The Digital LaunchPad

In the digital world voices all sound the same: bits, bytes, hums and whirs. There is no human voice here, only the sound of electrical charges and discharges. But just the same there is a language. A growing and important form of communication, greater – more powerful – than anything ever devised or visioned by mankind.

Yes, it could be our downfall. But so, too could have been – and was – said of the printing press. In some senses, it did bring down many. In other more profound ways it provided the power necessary to bring literacy and education to millions upon millions of humans who would never have known it. In this the downfall was the seeds for the greatest expansion of knowledge ever in the history of mankind.

A Matter of Perspective: Is It Not?

Technology is cursed – and blessed – with being a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways: Good and Bad. However, it’s not the sword that initiates the cutting – not the initial energy needed. No, the sword is merely an instrument that must be guided to have influence – we are that influence, it is us – humanity, whom swings the sword: or stops it.

So.. how we weild this new ’sword’ will tell a lot about our future as living organisms; as community; as spirits. The power we now have is so mighty – that it pales the pen of yesteryear. The digital world will control our every being…. or at least as much as we afford it control.

And that’s the key isn’t it: Personal Responsibility … or in another word: Choice. We make the call, as it were, and live with the decisions. Nothing has changed in that scenario. Only now we engage a choice and feel the outcome much faster. A powerful club to wield.

How well we choose, determines the character behind the choosing. How well we live with the errors we make, that will be determined by the level of Personal Responsibility each of us assumes under our own control.

BLOGSTROM: the term

The term blogstrom is a term of my own creation. A lot of other names have been attached to this incredible tool since making it’s public debut back in the early days of 1990. Back when the only thing people knew of the forthcoming Internet … were the few bulletin boards (BB’s) making the rounds on the new-fangled personal computers coming out of the likes of IBM, Dell, Sony, Apple and others. Such names as CompuServe, Prodigy and the scurge that is still with us, AOL.

Dave Winer, former owner of Userland Software, creator of the first powerful, computer resident blogging CMS tool, Radio, began calling the arena in which blogging was taking place – or would be taking place – as the blogosphere. A good name. But I thought it more accurately described the ‘area’ – and not the action taking place. Thinking about that is what led me to refer to the ‘happening’ as the BLOGSTROM.

Blogstrom was inspired by the word maelstrom. The site Answers.com – one of my favorite resources! – defines maelstrom as the following:

 

  • A violent or turbulent situation;
  • A whirlpool of extraordinary size or violence.

I believe this very aptly describes the ‘happenings’ going on inside – and outside – the blogstrom.

The Blogstrom is violent: in both much of what is said and done and it’s definitely turbulent. The Blogstrom is also a ‘war zone’. Old media are falling right and left – along with the long-held belief that only the ‘knowing professionals’ can – or even have the right – to dispense news or thought provoking information. This is nothing short of a social coupe! That is a radical change and change is violent in its nature.

The Blogstrom is a violent and turbulent place. Does this mean it’s not safe?

Well, yes – in some sectors that is true. Just like that same truth applies to certain areas on planet earth: not all are human conflict generated, either. Walking up to a feeding predator – such as a grizzly bear, tiger, lion or hyeana – will grant you a very large opportunity to be the viande du jour! Undoubtably a violent environment. But as well, there are many places where one can be within dangerous proximity of such natural violence and yet remain safe: distance, vehicle, containment – in some way you can be near, but not in danger. See the violence – even experience it a bit – but, without experiencing damaging results.

The Blogstrom is also a whirlpool of immense size and violence; there’s that word again!

A whirlpool – the physical characteristic of water, not the appliance manufacturer! – is, according to Answers.com…

 

  • A rapidly rotating current of water; a vortex.

    • Turmoil; whirl.
    • A magnetic, impelling force into which one may be pulled.

Once again, a perfect description of the ‘happening’ within the Blogstrom. It’s not quiet in here! We the bloggers who make up the Blogstrom, cause a great amount of uproar, noise, stir and general all-around commotion! That’s what we are. It’s who we are as well.

The Blogstrom is a vortex. Answers.com again provides us definition for the word vortex:

 

  • A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it.

Many of us take great delite in ‘playing’ in the very eddies of its fateful vortices. Staying but moments from disaster; daily. That’s the Rush! the Thrill! the Reason… we continue on dancing the step of dare with the ebb and flow of the Blogstrom.

Eventually, everything will be sucked into this ever expanding vortex until we’re all absorbed by it. From the looks of things today, we may not be too far from that time and place.

But are we talking of something bad here? Depends on to whom you pose that question. Some feel the Blogstrom is the worst blight to hit the human race. Others see it as a miracle cure for the disease of knowledge exclusion. Again, it’s the case of the double-edged sword. Which way it swings depends completely on us.

This blog is about that swing. The, as Dow Chemical has now coined, the “Human Element”. We are the maelstrom at the center of the vortex I have termed the Blogstrom. It is humanity that has the power of which way the winds of this change agent will blow.

Will we step up and guide with wisdom the swing of the blade? Or, will be carelessly loose concentration and let the blade swing wildly where it may?

Listen in as Voices From the Blogstrom sifts the bits and bytes of the digital hum for whom the blade shall toll next.

VFTB

 

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