the passing of the Golden Age of Tech Blogging. The Age apparently succumbed to complications following a series of seismic shifts in the industry, brought on by corporate media interests who, despite all evidence to the contrary, continue to believe they can make money publishing blogs.The Web publishing world was saddened to wake up this morning to the news from three nights earlier, repeated from a presumably reputable source, of
Casualties include various editors for some of the industry's most renowned publications for several weeks running, who have evidently been hired by identically-sounding media firms to produce similar-looking publications, with equally ambiguous editorial responsibilities.
The Age's passing is being marked by a period of extended bickering in comments sections across the Web over the meaning of "age," "blogging" and "tech" in their respective contexts. In keeping with the style of argument that marked the heyday of the Age, none of these arguments have reached any conclusions, though many were declared "idiots."
Such an extraordinary amount of turmoil and upheaval, it is believed, is unprecedented for this period in world history, which has otherwise been characterized by peace, stability, economic well-being, the eradication of hunger, and freedom from strife. Indeed, compared to the upbeat and forward-thinking spirit of the automobile industry, the sound strategy and sure-footedness of the financial industry, the bold and innovative stance of the media industry, the strength and resolve of our infrastructure, and the comity and brotherhood that has characterized the most productive period of legislative accomplishments at any time since the Dawn of Humankind, the passing of the Golden Age of Tech Blogging is a rare blot, a pimple on the face of progress. Things would have been so perfect this year, but alas.
Gone, gone are the names that once rolled off of Web readers' tongues, the bylines that built an Age of magnificence, of greatness, of headlines so brilliant that they nearly crossed the threshold into truth. All the great editors of this-and-such, can't you recall them as though they were here only yesterday? A list of several of those names was being recollected for this article, but woefully had already been forgotten by press time.
As a tribute to those great names, to the fallen ones who once relied solely upon themselves for expertise, illumination and biting wit, I have called upon the most conveniently available expert on the topic of the Golden Age to shed more light upon it.
Self: How do you do?
Me: Greetings, self. Self, tell us how the passing of this Golden Age compares to the passings of other ages?
Self: Well, as you'll recall, there was the End of the Geocities Era in April 2009, during which the End of Blogging For All Time was predicted.
Me: Oh, yes. Terrible!
Self: Then two months earlier came the Death of Web 2.0, which was marked by a long period of public mourning.
Me: Yes, I remember many members of my family sought my help in reverting to Web 1.7.
Self: Then there was The Day the Web Died, on account of CBS' purchase of CNET Networks in 2008.
Me: And of course, who can forget the Bubble?
Self: The what?
Me: The Bubble, you know, the one that burst in 2001.
Self: Oh yes, the End of the Internet as We Know It. As I recall, what brought that on was an over-investment in entities that had unsubstantiated business plans. They didn't really know how they would earn revenue.
Me: And of course, that mistake could never be repeated again.
Self: Naturally. Of course, it's too late now anyway, with the Golden Age having passed.
Me: Now, according to Wikipedia, there were prior technological eras during which people reportedly walked on the moon; and before that, there were - again, reportedly - major public infrastructure projects which resulted in the building of dams and the construction of lakes and waterways.
Self: Yes, but you're forgetting that due to the absence of available bloggers during that prehistoric period, there's considerable doubt over whether these events actually happened.
Me: But it was during the Golden Age that such doubts were elevated to their rightful place alongside the truth.
Self: Indeed. During the Age, one could produce a headline such as, "Man Never Walked On Moon."
Me: Ah-ah-ah! Don't forget the question mark!
Self: Oh, yes, forsooth I shan't. It was a common practice in this period, when there wasn't enough time between now and lunch to seek an outside source, to simply run with the headline with a question mark at the end.
Me: Which was good, because then you'd get a lot of comments.
Self: Mostly from readers who would be insulted by, for instance, the gender-insensitivity of the headline.
Me: So you would replace that...
Self: ...publish a whole new story, "People Never Walked On Moon," question mark.
Me: Assuming for the sake of hypothesis that these technological events did happen; the moon landing, Hoover Dam...
Self: D-Day, the splitting of the atom.
Me: How do they relate by comparison to the technological events we attached question marks to during the Golden Age?
Self: Well, Buzz Aldrin couldn't exactly tweet his good fortune from the Sea of Tranquility, now, could he? Nor could he play a round of "Angry Birds" while sitting at the foot of the lunar lander.
Me: Very good point. Boy, wouldn't that have made all the difference!
Self: Perhaps it did. "Aldrin Aced 'Ham-'em-High' Level from Lunar Surface," question mark.
Me: Now, we haven't seen an official autopsy report yet, so do we know what the actual cause of passing was?
Self: For what?
Me: The Golden Age, the latest one.
Self: Oh, yes. Sorry, I lost my train of time there. Well, we do have some evidence. There was a report by Sarah Lacy earlier this week...
Me: Sarah Lacy! Yes, she was one of the names on my list! Do we know if she's all right?
Self: She's fine, she made it through.
Me: Thank heavens!
Self: Sarah mentioned how with the business model of blogs during the Golden Age, the more popular a blog became, the more distributed its ad inventory grew, and as a result, the less money each ad generated.
Me: That sounds like the business model used to equalize the revenue from farming, just after the Russian Revolution.
Self: True, socialism had been enjoying a brief reprise during the Golden Age.
Me: And that all ended with the surge of corporate interests.
Self: Money, as you know, is the root of all corruption. Now, it would appear the capitalists have come home to roost, and who knows what the fate of the Free and Open Web will be now that money has entered the picture.
Me: Who knows, question mark!
Self: Question mark, quite correct!
Me: Self, thank me for joining me for this exclusive, live coverage, and I look forward to seeing you for the next great passing.
Self: Thank you, me. I'm holding next April open.