Blogosphere Revisited: Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Gigantica, 2945 ed.

The galaxy as we know it is full of strange and interesting facts.

For example, it is strange and interesting that the term “blogosphere,” which was first coined in the 21st century to reflect the growth and democratization of online journalism, should also be the name of a planet located the Qwertyuiopeia region of the galaxy.  Even stranger is the fact that Blogosphere, the third planet of the Blogos system, should also have a history in which do-it-yourself journalism featured prominently.

In fact much of the history of Blogosphere could be described in terms of the development of personal journalism, as it was called there.  From ancient times, the Blogospherians had been firm believers in the importance of communication as a means to promote social progress, reach sound mutual political decisions, and enhance the general community.  As technological innovation progressed with first the printing press and then the word processor, the number of Blogospherians engaged in personal journalism grew exponentially.  Soon the planet was awash in newspapers and magazines, all chattering unrelentingly about politics, the weather, each others’ personal lives, and the growing problem of planetary deforestation (and the accompanying problem of waste management).

It was not until the development of electronic communication that the field of personal journalism reached its apotheosis.  Freed from the constraints of paper, personal journalism blossomed into a virtual civic duty as anyone who pretended to political or social awareness or even ambition wound up running their own online news feed.  When Blogosphereans wanted to brag to their friends, rather than talking about the accomplishments of their children (which the diligent friend was expected to have read about previously), they would talk about how many people had read their blog and commented on it.

One unexpected side effect of the boom in personal journalism was that, after a certain point, the time required to produce a steady stream of new material for their blogs eroded the time they had to read what other Blogospherians had written.  It became progressively less likely that any errors would be refuted, duplication avoided, or even good ideas located in all the noise.  Thus, as personal journalism increased in popularity, ostensibly for the sake of fostering communication, the less communication actually took place.

Another side effect was a general reduction in overall activity.  In short, the more time people devoted to blogging, the less there was actually anything worth blogging about.  This inconvenience only led the Blogosphereans to redouble their efforts.  Soon the effects trickled over into economic productivity, as people started shaving bits off their workday, so they could get a head start on their blogs.

The fate of the Blogospherean population was finally sealed when the planet was targeted by the Cupons, a barbaric race set on colonizing as much of the galaxy as they could.  The period leading up to the invasion was marked by such an increase in the volume of blogging that the rotational inertia of the spinning data storage units on the two small moons being used as data backup facilities caused the moons to spin out of their orbits and wander off through space.   The actual invasion, it must be said, was an unqualified success:  in spite of being outnumbered and having inferior equipment, the Cupons landed without losing a single ship, no doubt due to the fact that the Blogospherians were all busily engaged in transcribing their impressions of the event and forecasting the implications, instead of defending their planet.

This event marked a turning point not only in the history of Blogosphere, but also in the history of history itself, as the first known case in which the best record of the war was written by the vanquished.

Also unusual in an invasion:  the Cupons allowed the Blogosphereans to keep broadcasting throughout the event, evidently calculating that the Blogosphereans were less of a threat that way than if all the media sites had been shut down, forcing them to get up and do something.

It would be unfair to say that the galaxy stood by and allowed the invasion to occur.  Rather, the galaxy had become so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of missives coming from the Blogosphere that everyone just sort of tuned them out.  Nobody realized it had happened until one of the escaped moons drifted into the orbit of an archaeologically-rich planet (which in an ironic twist happened to be the original homeworld of the Cupons) and qualified professionals were able to download the records and discover the truth.  But of course by then it was too late.

What lessons can be gleaned from the fate of the Blogosphereans?  The answer to that question is left for the reader to determine, while the writer steps away from the keyboard for a while.

Copyright 2013

Be sure to look up these other entries from the Encyclopedia Gigantica:

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