Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Blog Explosion

Someone recently likened the explosion of blogs to the revolutionary invention of the printing press. There is no doubt that blogs are a powerful medium, to compare their impact to the revolution in human thought, politics, art and endeavor made by Gutenberg’s moveable type press would be like saying Technicolor revolutionized life. Technicolor certainly made television more vivid and life-like, but the transmission of moving pictures into people’s homes is what revolutionized our culture.

So a blog is only a tool on the internet. If anything could be compared with the printing press, it would have to be the internet itself. Not even the personal computer has made such an impact. Without the ability to link computer to computer, PCs would be glorified typewriters, calculators, and art studios. The personal computer is the vendor or paper delivery boy, but the medium itself is the internet.

We’ve become that Global Village which the late Marshall McLuhan forecast in the 1960s. McLuhan coined the term media to describe the means of communication that were developing at break-neck pace in the mid 20th century. I’ve often wondered what he’d say about the Internet and how it has linked cities to villages, effectively shrinking the globe to a single village with many voices.

What blogs and the instantaneous methods of online publishing have done is send people around the world with the click of a mouse. While email is transmitted almost instantaneously, it must travel through a network of servers and filters before reaching its destination. There are known lags in transmission times with email. Once a website is updated, it’s immediately accessible. I can publish this page at 8:00 California time and my friend in England can read it at 8:01.

I’m giving a class at the 2005 SITE International Conference in Toronto called “Blogging for Business.” I’ve enjoyed researching the blog explosion and am looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned with others. Leave me a comment if you have any questions about blogs.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Sad Passing

Over the weekend we found a tiny grey tabby kitten on our front porch. Despite my nursing it with Pedialyte and “kitty formula,” I got up this morning to find little kitty dead. I wasn’t really looking for a new cat (we have two already), but hoped to foster it until a local cat shelter could place it into a home. My son, however, had already named the little male “Omie.”

I questioned my neighbors on Saturday to see if anyone had a kitten wander away, but no one had a clue (or would admit one). We live in a semi-rural area of large horse properties, which seems to be a magnet for deadbeats who dump animals off here, thinking they’ll all find good homes among the animal-loving people here.

Several well-heeled people in our neighborhood turn around kittens from their unaltered cats every season. I can’t imagine why these apparently literate people don’t have their cats spayed or neutered. Can’t be a money thing; surely people who drive SUVs can afford $25 to neuter a cat. It’s ignorance.

I made a few calls to local cat rescue organizations and found how willing they are in helping provide inexpensive neuter and spaying for unwanted pets. Ovations to all of the animal rescue organizations who step in when people step out.

Angels fold their wings...

Cheers for the Angels, those mighty winged sluggers, tossers, sliders and catchers. Thank you for a great season. Here's to next year!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Go, Angels!

I grew up in the shadow of the Big A. Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the colossal ballpark whose name has changed as often as its home team, has hosted everything from Boy Scout Jamborees to Supercross, to the Rolling Stones, to Billy Graham Crusades. Visible from major California freeways and poised just down the street from Disneyland, the Big A is a California landmark and home to the Angels.

Orange County is proud of their Angels. The name change this season left many fans grumbling, and why not? The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Doesn’t Los Angeles have a professional baseball team? Despite the clunky name, the team is on a roll toward baseball glory.

Last night’s win over the Chicago White Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series propels the Angels one game closer to a repeat win in the World Series. While I’m not a fanatical baseball follower through the regular season, there’s something so American about the World Series. Here’s rooting for the home team. Go, Angels!