June 09, 2005

Where would the blogosphere be without 9/11?

As I'm sitting here drinking my morning coffee and having a donut that thought popped into my head. An odd thought, yes, but an interesting one (I think). As I can only speak from my personal experience, that's what I'll be relating here. I don't intend for this to be anything other than a stream of thought piece, so forgive me if it goes astray.

9/11 happened at a rather pivotal point in my life. I'd just graduated college in 2000, had a decent job that payed the bills, but I wasn't very happy with where I was. It was just one of those times where you're getting by. I was still getting used to work, I wasn't laying out any five or ten year game plans… I was happy living –in- the moment.

As I was on the east coast at the time, I was at work when the first plane hit. As I'm also a huge internet news dork (didn't read blogs yet though) I knew almost right away, and word started spreading around the office. Within a couple minutes we're all in the conference room watching TV. We all know what happened next. Within an hour management gave the go-ahead to leave and go home if we wanted. At the time we had no idea what was going on, and our offices were located right next to the states Congressional offices/Capitol building. I was gone.

Next thing you know I was making a whole bunch of choices to get my act together and become more independent and self-sufficient. The major items to come out of that push were a move to CA and my first gun purchase. Another was an interest in politics. I didn't feel like I could any longer ignore the assholes who were supposed to have tried to prevent something like 9/11 from happening. Yeah, yeah, I now know there really isn't much you can do to prevent something like that if the perps are crazy enough, but that sort of leads me to the next change. I stopped watching the news on TV. I stopped reading CNN.com religiously. I started reading blogs. I don't know that there was any specific reason or conscious decision, but one day I realized that I no longer was relying on the MSM for my news, and I also ended up being better informed than 95% of my friends (If I may be so bold).

Back to my original question, "Where would the blogosphere be without 9/11?". Based solely on my gut, I think it would be stillborn. I have to assume that my situation isn't unique. Oddly enough (or not) one of the first blogs I started reading was Cold Fury, who's tagline is "Harshing your mellow since 9/01". I wonder how many of todays bloggers were somewhat influenced, either overtly or subconsciously, by a desire to be heard, or at least to have their voice out there with all the others. The catharsis doesn’t have to be so much about making a difference so much as it is in being part of the discussion. That desire to simply verbalize is a nice snug fit with my goal of taking control of my life. Funny how that works out.

With that in mind I guess it only stands to reason that I frown upon people who's sole purpose in life is to make money from their blog. Because that was never the intention of my blog, I guess I looked down on people who had that sole aim. However, without a recepticle for those advertising dollars who knows how many less bloggers/voices we’d have and who knows how much cheaper our discourse would be. Compromises never were my strong suit. Heh.

In any case, I've started rambling. What I'm getting at is I think I've outgrown this thing. I made it for a purpose, whether I knew it or not, and I think it's been served. I've grown up, I've met some fantastic people, I’ve vented, and in the process I’ve learned a lot more about myself. That’s a lot to have asked of a stupid little moron-blog like mine. Plus, I think George Gaskell said it best in his recent site-down notice:
We're living in the midst of a cultural revolution. Right now, the Internets are like television circa 1945 -- a medium that has the power to change the world, but is still in its infancy. People are still figuring out what role it will play in their lives. After all, it was only a few weeks ago that a video of a kid in his dorm room lip-synching a Romanian pop song landed him on national TV. Before long, that sort of thing won't make national news.

But even though we are still at the beginning of the Internet age, there are people out there who are setting the standards for news, analysis, commentary and humor. The world does not need me to offer a pale imitation of sites that already provide such content.
I guess I’ll leave you guys on that note. I’ll leave the site up for the guest-bloggers in case they ever feel like ranting away. For me, this thing will probably just be relegated to hosting pics. Thanks all for stopping by and paying attenion while you did. Onto the next adventure...