Tuesday, July 12, 2005

blogging is PLATO notesfiles, evolved

Another thing I realized is that blogging is one of the many evolutionary lines that descended from PLATO notesfiles from the late 1970's. Usenet newsgroups were a more direct descendant, but the blogosphere has something the notesfiles had but the newsgroups mostly never did have -- an active editorial hand at work. Because notesfiles started out as tools for professional work, they were never wild and wooly like the Usenet newsgroups. Someone exercises editorial control. Blogs are more like PLATO notesfiles.

One way or another, the Internet is still playing catch-up with what the PLATO online community discovered twenty-five years ago. But now it's the whole world. Are we ready for that?

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