Blogs make it to print, but not finally

In late 2003, I contacted Barbara O'Brien about an idea I'd had percolating for some time--an idea that Sarah Boxer would call "dreadful" (and David Kamp would disagree)--to assemble blog postings, specifically political blog postings, into a book. Barbara's book Blogging America (July 2004) was one of the first anthologies of blogs in print (the first is credited to Tony Pierce's Blook of 2002), to which which Barbara generously added much original material and commentary. Back then, I called it "editing the internet," and I perceived this as the Next Big Thing in publishing.

It did not (and still does not) make sense to me that there is naturally one world of content available on the web sitting beside another world of content available in print. Six years ago the overlap was fairly limited, though, and so the growth potential seemed enormous. Some months later, in May 2005, my own collection--call it my homage to Donald Rumsfeld--was published. In the crucial nine months between these two books, blogs had hit a tipping point, and the day that Untidy: The Blogs on Rumsfeld was published was also the day that The Huffington Post went online, and there was no looking back--bloggers had big-time readership in an instant. Other web-based news sites with original content inevitably took hold.

With blogs now firmly in American (and the World) psyche, an idea brought up by John Emerson in September 2006 will come to pass, and blogs will have their own national tabloid, The Printed Blog, as highlighted in this NYT article. Next Tuesday (1/27/09) will be a new day in bringing blog posts to print. Of course, I approve.

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