Nearly four years ago, I wrote an article in which I boasted that I Will Not Blog, and explained my own rationale for not doing so.
I have to admit that I’ve reconsidered the matter some in the intervening four years, and though some of the philosophical points about the weaknesses of blogs and blogging I made then may still hold water. But I didn’t consider the many strengths of blogging that have emerged as blogs have become a wider and more influential phenomenon in the U.S. and globally.
What’s more, things have changed considerably regarding the politics around future of the U.S. internet (and by extension, the future of all U.S. media, as more media become digitized). I’ll talk about this a bit more, and in future posts.
So what I think about blogging might be one thing. What I actually do about blogging is something else.
As a result, I will start blogging consistently (maybe once or twice a week or so), and start right here on ZNet. Thanks for Justin and Mike and the excellent folks at ZNet for letting me post here, and who no doubt have already incorporated me in their schemes to revise the ZNet website.
I’m probably going to post about the topics that most interest me and in which I work in. That will include a lot about the political economy of the mass media in the United States (through my work with Chicago Media Action, in which I also contribute), the production of media (which I do a ton — writing articles, maintaining and building software, a weekly radio show, a monthly TV series), and various local efforts pertaining to participatory economics.
So, to get back to why I’m blogging now after a four-year-long self-imposed exile from contributing in any meaningful sense to the blogosphere? Because I fear that the blogosphere, and the internet, and the future of the media in the United States may face a serious legislative threat right now and in coming years which would turn the internet into the kind of for-profit fiefdom that U.S. commercial radio and television has by and large become.
I’ve written about this elsewhere in the abstract, but in the past couple of weeks the issue has become much more concrete — a dreadful bill has been introduced in the U.S. House, called euphemistically the Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006. If you live in the United States, I strongly encourage you to learn about the issue and join in the campaigns to stop it.
Carpe diem, I suppose. Oh, and there’s another reason why I chose April 12 as the date to start blogging. Today’s my birthday.