The function of the blog, to someone who does not read blogs, is not exactly intuitive. Given my undeservedly-lofty position as one of the local blog leaders, I often find myself trying to explain the concept, and in an effort to provide examples other than my own, I'll run down the blogroll and list a few blogs worthy of further exploration and often as not, someone will ask, "How come they have such silly names?"
Silly names? What's silly about, oh, Bad State of Gruntledness or A Fistful of Fortnights or Least-Loved Bedtime Stories?
Really? You think so? Then you'll probably be just as appalled by these:
And none of these were blogs: these were actual bulletin-board systems located somewhere in area code 405, which until the split-off of 580 in 1997 included all of Oklahoma except the northeastern corner. Some of them I actually used myself; for a brief period I even ran one under an assumed name. (It was old enough, obscure enough, and short-lived enough to have been missed entirely by the compilers of the list, which bothers me less than you think.)
Of course, the BBS had its limitations: most of them could accommodate only a single user at a time, they required a more-or-less dedicated phone line ($200-300 a year), and few managed to gain any recognition beyond their own regions.
But still, there are many similarities between what was then and what is now:
I could go on, but you get the general idea. Eventually, I suppose, something will supplant the blog, and I'll copy this table over for use on it. Plus ça change, and all that.
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Copyright © 2005 by Charles G. Hill