josh spear: show him the money

When reading Ev's colorful quote from "You've Got Blog" about being frustrated about blog evolution (how it's like a kid with great potential but no drive) and the lack of money flow via blogging, I thought of a blogger who's blogging ingenuity (or the ability to dupe others if you look at him cynically) has helped him rake in the cash. Lots of it. Josh Spear, a self-proclaimed 'king of all things cool,' has been blogging his opinion about design, art, books, gadgets,etc. on his blog for the past handful of years - a huge chunk of time considering the short lifespan of blogging thus far, and compounded by the fact that Josh is a mere 22-years old. Somehow Spear has navigated the blogosphere to garner the international attention of hundreds of designers and artists, and thousands of bloggers. What Josh says is cool IS cool . . . he's like the ultimate cabinet of wonders; sifting through life's material goods to promote only the most trendy and cool, Josh, via blogging, has scored a pretty sweet (part-time) job.



My experience with blogging went from 0 to daily activity last year with the advent of a blog thats very close to my heart, and I'm sure of no consequence to anyone else here. I think people blog because its the most free and easy form of getting ideas (both your own and links to others) out there for people to see. The blog that got me going was started by a friend who really didnt have a whole lot to say, and over a 100 posts later still doesnt. There's no theme or structure other than the creator blogging his random thoughts or stories and everyone else (friends and acquaintances) commenting. While the form has stayed pretty constant, the function has included idea sharing, story-telling, event-planning, travel-journal, debate forum, and I'm sure many other functions. While we were all abroad, the blog replaced email as the primary way for everyone to keep in contact and get their jokes in from their respective countries.

What blogging means to me...

I've been reading blogs since high school I guess. (Has it really been that long?!) I've never actually started a blog of my own, though. This is a nice article examining the potential dangers of blogging. I haven't ever really read any "personal" blogs though; they just don't really interest me. I've always been into interest blogs though, usually ones pertaining to celebrity gossip and politics. Here are a two blogs that are pretty good: The Sartorialist is a good fashion blog - it's one of an increasing number of "street fashion" blogs.



Any type of superstition or spiritual belief always interests me. The blog "New Year's Superstitions" outlines a handful of things one must do in order to have a year of success. Rituals such as kissing at midnight to ensure love within the year and keeping cupboards and wallets filled with food and money in order to guarantee stock and wealth were just two of many examples. Other myths such as the first person who enters your house will influence your life in some way; eating good luck food, wearing new clothes, and yelling loudly at midnight to scare away demons were also addressed.

living online


I am not too familiar with blogs... well, with the exception of my past obsession with LiveJournal and of course MySpace. I was under the impression blogs were a place where people could post public rants and detailed accounts of their daily lives in an online diary; however, blogs aren't just used for social networking. In fact they can be used to try and filter through the excessive amount of information provided by the world wide web. I have found blogs to be quite helpful when looking for a quick answer concerning my computer or car, instead of going through the hassle of waiting on the telephone on hold for forever and then speaking to a support representative. Dibbell's article mentioned that after the introduction of search engines, web logs would most likely die off. I found it surprising that they are still going strong today.

Escher would love this...


As Professor Fitzpatrick mentioned in class last week, blogging was designed as a filter for the 12 bajillion pages on the WWW. With the popularity of blogs, however, there are almost as many blogs today as there were web pages back when blogs were first born. Clearly these blogs, which are themselves filters, need to be filtered. Enter a second rung of community sites that make up what we might be able to call a meta-blogosphere. It's made up of sites that are all about filtering the filters. Technorati and Google's blog search are good examples.

Matt Yglesias


Since blogs are designed to share links, let me throw you all one of my favorite blog. It's the mostly-political blog of Matt Yglesias, a recent graduate of the Harvard philosophy department and current writer for The American Prospect. His politics lean left, but his blog is well-respected among all parts of the political spectrum. I find that his young age shows, in the "we-can-relate-to-him-because-he's-not-65" way, which is a nice thing. If this sounds like your type of thing, check it out.

Digital Life or Collaborative Filtering?

For my money, web logs, search engines and the rest of the internet are primarily to collaborativeliy filter the endless amounts of information. I know this isnt the case for everyone else, in fact the internet is probably just as much about social activities as information gathering.

After seeing the blog Robot Wisdom I'm very impressed with the "collection" Jorn Barger has accumulated. He does use his site as a portal for "information" and other types of media. At the same time I can't really imagine ever devoting my whole life to that long page of links placed over a starry background. If information and personal expression is what we are after, should it really come from a single dark room with homemade pizza without anyone around? I think the presence of blogs and the internet as a whole has most likely allowed us to indulge our most introverted pleasures. I think its hard to argue that there are necessary social elements that one cannot get from a computer screen alone. Even the telephone isn't enough for most people. The bottom line, I think, is that blogging provides an unusual escape from reality while simultaneous broadcasting other "real" information to everyone else on the net.

thoughts on blogging


I've been familiar with blogs and blogging for years now, so while the articles we read weren't introducing a new concept to me, it was still interesting to think about the history of blogging. It's so funny to think about the days when blogging was something novel, because I'd say that nowadays I spend half of all of my time online reading or writing blogs!

I've been involved with online communities since... 1999 I think, which is when I really got into television fandom (and specifically, online fandom). It's been funny to see online communication make the jump from being messageboard-based to blog-based. Instead of posting in forums to talk about my fandoms, now all of my interaction occurs through LiveJournal and a few other community blogs.

We are all experts

I was first introduced to blogging in my early high school years when my friends would use LiveJournal, DeadJournal, Xanga, etc., and rant about how much homework they have or how some teacher was unfair to them today. This would soon evolve into the Facebook and the MySpace of today; both turned me off towards blogging because I really didn't care "What cereal mascot I was" or "What percentage of my kiss is passionate." Mead apparently found this type of blogging fascinating. I could do without it.

I have no answer as to why people create these personal blogs, but I can say something about "interest" blogs. Before I worked for TSL, I blogged on a couple of sports blog. Like any other sports fans, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable of my favorite sports, especially basketball.

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