Bill Thompson has flipped. According to this article for the BBC (and in no particular order): blogging is not journalism and will not effect mainstream journalists, link frequency and pagerank are ‘just the rule of the mob’, Google is storing your personal search data for sinister reasons and we need an ‘Ofsearch’ to police the search engines.
In fact, he obviously hasn’t flipped but this is a good example of a fairly common response to new stuff in general. First, a natural and appropriate resistance to hyperbole and loss of perspective and, second, a defensive reflex that snaps in when something new threatens a hard won worldview. Bill is a genuine UK Internet old-timer and a true believer and I think the scale and pace of change of the blogosphere probably represents a profound wobble for his stable understanding of the way the net works.
I can say this because that’s how it feels for me too… In fact, I’ll bet every prematurely grey hair on my head (and that’s, like, all of them) that blogging is the ‘paradigm shift‘ we were pretty sure was happening back in 93 or 94 but which disappointingly evaporated.
(incidentally, this entry includes my first embedded link to Google Labs’ very promising Glossary feature).