What is blogging about? Is it just another form of web publishing? Letters to the editor by other means? An electronic speakers’ corner? Or what? The pre-announcement of Michael Keren, Blogosphere: The New Political Arena (Lexington Books, forthcoming 2007), suggests that it is a form of “terrorism”:
Examining the web logs, or blogs, of individuals from a variety of continents and cultures, this book highlights the nature of “blogosphere,” the virtual public arena of the early 21st century, which alters the traditional world of media and politics. It characterizes this new arena by the unique combination of a fresh voice of emancipation and a deep sense of melancholy and isolationism. This journey through blogosphere highlights major forces operating in today’s politics: apathy toward political affairs, resistance to globalization, a quest for redemption through religious fundamentalism and terrorism. Michael Keren compares bloggers to terrorists, arguing that while the methods advocated by the two groups are obviously very different, they both represent a similar trend, one of diversion by respected but disenchanted citizens from the norms of civil society to a fantasy world in which the excessive use of words or bombs would make everybody listen.
I’m not quite sure I agree. Let’s see if the publisher’s announcement holds water.
(Thanks to Craig Howes, email@example.com)