Blogs, podcasts

Jan 31, 2005

Tom Michael, Anna’s godfather, tipped me off to the NYTimes article about parents who blog about their babies (including one who will be a participant at the Triangle Bloggers Conference). Nothing new there, of course; I’ve been blogging Anna’s birth, first steps and more starting in 2001, and there were others blogging about pregnancy and babies before me. UPDATE: Read Julie Leung on Why blog about your baby.

NPR covered podcasts this afternoon, making sure to tell listeners that most podcasts are loud, lousy and about many things but, well, not All Things Considered. The way NPR and other corporate media continue to cover weblogs and other personal publishing and online expression tools makes me wonder how they’d cover surfing if that watersport was just becoming popular today.

Maybe something like this: Thousands of people are surfing these days, which means people in their bathing suits try to stand on a plank of wood or fiberglass and ride through the surf. But they all seem to fall down, and they look quite inelegant when they do. Experts who follow beach fun and activities suggest that surfing is the cool thing to do. The cool kids are sticking with beach-blanket bingo, though.

Geez. Get out of the car. Walk across the road. Take off your shoes and squat in the sand. Now watch for the thrusters cutting through the waves or the longboarders riding the tips of their boards. Ignore the dorks falling down and you’ll see elegance. Now that you’re beginning to observe the power of the tool, get yourself a board and get out there, sit balanced on your board and feel the movement of the sea, marvel at how the sunlight moves across the land and delight in the way your heart stops when a turtle pokes his head up in your peripheral vision. Not to mention the exhilaration of actually surfing a wave.

Seriously. If you are a journalist assigned to report on blogging or podcasting or somesuch online communications tool, try it before you dis it. Just as if you were to visit me in Hawaii (if I still lived there), I would not let you leave the islands without having rented a 12-foot board for $10 from Rabbit Kekai and spent an hour paddling in the surf of Waikiki. Not only would you begin to understand surfing, you might actually want to take up surfing yourself. At the least, you’d be able to report on it back home a bit more accurately.

Anton Zuiker

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