Feeds

Bruce Sterling gives blogs 10 years to live

Engage life support

Intelligent flash storage arrays

SXSW Science fiction writer and professional pundit Bruce Sterling has cracked bloggers with the extinction stick, saying the plebs will crawl back into their ooze by 2017.

"There are 55 million blogs and some of them have got to be good," Sterling said, during a speech here at the SXSW conference in reference to the slogan on blog search site technorati.com. "Well, no, actually. They don't."

"I don't think there will be that many of them around in 10 years. I think they are a passing thing."

The great blog nation seemed unthreatened by Sterling's comments, as they giggled away at his tone and language. Such satisfaction struck us odd given that most of the SXSW panels touched on blogging in one way or another and around 80 per cent of the attendees claimed to run a blog.

The technology portion of the SXSW music and movie festival has been overrun by the easily impressed and gullible. A fine example of this comes from the constant obsession with Twitter at the show – an application that lets you tell the world when you've taken a pee or made a cup of coffee. "Packing for San Jose," Bwana writes, as we pen this story, while AlunR brags, "Wearing my twitter shirt."

"It's like watching you get beaten to death with croutons," Sterling remarked about the daily diary/moment diary fads of blogs and Twitter.

Sterling has serious concerns about the technology world's obsession with blogging and group think projects such as Wikipedia. He sees the technology emanating from a "a new world of laptop gypsies".

"You are never going to see a painting by committee that is a great painting," he said.

The gypsy idea plays on Sterling's notion that blogging and so-called community driven projects aren't really new at all. They're emerging from something close to tribal instincts of man passing down stories in an unregulated fashion outside of the mainstream.

"It is really pretty old," he said. "It has just never been put into mass scale production. I don't call it a good thing. I think it's just a new thing."

Still, Sterling sees this "commons-based peer production" as the "third world" of current economic development, following the first world of global markets and his second world that consists of all forms of governance.

(Yale professor Yochai Benkler came up with the "commons-based peer production" idea to describe projects where people are willing to work on large scale projects outside of standard compensation and organisation models.)

Make of that what you will.

Along with blogs, Sterling proved concrete on his feelings about mashups where you can combine songs together.

"People on the internet like to pretend this stuff is unbelievably great," he said. "Nobody is going to listen to mashups in another 10 years. They are novelty music.

"Just because it is new and people with laptops can do it and get away with it does not make it an advance."

Beyond bashing blogs and mashups, Sterling's commentary proved quite vague. He's not thrilled with technology fads, but thinks technology is shaking up the traditional business world. Time and again he stated that jobs which were once good enough to put your kids through college have disappeared as a result of the internet and pointed to Craigslist's rampage through newspaper classified sections as a prime example.

And, while the rise of the web has given us 55 million blogs, Sterling insisted that the US charges after more bandwidth by taking wireless spectrum from the cold, dead hands of television broadcasters and handing it to organisations willing to saturate cities with high-speed wireless services.

Sterling's admitted "rant" proved one of the most popular sessions at SXSW and closed out the "interactive" portion of the event. We were shocked to see hundreds of bloggers turn up for a berating, but get the feeling they're an S&M-type set. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.