the four generations of bloggers
I wrote my first blog post in May of 2004 and have been doing it ever since. This blog is four years old. It's been in different locations from time to time (three to be exact) but the place where it will be for as long as I continue to blog will be menga.net.
A long time ago I read something called The demise of the geek bloggers. It's a really old article from 2005. At the time the article states there are three generations:
1G: the geek generation
2G: the extrovert generation
3G: the consumer bloggers
When you read the article I'll guarantee you think it's 100% wrong. Why? Because ask anyone if geek blogging is in demise and you'll hear a resounding NO.
So it's time for a refresh of what the Gs really mean.
1G: The nerd generation
True nerds do not call blogs blogs. They call them weblogs. They wrote on weblogs mainly as a means of sharing technical information, and the CMSes they used were usually (if not always) custom-programmed. Comments? Trackbacks? RSS? Pshaw! What the frig is that? The weblogs were nothing but tech, tech and more tech. And not opinionated tech either. It was like reading a manual; that was the original intent.
Most 1G bloggers have vanished or have reinvented themselves as G4s.
2G: The geek generation
During this time there were a few CMSes that popped up like MovableType. This generation knows FTP, some programming, how to set up a MySQL database and wholeheartedly believes that having your own domain name is the only true way to fly (even to this day.)
The main difference between G1 and G2 is that G2s do not blog about tech and tech alone. What they write about will still be geeky, yes, but reads like more of a journal/diary instead of a technical manual.
The G2s hold the distinction of being around the longest.
In case you're wondering, yes I am a G2. Most of us use WordPress.
3G: The consumer generation
In 2006 everyone found out about blogs and wanted to run one of their own. So they did. It was the "new cool thing" and they wrote on them religiously; sometimes several times a day.
Seemingly overnight, 3Gs vanished. Why? They discovered online video (i.e. YouTube.) The cool was now officially uncool, because after all, stupid people prefer video over words.
The king of the hill as far as 3G territory goes is MySpace. You will still find blogs there are still written to regularly in public view. Most of them suck, just like the rest of MySpace. However those active blogs are sparse in nature as the rest are largely inactive (i.e. abandoned.)
3Gs proved to the world that writers are the only ones who truly like to write.
4G: The nerd generation revisited
In very-late 2007 spilling over into 2008 (and still going strong) are 1G bloggers now reinvented as new fresh blog authors. They've got a new lease on a blog life because they finally figured out that tech + attitude = good content.
Old 1Gs rarely if ever posted an opinion on anything because.. well.. they just didn't. The internet was a nicer place at that time. But now, look out! The 1Gs are back! They're older, crustier, put on a few pounds and darn it, they're a-gonna tell you what they think about everything tech.
Fueled by a hot steaming cup of overpriced yuppie-coffee, a Twinkie in one hand and a Macbook in the other, they're going to blast their opinions at you - and you'd better listen.. because.. they um.. told you to. Something like that.
The 2Gs know that the 4Gs are basically full of crap because they stole all their ideas from us. The best of the best in blogging has always come from 2Gs. We started blogging because we thought it was cool. Then it became officially cool. After that it became uncool. We still blogged anyway. And now blogging is cool once again.
The truth of the matter is that we were always here and never left. For all you 4Gs that steal our thunder, go right ahead because you wouldn't know a good idea even if could stand up and take a crap in a litter box. We all know you're all nothing but Left Coast new media douche bags.