My brush with greatness

I was interviewed by someone at Newsweek magazine for an article about blogs. Naturally, I pictured myself with a big splashy cover story, torrents of traffic headed my way, a quick round on the talk shows to promote my new book, and a second home in Tuscany (something quite modest, really, in a Tuscan sort of way). But they wrote back and said they didn’t end up using any of the [boring] material from my [boring] interview. I can’t wait to tell Jay Leno this story. He’ll get a kick out of it.

The article in question, by Steven Levy, just appeared today, and it’s a good one, despite its shortcomings in the interviewee department (I was gratified to see that the woman who interviewed me was credited in the endnotes as having helped). Levy makes a few good points. One is that blogs deliver on the initial promise of the Internet: publishing made cheap and easy. Because self-publishing by blog truly is cheap and easy now, there is an uncountable proliferation of blogs out there, “dark matter,” as he calls it. Most of them are not particularly clever, but as a social phenomenon they are knitting people together, lots of them, helping them connect with like-minded fellow-bloggers. As Levy says,

The genius of this scheme is that you can get going without any mental heavy lifting. “There’s a low barrier to entry,” says Hourihan, one of the Pyra cofounders. “You don’t have to come up with a whole essay.” In fact, even a simple link and a wry comment can get you started. The blog’s raison d’etre can show up late to the party. By your comments and links, you eventually define your interests and ally yourself to the cluster of the Blog-osphere where you’re likely to find others like you.