I like it when events converge and create a kind of cosmic order.
Nigel James called his blog “New toys for the bloggers” but I think the introduction of the simple WYSIWYG blogging tool is more than a toy, for those interested in creating content to share with fellow SDNers and BPXers. In fact, having the ability to create a blog, sans the manually created html tags, is a small victory for those (myself, for example) that evangelize and advocate accessibility for the somewhat technologically disenfranchised (meaning folks other than the diehard programmer-types). I was rather excited (regardless of the hiccups and glitches) when we first made this new editor available to our community in these last few weeks.
The event of using the new editor for a personal post (I’ve been helping others in the background) coincided very nearly with a personal adventure that represents a kind of historical victory of how our community now has the ability to express itself without needing the archaic language of html or the helping hands of the blog priests.
Yes, I know, blogging is an activity that has some elitist overtones, in fact, we do work hard to raise the entry bar and keep marketing away, content rich, and quality up. But we also work very hard to give access to the community.
So here’s the point: serendipitously, I was invited yesterday to visit a private showing of some rare printed books. I had no clue of what that meant. 10 very lucky people sat around a table in a university library somewhere in New York City and suddenly I was viewing, unobstructed by glass or other protective devices, an incunabula: one of the first books in the world printed with moveable type before 1501.
Gutenberg created 180 copies of a bible of which there are about 45 extant copies. I had the incredible good fortune and privilege of breathing on one of them and being in touching distance of its beautiful pages.
It suddenly dawned on me that social software and social media creates the same kind of revolution that Gutenberg helped create: What was once the sacred privilege of holy men, became, through moveable type, accessible to a wider public. And this power shift, rather than diminishing the value of the contents, made the contents more accessible and comprehensible to more people, creating greater and greater access and value.
So use the tools powerfully and well and go and create and share and disseminate wonderful, helpful content for our community. And enjoy the fact that you can finally do this without the need to speak in html or employ intermediaries and scribes.