Thursday, February 02, 2006

Arnold Kling on blogging

One way to distinguish a fad from a trend is to ask what would happen if you reversed the order in which technologies were invented. For example, suppose that we had all of the highly-touted electronic technologies for distance learning, and then someone came along and invented the book. My guess is that the book would be greeted as a technological marvel--easy to hold, convenient to carry, outstanding resolution, and so forth. This thought experiment leads me to suspect that electronic distance learning is a fad.

On the other hand, suppose that everyone had recordable DVD players (or DVD's with hard drives to record), and someone invented the VCR. Would anyone buy the VCR? If the answer is "no," then DVD's are not a fad.

Using this approach, Arnold Kling tries to answer the question Is Blogging a Fad?. He identifies some situations in which blogging it is good (i.e., not a fad), and others where it might not be so.