Sunday, January 01, 2006

blogs superior to television

“There has been a lot of tension among publishers about technology. But if you ask me if I’d rather have someone watching television or someone surfing the Internet, I’d prefer the Internet because it requires some form of reading,” says Richard Sarnoff, president of the Random House, Inc. corporate development group, according to a recent Associated Press report published in Quad City Times.

I think I see what he means.

We've already long ago established beyond any serious dispute the supremacy of blogs over email and telephone communications.

To communicate with another person through blog comments or email means that, simutaneously, as I read their remark or compose my reply, can also listen to music, read a book, and eat pizza. I can't eat a book, read music, and listen to coffee while talking on the phone to someone.

Phoning someone is an invasive, demanding, selfish act.

Your aggressive act of telephoning someone means that you wish to have someone's full attention for an uncertain duration of time.

If that wasn't bad enough, the communication has to be done in real time. That other person you've decided to bother has to drop whatever he's doing and engage in talking repartee with you.

Telephone conversations are interactive, which is good. But they're also invasive real-time full-attention drainers.

Television viewing is largely passive. You interact with the television when you turn it on, off, and change channels with the remote. The screen contains all the movement necessary for the communication. The viewer can remain stiff in a paralytic trance and just soak it up.

With blogs, however, one must at least read. To interact, to post a comment, one must type and know how to activate and cooperate with web forms. And having something to say. And be able to articulate it in text.

Even cats and dogs have been known to watch television. None have been observed turning the pages of books with rapt attention to the plot or topic.

Thus, blogs are better than television. Blogs are almost as good as books. Blogs excel books in being interactive. Books excel blogs in being more portable and requiring, during the daytime, no synthetic power to activate or use them.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


timjoe said...

as i've said here before, i think blogs are good because they are interactive, while tv is not...but i don't think blogs are better than online groups which, essentially, are email point is blogs are too difficult to navigate to reach a particular thread...for instance, i have things to discuss with vaspers and others here, based on prior posts, but it's such a hassle to find those posts i'm inclined not to even's not that i don't want to interact; it's that it's just too burdensome.
tim m

timjoe said...

i never thought about phoning as an invasive thing but, yeah, i agree it is.

carrie said...

i agree. i don't really like to talk on the phone. it always feels so exhausting! even if i want to be talking to the person, i'm glad to get off the phone when i'm finished. phones are weird.

steven edward streight said...


Good suggestions. There are features that offer solutions to some of the drawbacks you mention.

Your remark goads me to try to create my own category listings in my sidebar. I'd take like "Blogocombat", "Blogospheric Neologisms", "CEO Blogs", "Web Usability Tips", "User Testing" and other topics, and group all the posts under such titles.

Another device that helps tremendously is "Subscribe to comments" in the Post a Comment form. This enables you receive email notification of each comment posted to a specific post. I love this, not sure if Blogger offers it. I'd gladly pay for this service. It is Super Blogging, for sure, to have this feature.

It is hard to recall all the blogs I visit, what comments I posted at which blog.

So I Google my name, but that too is cumbersome, since I'm all over the place, and there are lots of online references to my name. But in my brower function Go there is a drop down menu displaying History, broken down into Today, Yesterday, 2 Days Ago, etc.

The Go/History function will enable me to see all the sites I have visited, at least during the past few days.

I will post about this problem-cluster you mention, the tracking of your own conversations within the blogosphere.

But my basic orientation is this: I discuss something in the depth I think it deserves at the moment of the writing.

After a series of reactions over a few days at most, the topic is abandoned in favor of what's most wrong with the world for each day.

The timeliness and spontaneity, filter-free and if there is "editing" it's amateur in most cases, of blogs is one of their secret powers.

I think I'll reveal how to make a blog net.