Friday, May 28, 2010

Seeking Its Own Level

They say if you release pedigree dogs—great dane, bulldog, rat on a string, whatever—they will, in a few generation, revert to your bog-standard mutt; that animal most of us think of when someone says the word, “dog.”

It seems to be that way with the Internet, as well.

(Oh no, he’s going off on one of his, “I’ve been around this Internet thing a long time, so gather ‘round, kids, while grandpa tells you a story” binges again.)

In the beginning, before there were web pages, there were bulletin boards. In this text world (Yes, kids, text; you only saw writing on the screen, and there was no such thing as a mouse!) people logged on and sought out like-minded people to exchange porn, I mean, ideas with. This was the forerunner of the newsgroups, chat rooms and fourms.

Then web pages arrived. The early days saw some interesting evolutionary branches, but eventually an accepted pattern emerged: a main page with changing text on it and a collection of relatively static pages containing other information, such as About Me, Other Writing, Buy my Shit, etc.

Your average website

Then came blogs.

We HTMLers hated them. They were crass, vulgar and, well, really really easy, so one by one we sold our souls. But some of us, like myself, would not compromise. My main blog is graphed into my old web site so the static pages co-exist with the ever-changing main page. This took no small effort and is not for the faint of heart so most people contented themselves with a link to their real web site.

But so strong, so natural, is the pattern of main page linked to static pages that blogs have now evolved into, well, web sites. Wordpress has had this feature for some time, but if any of you lived through my ill-fated foray into the world of Wordpress with me you’ll know this was a painful time.

And nowBlogger—the slag of blog software—has jumped on the bandwagon. Pages are, once again, a standard feature, only now they are as easy to set up and maintain as a blog.

The new look of Blogs

I expect I’ll make full use of them, at least on my other blog (though this one might serve as a guinea pig). At least I see an innovation that doesn’t make me go into “Grumpy Old Man” mode, but only because this isn’t really an innovation, it’s a return to the way things were meant to be.

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