Merriam Webster chose ‘blog’ as the 2004 word of the year. Does that choice mean that blogs are becoming more important, or just that there is increasing hype about them? Obviously there is a lot of hype about blogs; last night on the West Wing press secretary CJ Cregg made a reference to the ‘blogosphere’ being likely to react to something the President was proposing. Ooh, ooh! Blogs are being mentioned in prime time TV shows!
My view is that blogs matter because they represent a new way of communicating that is in its infancy, but one which is clearly growing at a rapid pace. Whether network TV weaves blogs into their plot lines is not significant, and the same is true for having the word ‘blog’ chosen as Word of the Year. Blogs matter for a lot of reasons; that’s a simple fact.
Sadly, for many people the acid test for concluding that blogs really matter will be if they are adopted by business types. Mark Cuban the owner of the Dallas Mavericks started a blog last year, but many people regard him as, well, a maverick. He’s a ‘business type’ only in the sense that he has some businesses. Mark Cuban having a blog doesn’t signal the beginning of the business world becoming aware of the need to blog. Wake me up when a corporate executive at, say, General Motors starts a blog.