You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

July, 2005

Blog Paper Proposal

Anyone who reads this site with any regularity will know my position on transparency (I'm all for it). With that said, I'm currently working on a proposal to write a paper on blogging for a cultural studies journal. As I was wrapping up the short proposal I really felt like some feedback would be helpful and who better to turn to for feedback than all of you? So read this and let me know what you think. Feel free to suggest additions/subtractions, tell me what you like/don't like or just give me your general thoughts. Anything would be greatly appreciated. If for whatever reason you'd rather email me, you can do that too. Just use the handy contact form. Thanks.
Blogging Paper Proposal

This essay will examine blogging as a renewal of many of the ideals of oral society. Blogging's democratic nature and conversational style hearkens back to the oral traditions discussed by Plato and Ong, standing in opposition to the authority that has been placed on the written word in the modern age. What is more, the premium placed on debate and opinion means the lessons of blogging could form the building blocks to a return of public discourse.

While "blogging" as it is referred to now may or may not exist ten years from now, its messages will undoubtedly resonate in future generations as they take hold in other areas of communication. With that said, what are the likely effects of this huge shift in communication technology and style on a culture that has long relied on traditional modes of authoritative communication to deliver messages?

Business, and more specifically marketing, seems like a great place to examine those impacts, for in many ways blogging is the antithesis to business communication. While businesses carefully monitor messages, blogs are generally free form and open. It's a battle between transparency and opacity and examining what happens when these two worlds collide provides many fascinating angles. How does the business world deal with a shift in culture to where people expect communication to come in a straightforward fashion, rather than hidden behind a smokescreen of press releases and advertising copy?

Grounding the business arguments will be sources ranging from the Cluetrain Manifesto which purports that "markets are conversations" to a blog like Scobleizer, written by Microsoft employee Robert Scoble.

While there will be a business/marketing angle to the piece, it is by all means a look at communication history, a suggestion that blogging bears certain resemblances to oral culture and an argument that there are lessons of blogging that can't be ignored. Once that idea has been set up, however, I think it's valuable to examine what the effects of such a huge shift in the way we communicate could be on a pillar of society like business, which is so rooted in literacy, opacity and authority. Business, in this case, then acts as a kind-of guinea pig to examine the larger effects of blogging on twenty-first century culture.

July 11, 2005
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.