I love blogs. Perhaps that seems obvious since this is a blog. I also love Facebook. And Twitter.
I didn’t always love blogs. When a group of my friends and acquaintances started keeping Livejournal blogs circa 1999-2000, I scoffed. Why would they want to share their “journal” with anyone? I didn’t get it. It wasn’t long before I was swept up in it myself. I’d always loved writing, and here was a chance for me to write, receive feedback, and engage with people I might not otherwise know. Soon I was seeking out blogs and communities on Livejournal and beyond. Most of my old friends have long since forgotten the blogging craze, but I’m still here. Why?
Part of the answer lies in Clay Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus. He writes of creativity, sharing, and connectivity in an age of technology. The Internet/social media has brought amazing opportunity that, coupled with the surplus of time and energy that many of us have, has resulted in projects like Wikipedia, PickupPal, and many others. We are no longer consumers. We are producers, collaborators, citizens.
I love this. I loved Cognitive Surplus. Perhaps that seems obvious since I’m a blogger, zinester, and lover of indie music. I love the “publish” button. I love the “like” button. I love the opportunity to be a part of something greater than myself. Shirky writes,
The range of opportunities we can create for one another is so large, and so different from what life, until recently, was like, that no one person or group and no one set of rules or guides can describe all the possible cases. The single greatest predictor of how much value we get out of our congitive surplus is how much we allow and encourage one another to experiment, because the only group that can try everything is everybody.
Life is good, people. Let’s do something.