Blogging and memory

Jon Schwarz at A Tiny Revolution makes some interesting observations on theĀ under-exploited ability of blogs to provide long range historical context for current events: “extending the memory of political discussions”, as he nicely puts it. I’m not sure if this is a capability unique to blogs — after all, a newspaper or a magazine is perfectly capable of providing the same sort of deep context — but it may be effectively unique, in the sense that bloggers don’t work for professional editors who say things like, “Love the historical analysis you’ve provided, Ian, but I’m not sure our readers will really need this level of detail. We’ve made one or two changes here; tell me what you think…”

Of course, when I was an editor, I never said things like that. Then again, our magazine made no money. Poverty is freedom.

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