I have been wondering for the last few days if blogging is going to be the next internet technological advance that sweeps the nation. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how advanced blogging software and platforms have become in the last year or so. I’m a pretty technical guy in that I am confident that without too much trouble and a little bit of free time I can figure out most computer tech issues then work with them. I can’t write code and don’t really want to so that is where I have to draw the line.
CarFreeBrad has only been in existence for about 6 months but I have been investigating the “blogosphere” for the last few years with fits and starts along the way but I have never committed myself before because I didn’t have anything worth saying to commit to.
Up until the last year is seems that blogging was not designed to be very user-friendly. Many of the platforms seemed to require an in-depth knowledge of HTML, not actually writing code but an understanding of the language to operate. These platforms were extremely frustrating to the “average joe” like myself because the enormous potential of the medium was plain to see but felt damn near impossible to access.
For me it was apple’s iWeb program and it’s simple user-focused interface that allowed me to gain a certain level of comfort with blogging and focus on subject matter not fight with formatting and publishing the whole time. Perhaps the increase in popularity of this program and interest in personal blogs has put pressure on the industry to move toward a user-centric approach. Whatever the reason, I’m glad because my blogging life just keeps getting technically easier to manage.
This trend reminds me of the many of the other online technical advances I have witnessed. I’m very lucky to barely remember life before google and can’t say I remember pre-microsoft or apple days. Anyone that lived through some of the huge internet transitions remember the AOL, Netscape and other dial-up offers and acquiring hundreds of trial hours preparing to take over the world via the one computer in your basement. Visions of “hacking the mainframe”, pulling a “Ferris Bueller” and getting caught up in “The Net” Sandra Bullock style (a good decade before The Matrix was released) inspired me to spend countless hours listening to those awful dial-up tones and waiting for a homepage to load. Like most people I never became proficient enough to navigate the internet without help from the search engines and for all my hours of trying never really got anywhere.
But as soon as the search engines came along and made the internet accessible to me(and the connection speed became reasonable), the whole world changed. Within a short time we all had email and it was the preferred form of communication and I can’t even imagine high school pre-internet. Everyone was using the internet all of a sudden.
I wonder if blogging is on the verge of being the next thing? Just saying that, I have to wonder if I have already missed the boat and blogging was the next thing 2 years ago and I just didn’t pay attention. It seems to me that we are going to see an even greater explosion of personal blogs emerge over the next year or two as platforms such as WordPress(which I’m now on) become more user-friendly offering more powerful blogging tools that are easy to navigate and people become fed up with the security/privacy issues of the big name social media platforms. We are a society of people who are obsessed with sharing thoughts, opinions and information in general. The reason I see user-friendly blogging as the potential platform of the future is simply personal control of the product. Under the current social media structure, we are the product. In a the blog structure, we have somewhat more control and are only a product if we choose to be.