Here’s a summarized version of the Lifecycle of Bloggers by Min Jung Kim…
#1. Start reading blogs.
#2. You start a blog.
#3. You become a stats whore.
#4. You become really personal on your site as the online and real-life worlds start confusing you.
#5. You faux “retire” from blogging.
#6. You cave back into blogging in less than 72 hours.
#7. You decide to “get serious” about blogging.
#8. You have a pseudo flirty im/blogging/flickr flirting relationship with another blogger whom you have never met
#9. You decide that you must meet other bloggers.
#10. You take a step back and metablog about blogging and what blogging has done about your blogging.
#11. See step 5. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.
#12. You decide that as a result of step 10 and having repeated step 5 more than 3 times in the course of your lifecycle as a blogger, that you need to sanitize or reinvent your blog.
#13. You either lose your job because of blogging, are afraid of losing your job for blogging, or join a company that builds blogging tools.
#14. You decide to start an anonymous livejournal blog.
#15. (My own) You completely run out of your own ideas and start cross-posting crap that appears on every other site in the blogsphere. (although this could really fall anywhere from step 2 forward.)
I hate those people that forward e-mail jokes. As the local e-mail cop for our facility, you can’t imagine how much of my precious bandwidth is taken up by the latest cute video, or the 100 Reasons Why Kirk is Better Than Picard, or, or , or…the list goes on. But wait! Never fear! Now we have the Blogsphere!! You can get your own personal webspace and post those very same lists! And because it’s called a BLOG, it’s going to be immensely popular, and insanely easy to use and update! Sometimes, I think that anyone who wants to create a blog (or webpage, for that matter) should be forced to code the entire thing by hand using only MS-Notepad.exe. Or, to quote Dr. Ian Malcom from Jurassic Park…
I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you’re selling it, you want to sell it!
Some might think that is a bit harsh, but when you realize that even major news outlets have jumped on the blogging bandwagon, and are citing blog sources for news, things are really out of whack. It’s as if the Editorial/Opinion section of the newspaper has taken over dominance of the entire mechanism, with the blog posts being the Op-Ed sections, and the comments being akin to the Letters to the Editor. Don’t get me wrong – there are some excellent blogs out there. It seems that those that focus on tracking a particular industry, such as Engadget, do the best job of presenting good information.
I first heard about blogging about three years ago, and started the first incarnation of this one in 2003. Yes, it was, and still is mostly hand-coded, which explains why it doesn’t work half the time. I started the RandomConnections incarnation first as a way to track our progress across country on our Lewis and Clark trip, and secondly to post information about Instructional Technology. As you can probably tell, I’ve wandered far from those original goals, so obviously I’ve passed step 4 on the lifecycle and am probably at about step 12 now (although I’ve never had a flirtation or a desire to meet anyone in the blogsphere.) Therefore, along the lines of sanitizing the blog, and in preparation for my upcoming from to NECC in Philadelphia, the next several posts are going to be related to the original intent – Instructional Technology, the next one being about – you guessed it – blogging! I promise it won’t be a rant.