What power is the world of weblogs having on society as a whole?
Just a few days ago, I posted an entry on the commentary from the Wall Street Journal in which Lee Gomez questions whether a few blogs will become powerful, leaving the rest to float in ubiquity. As Kurt Squire has responded, I think this viewpoint has some validity.
Blogs aren't just making new names more powerful though--they are also giving a new space for already established names to enter. Case in point would be all of the journalists who are now taking to blogging...or bestselling author/pro wrestler Mick Foley.
Those who know Foley's career know that he isn't much into new technology--he speaks at college campuses about the lost art of writing by hand and prides himself on handwritten manuscripts.
Foley's entry into blogging is no different. He is currently blogging on World Wrestling Entertainment's trip to Afghanistan to entertain the troops, but swears he will only blog under two conditions--that someone else types his entries up and that he is never considered part of the blogosphere.
However, he says that the temptation to have a weblog had just become too much.
Is this going to be a trend that enters all spaces of mass media? For Foley, the blog becomes incredibly interesting, as his television character Mick Foley and the real person Mick Foley becomes very complex in this space, where he is blogging about his life. Which Mick Foley is this? What is the distinction? Can we claim to be seeing the backstage of the character, or should we consider the blog a performance as well?
Interesting questions, not just for academic concerns but for understanding how fans comprehend materials and why they are driven toward them. The celebrity blog is a space that remains quite a mystery in many ways.
And, to my friend Mick Foley, although he'll probably never read this since he claims not to use the Web--welcome to the sphere, fellow "Web log writer!"