posted at 10:12 am
on Oct. 11, 2005
This Year I’m Thankful For
Vancouver Mover Recommendations?
Thread two: I worked on the Los Angeles Times Web site in 1995. We developed a Custom News Agent we called “Hunter.” I remember at the time there was great wailing and teeth gnashing about how, given a “Custom News Agent,” you’d be able to read only exactly what you wanted, and you’d never find out about other useful and newsworthy items.
For example, you could read soccer stories without reading hockey stories, and certainly without reading the front page story about mudslides in Guatemala.
The future, news editors said with fear in their voice, would be filled with people who only ever heard what they wanted to hear, read what they wanted to read, learned what they’d already decided to learn. No one would come across anything outside of their own sphere of interest.
How do these two threads tie together? Because today, the fellow who amuses me, Mr. Defective Yeti himself, wrote a long, sharp and heart-bending article about his child being diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder.
It’s as detailed and revealing a human interest piece as I’ve read online in a while. In addition to being personal, it was informative, and researched, and revealing. I don’t know this guy, and yet now I also feel connected to him in a way that I never have to the local newspaper, or the local radio station.
I think we bloggers get b(l)ogged down in whether comments or trackbacks or categories or permalinks make a blog a blog. I think it’s none of those things, and I think the defining characteristic of a blog is also the reason why people react so harshly to “fake” bloggers.
The thing about blogs, you see, is that there are people behind them, and you get to see those people, and connect with those people. That’s something that is exceedingly rare in traditional media—it’s something that traditionally only columnists get to do, and even then, not every columnist develops the same openness that most bloggers seem to do intuitively.
It’s something companies don’t do. Heck, it’s something even families don’t do (see my next post!) And so, to the smart ass who runs Defective Yeti, I say, thanks for sharing, and my thoughts are with you.
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