Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why Am I Blogging?

With all sorts of new-fangled ways of self-promotion,
such as Facebook and Twitter, why keep up a Web Log?

I've always been a fan of written journals. Writing
down life's moments like a Captain's Log seemed to
give the present meaning, and the past resonance.
If someone happened to stumble across your secret
thoughts days or years later, you could communicate with
them in an archeological way.

In 2009 people have lost touch with reading between the lines.
Something happens to someone, and they post it (I am
guilty of this). What motivates people to do the
things they post about?

I expect the next step in digital voyeurism to be personal
24/7 webcams, like "Being John Doe" instead of Malkovich.
I would call it "SoloCasting".

Many computers have HAL9000-type electric eyes which sit
passively watching day and night, but what about a wearable cam?
No computer needed, it would use existing WiFi to send
a live video feed to anyone who was interested.
Don't want to broadcast some moment in your life?
Switch off the device.

This is similar to reality TV shows, which have been
around awhile. But the TV cameras never seem to capture
anyone doing anything creative, just reactions to each
other and the ensuing "drama".

How do artists create their masterworks? How do poets
come up with the next line? What urges someone to step
into the street and push/pull another to safety? Any
person or profession would be made more interesting with
SoloCasting. I have never seen these moments on reality TV
(COPS does manage to create respect for law enforcement, and
for the camera person running alongside the action).

There's the privacy factor--but "1984" is so 25 years ago.
This would be created as the next step in entertainment.
A SoloCaster would have to choose the "rating" of their SoloCast,
by editing out or including certain elements of their life.
But the goal would be to take away the power of the media
and the paparazzi, who seem to glorify lurid, provocative and
scandalous imagery. Celebrities would lose their wondrous
aura when compared with real people achieving real,
selfless acts--broadcast for free. Would someone run into
a burning building to help others faster if they knew their
SoloCast was beaming the act to millions of people?
Would there be a reduction in crime if would-be
criminals knew there were potentially thousands
of cameras ready to catch them in the act (including
their own SoloCast)?

Every moment we spend reading about other people's lives
takes us away from doing something ourselves, but there's
a feeling of community. That seems to be a reason things
like Facebook and Twitter thrive. Every second I spend
watching TV covering the Octomom or Paris Hilton I could
be writing a song or assisting someone in need. But
which is easier? That TV remote is so user-friendly.

Writing in a journal seems old-school, but I like it.
Blogging seems close to a journal, so I'm happy about that.
Hopefully someone perusing these pages 200 years from now will be
entertained, and they'll post to their friends on Verbosus 2209 or whatever.


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