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In Jell-O In Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream!

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Steve McQueen tries to describe the original "Blog" in the little known 1950s classic. "It's amorphous, highly self referential and it's taking over. Send help. Send Whipped Cream and a lot of spoons!"

My apologies and credit to the makers of the original "Blob" and the subsequent 1988 remake, whose posters we've taken liberties with. - SFRevu

Editorial License - Beware The Blog!
by Ernest Lilley - Editor/SFRevu

But first, a message from our sponsor:

2001 Hugo Nomination Deadline: March 30, 2002
Online Nomination Form: Nomination Form

You may remember last month, I was encouraging folks to get out and nominate websites for the First Ever Web Hugo. No? Then visit last month's editorial: The Hugo (SFRevu 2/02)

Blog: (n) A Web log (v) To run a Web log

Beware of the Blog, it creeps...

Sometimes even an especially hip Webster like yours truly can feel pretty well out of it. Hard to believe, I know, but the other day I was left feeling definitely un-cool, when Lem Fuggit, a friend of mine who is addicted to quote emailing, asked me what I though about "Blogging".

I had no idea, except that it sounded like something kinky Brits would take up as a weird category of fetish.

Of course, I'd never let on that there was something I didn't know, so I web searched for a few minutes until I had become a blog expert, and then replied with what was the seed for this column.

It turns out that Blogging, or web-logging, which has been a term in use since at least the summer of 1999 made it into mainstream media consciousness in 2000, in an article in the New Yorker about how two bloggers found true love through the sharing of their lives and weblinks with everyone. 

I guess, I've done my share of blogging, both here and over at my non-sf website, www.e357.net, which is really just webspace I use for temporary files...and a few personal photo essays. Blogs, I guess.

The good side of blog is that it encourages people to write, the bad side is that there's no mechanism to encourage them to write well. That goes for me too. I keep meaning to go back and fix up the really badly written route 66 stuff (WWW.e357.net/66), done in a stupor on the side of the road somewhere, but other things press.

The notion that blog provides an end run on the media's filter of what counts and what doesn't is really exciting. That old line in every UFO movie where the government doesn't want to panic the people speaks more to media control than public safety. In the days of direct information access, the public becomes much more sophisticated about screening the veracity of information.

Rather than a few lone voices raising doubts about this thing or that, the cacophony of web voices make it clear that there are lots of strange things in the world, some possible, some not, but suppression of news isn't one of them.

Maybe that generates news burnout, maybe it just makes people better at separating wheat from chaff.

I don't much like the name, blog. It's about as elegant as high heeled boots, which I'm also not all that big on. Which means that it's well chosen, because I'm not supposed to like it, being from a generation gone by in the eyes of generations coming up.

Since I'm supposed to be hard at work putting out my next issue of SFRevu, the only way I can redeem myself is if I use this email as the seed for my editorial, which I will.

But enough about me. Go read some SFReviews

2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu                                                                                 sa 03.16.02