It seemed unlikely ten years ago that a new kind of website would make it easy for small business owners to become self-publishers and usher in a technological revolution unlike anything ever seen since Gutenberg’s press. But that’s what happened. Now, we have Twitter. But Twitter hardly seems like a major innovation compared to blogging. Sure, it takes this new technology one step further, but I see it as more of an extension than a unique invention. That is, microblogging is an extension of blogging.
Look at the history of the printing press all the way back to Gutenberg and no innovation or improvement on the technology is as big as the initial technology itself. Gutenberg’s press made all the technological innovations to follow a necessity. It paved the way for mass communication, but once that path was paved it was all but inevitable. Not much really changed for over 500 years. Things only got better.
Are we about to see the same type of progress with online publishing? Or blogging?
Blogging is still a new concept. There’s room – lots of room – for improvement. But will the innovations to come simply be improvements on this new technology – similar to Twitter’s extension of the blog to a small micropublishing platform for bloggers – or will there be sweeping innovations that make blogging look like Gutenberg’s primitive movable type?
I don’t know. But I do know this. Blogging is here now. It’s here for at least a little while longer and while it is, small businesses should do everything they can totap into its awesome power.