Pat McCarthy is blogging about his thoughts at the Blog Business Summit. He's thinking about what happens when all these kids who hang out on We're all bit-stained wretches nowMySpace, Facebook and other social networks grow up and need to make some money. They'll transform all these tools we use today, to blog, network and promote, as Pat wrote: "Blogging will just be publishing on the Web.... If it were a battle, the blogosphere has already lost."
There's a note of disappointment in his conclusion. I'm not sorry to see the religious fervor stage of this medium passing. Pat makes a mistaken assumption about older folks, like me, writing:
What was the current generation of bloggers doing when they were in high school or in college? Most were definitely not publishing in this type of way, except for maybe recent college graduates....
Wrong, blogging's not that different. If you look at the line-up of speakers at the Blog Business Summit, most are writers or former college DJs or something vaguely A/V Club. Halley Suitt is a writer. Buzz Bruggeman was a lawyer, a breed that writes constantly. Steve Broback was a publisher and conference producer long before the blogosphere came along. Jason Calacanis: journalist. John Battelle: journalist. I'd be surprised if more than half of the speakers didn't work on their high school or college newspaper (I did).
Blogging is just a tool's name turned into a gerund. The rest is human nature. So, when these kids grow up they will have different ideas about the ease of publishing and the risks of public disclosure, but they'll also demonstrate some of the same characteristics their parents--rebels all against one thing or another--did when they hit the working world: They'll treat everything as a tool for getting ahead, doing good and giving back to their community.
Not that much has changed about us, even if the world has changed all around us. So, the blogosphere will be fine, but just another part of a massively enlarged information environment.
Here's the difference: We used to be "ink-stained wretches," but with so many media available to express ourselves today, we're all bit-stained wretches now.