It’s been 10 years since the blog was born. Love them or hate them, they’ve roiled presidential campaigns and given everyman a global soapbox. Twelve commentators — including Tom Wolfe, Newt Gingrich, the SEC’s Christopher Cox and actress-turned-blogger Mia Farrow — on what blogs mean to them.
Notwithstanding the words of Tom Wolfe, who puts an elegant boot, below, into the corpus of bloggers, there are many more people today who would read blogs than disparage them.
The consumption of blogs is often avid and occasionally obsessive. But more commonly, it is utterly natural, as if turning to them were no stranger than (dare one say this here?) picking one’s way through the morning’s newspapers. The daily reading of virtually everyone under 40 — and a fair few folk over that age — now includes a blog or two, and this reflects as much the quality of today’s bloggers as it does a techno-psychological revolution among readers of news and opinion.
We are approaching a decade since the first blogger — regarded by many to be Jorn Barger — began his business of hunting and gathering links to items that tickled his fancy, to which he appended some of his own commentary. On Dec. 23, 1997, on his site, Robot Wisdom, Mr. Barger wrote: “I decided to start my own webpage logging the best stuff I find as I surf, on a daily basis,” and the Oxford English Dictionary regards this as the primordial root of the word “weblog.”