Blog Off

Blog Off

March was a remarkable month in that I had unremarkable customer service for a change. (not exceptional, mind you, but acceptable). Regular readers of this column will understand that kinda leaves me between a rock and a hard place since spewing about poor service is pretty much my raison d'etre. (And if you're not a regular reader of this column, well, believe me, I understand.)

Left without my usual soapbox, I sit here looking at a blank screen struggling for something to say (a situation my husband will no doubt think impossible). Sure, I could always do something completely different and write about technology; but let's face it, product-wise the enterprise IT universe is dead-cert boring at the moment.

Anyway, using boring and universe in the same sentence made me get all metaphysical (okay, it didn't, but I really needed a segue here), and I'd like to posit the theory that the end of the world will not come about because of war or famine or pestilence or cataclysmic natural disaster. Nope, I think we will all simply slip away, bored to death because of too much insipid information.

Think about it. We've got 24-hour news with CNN and the BBC. Fox doesn't count as "news", of course, but even with CNN and the Beeb unless there's a major world event you're stuck with loops of the same news feed or running 24-hour infomercials for Airbus. There's community-access TV where any Tom, Dick or Wayne can express their creativity. The Internet has provided us ubiquitous e-mail delivery, which, if we don't count spam, mostly translates to receiving bad jokes from second cousins, twice removed, whom we didn't know existed until we ended up on their mailing list. And, of course there's always the personal Web site. Yawn.

And the latest culprit? The blog. Now before all you rabid bloggers start firing off e-mails - wait one minute, please. First off, I actually like a lot of blogs, and there are some very interesting commentators out there. I also like the immediacy of blogs and believe they may prove the best medium for keeping people in the spotlight honest. However blogs, like the other communication channels above, have been embraced by the dull (and frequently weird) and also co-opted by marketers. Now there's a marriage made in Hell.

These days it's hard to find a blog that doesn't include, along with some happy thoughts about market-share for blade-servers or toothpaste or whatever, minutiae about taking the kids ice-skating, grandma Orbschmecker's recipe for lardy-slice and a personal testament to Jesus. Oh, and let's not forget the "About Me" details. Like I care.

And of course these are the people who filled thousands of screens last month with their outrage that the US courts don't consider them real journalists. Hint to bloggers: Unedited, unverified, non-fact-checked, subjective ramblings may be interesting, but journalism it ain't.

Like e-mail, like Web sites, like just about everything wonderful the Internet has brought about, it seems that the lack of boundaries has once again ended us smack dab in the middle of the Wild West again. To quote part of Bruce Willis's famous line: "Yippee-ki-yay, . . . "

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