Monday, February 19, 2007

Electronic Culture

Ah, second day of the Chinese New Year of the Golden Pig. It is a public holiday here in Malaysia and I am not on hospital call. So finally have some reading time *grin*

Hugh Hewitt(2005) Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation that's Changing Your World is an interesting book. Hewitt is a syndicated radio show host, a professor of Law at Chapman Law School, an author and is an avid blogger. This book is a call for the Corporate world to take blogging seriously.

Hewitt likens blogging as equivalent with the printing press. The movable type printing press was instrumental in widely distributing Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses in 1517. This was a tremendous boost for the Reformation. Blogging is the 21st century equivalent of the printing press where information are distributed instantly and is causing an "Information Reformation".

The first blog appeared in 1999. In 2005 there are more than 4 millions blogs. There are poliblogs (blogs about politics, especially USA politics in Hewitt's book), faithblogs, and many other types of blogs. There are blogs with high numbers of visitors and blogs with few visitors, which is known as "long tail of the dog". Hewitt cautions about looking down on these medium and low volume blogs because he says that these are a large market because these blogs have loyal and faithful following.

Does blog have an effect on opinion shaping? Hewitt tend to think so. He writes about "blog swarms" causing "opionion storms" in the US. He gives the example of Trent Lott and Howell Raines in 2002 and 2003, details of Kerry's Vietnam service in August 2004 and of Dan Rather in September 2004.

Hewitt then went on to encourage large corporate to blog- their CEO, managers and workers. He also encourages large corporations to employ bloggers to blog for them! This makes for an interesting employment opportunity!

Unfortunately, in a rapid moving world, books about the information revolution tend to become dated quickly. However it is an interesting read about blogging especially in the United States where Hewitt reserved all his comments.

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