December 9, 2005
Mick Foley Enters the Blogosphere

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!"



It's amazing that you can distinguish his character in the wrestling world from the man, himself. That time you introduced me to him, I had sudden flashbacks of the unibomber. Granted, he was an exceedingly polite and gratious man, but his appearance was near frightening. Beyond that, though, I will admit that blogging has made a huge impact on news. Forget newspapers and television, I use Pluck faithfully and spend half a day catching up on unread feeds.

Along the same lines, though, how big of an impact do you think podcasting will have? Personally, i'm not seeing it as a major movement right now. The ipod era is too young to appreciate mp3 newsbroadcasts. But as mp3 players become the norm, do you see podcasting making as huge a dent as weblogs?

On December 10, 2005 at 8:28 AM, Sam Ford said:

Mick's one of those guys who can always prove that looks can be deceiving. His personality always sneaks up on people. His newest novel has gotten a lot of good reviews, called Scooter.

I think podcasting may have a big impact, but everyone agrees that not much has happened with it yet. Just because technology is available doesn't mean people will always want to use it. And, besides, most people are much more comfortable with putting their ideas out tthere than their images and their voice, which is a much more intimate level of involvement. Also, blogs can reach everyone, while podcasting would require a faster Internet connection.

I think that, especially as well-known entities start to find the podcast, that journalist sites, entertainment sites, etc., may very well move to the podcast. For instance, on WWE's Web site, Jonathan Coachman's Coachcast and John Cena's 5 Questions with the Champ are becoming popular features on the site. And WWE has long had its own Internet talk show, Byte This!.

But, overall, I agree with you--the podcast is only in its beginning, and I don't think it will ever damage the blog itself. There's just something about the written word, which can be linked and quoted and reached by even the slowest dial-up connection.