnected and mutually reinforcing developments are driving this process. The first and most obvious is the advent of the Internet and World-Wide Web. This permits flat-rate worldwide communications, ready access to the press of all nations, and, most importantly, the ability to link documents. Two things about the blogosphere are of particular interest: the ability of almost anyone with basic computer literacy to start and run a blog, and the practice of embedding links to other documents of interest.

With this practice, a report in one media source can draw comment from a universe of commentators, many of whom will be more knowledgeable or more immediately involved, and those comments themselves can link to source documents to prove or disprove the point in contention. Still other blogs serve as clearinghouses to review comment on a particular topic or incident, linking to a large number of individual commentators.

The blogosphere was given a strong boost by Sept. 11 and its consequences, particularly the Afghan and Iraqi wars. One salient characteristic of the blogosphere debate was that the pro- and anti-war debates tended to fall out by position on the political spectrum rather than by nationality.

Each side furthermore linked indiscriminately to newspaper and network Web sites on a pan-Anglosphere basis. This meant that blog readers throughout the Anglosphere began to find themselves linking to the Guardian, Times and Telegraph in Britain, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Sun Times, or Australia's Sydney Morning Herald or The Age indiscriminately. In the blogosphere, the sun never sets on the Anglosphere press.

The blogosphere is still miniscule compared to the audience for broadcast and print media. (Although reporters are more and more relying on the blogosphere for research and background, and more and more aware that the blogosphere has the power to expose quickly errors that previously could be buried.) However, its denizens are disproportionately young and disproportionately well-educated professionals. They will likely set the tone more and more for the coming generation. Furthermore, the rise of the blogosphere will likely affect Britain disproportionately to America.

Worth reading it all.

Posted by Ithildin at July 31, 2003 6:14 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

This article is worth thinking about. Thanks for posting it. BTW, I mentioned your blog along with Mickey's Musings in an entry I made to my own blog after you folks pointed me toward the Christy Ferer "Note of Thanks." That was a very moving piece. Thanks again.

Posted by: Interested-Participant at August 4, 2003 5:59 PM

You're welcome :)

Posted by: Ith at August 4, 2003 6:09 PM