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The Golden Age of Blogging

I like the opening of Jonathan Sterne‘s first post back after summer vacation so much, I’m stealing it whole:

Jonathan Sterne: Greetings, loyal rss aggregators, assorted robots, and extremely dedicated readers. After a summer hiatus, this blog awakens refreshed. Sure, blogging is so passé that it’s cast as a quaint, dated practice in Julie and Julia, but that won’t stop me.

I’ve been hearing this more and more lately, but if both Julie and Julia are saying it, it must be true: Blogging is dead, alas, or at least not what it used to be. Bloggers are posting less, readers are clicking less, and nobody is getting undeservedly famous anymore. The Church of What’s Happening Now has moved on.

Mark Athitakis: I suspect that when somebody says that blogging had a “golden age,” the person means that there was a time (circa 2002) when it felt new and exciting, and the media wanted to do stories about it, and some people got a lot of attention really quickly (book deals! movie options!), and everybody got to have lively discussions and post pictures of puppies or argue about string theory, and it was a thrill because we all had a brand-new toy to play with and we knew who was reading us and we were finally, finally, getting some interesting e-mail.

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I Will Do My Best To Teach Them About Life And What It's Worth

“See all that stuff inside, Homer? That’s why your robot never worked!”*

Here’s what I’m doing this weekend, unless a certain fetus has other plans: The Hacking as a Way of Knowing Workshop organized by the excellent Bill Turkel and the awesome Edward Jones-Imhotep.

This three-day workshop will explore the theme of E-waste and environmental data. Working in small groups, participants will be given the task of hacking some typical consumer e-waste to create reflective technological assemblages that incorporate ‘nature’ in some form while calling one or more of our basic assumptions into question.

Translation: We’re making killer robots. Reflective, nature-incorporating, assumption-questioning, killer robots. The twitterpated can follow this foolish meddling with secrets beyond our ken at #hackknow. Confession: I’ve been on Twitter for a year now (as “robotnik“) but have only managed to emit one tweet.

*I googled “that’s why your robot never worked” to be sure I had the quote right, and discovered that my own elderly LiveJournal is the number one hit for the phrase. Andy Warhol would plotz: I’ve become famous to myself.