Reinventing the Wheel, not

Doing research for a one-day blogging seminar, I came across a Wired News article that steered me to a course announcement: in 2002, UC Berkeley media teachers John Battelle and Paul Grabowicz taught a class entitled, “Creating an IP Weblog.” They posted their syllabus and a list of additional resources. The latter was a particularly great assist. Thanks.

Using that as a starting point, let me flesh out the topics on the history and ethos of blogging in the outline I charted yesterday.

As regards history, Rebecca Blood wrote a lovely essay in 2000 as the blogging movement was gathering steam. It’s chatty and full of names and though perhaps not the last word on the subject, it will acquaint newcomers with how it was “back in the day.” Nowadays Blood posts her thoughts in Rebecca’s Pocket where we are remined that her essay led to a book contract for the 2002 how-to entitled, “The Weblog Handbook.”

Another piece from the Berkeley list that stands the test of time is John Hiler’s 2002 essay entitled, “Blogosphere: The Emerging Media Ecosystem.” It defines and explains the term “blogosphere” and shows how blogs interact with mainstream media to create a new type of news flow. I had not seen the essay before this morning, but have seen and read similar explanations, written much later. They make Hiler’s piece seem all the more prescient. He still writes about blogging and other aspects of electronic publishing at Microcontent News.

The resource list contains many more items but some seem dated. The list is also focused on news blogging — the course was taught to journalists at a j-school. Moreover that class met 16 times and I am planning a one-day seminar. So after a certain point the resources seem too voluminous and narrowly focused — especially for the seminar I plan that assumes prospective bloggers have interests other than news-gathering or criticism. Nevertheless I am thankful the list exists, and if your interests incline toward journalism you might explore the resources at your leisure.

But I’m afraid I already did that, and in so doing I used up my morning blog time (I set aside an early-morning blog time before my regular workday; I don’t know how you run your life, but unless I schedule things into my routine they don’t get done. And my mind is freshest in the morning.) Tomorrow I’ll pick up with best practices and blogging personalities.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media.