Ed Driscoll

New Article On Blogs "On Dead Tree"

Note: I wrote the bulk of this post late last night, before I woke up to the news of the terrorist bombing in London. I’ve only modified this piece slightly; I apologize if it sounds too exuberant after the news today.

I have two articles inside the July Nuts & Volts, that are curiously interconnected.

The first is an update to a piece I wrote for the July 2001 issue of N&V. Back then, I did a piece for N&V on Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum. At the time, it was located in the oddest and funkiest of locations–a Quonset hut on the former US Navy air base at Moffett Field (now controlled by NASA). In early September, I spun that article off into a shorter and slightly less technical version for National Review Online, back when they had their now sorely lamented “NRO Weekend” feature. A new blogger, whose Weblog had only gone up back in late August happened to spot it, which I only found when I did a vanity search on Google. (All writers do Google–and now Technorati vanity search–usually a few times a day…) That blogger? Glenn Reynolds.

This of course was all in the weeks leading up to 9/11, which would cause literally thousands upon thousands of Weblogs to spring up in response.

Flash-forward to 2005. Glenn’s blog, and Power Line and their “Blog of the Year” sobriquet bestowed by Time magazine are both featured in my new article on Weblogs, along with numerous quotes from multiple interviews I conducted with Hugh Hewitt. The article includes explanations of how that term was derived, how to start a new blog, and what the Long Tail is, and how it benefits new blogs. If you’ve read the articles I’ve written for online publications since 2002 on Weblogs, a lot of this will be old hat, but I tried to write the piece as a primer for those coming in cold to the Blogosphere and wondering simultaneously what the heck a Weblog is, how they managed to raise so much hell last year, and how to get in on the fun.

If you’re thinking of starting a blog in light of today’s events, it could be a good starting point to get your ideas together before “going live”.

As for the Computer History Museum, they moved into swank new facilities last year, a huge step up from their old Quonset hut days. If you can’t make it out to Silicon Valley to visit in person, it’s a great primer (at least I think) on the museum, its origin, and some of the rare pieces of computing history that’s on display there.