Les Blogs 2.0: from A to Zipzapzop

Les Blogs 2.0 is probably the most ‘zeitgeisty’ conference of the year, combining the Web 2.0 buzz with the blogging phenomenum sweeping all before it. In part one of our coverage of the Paris conference, our man on the ground Bernhard Warner scouts out what hot on the floor.

It is 3 December 2005 (if, of course, you follow the Gregorian calendar) and ‘Dude’ is perplexed. ‘Dude’ wants to know if October, 2011 really will be a moment of reckoning in world history, as the Mayans foresaw centuries ago.

Apparently, the Mayans, long extinct, predicted that we earth dwellers now have less than six years left before a cataclysmic event will rock the cosmos. What exactly will happen that fateful October, nobody is quite sure. Still, ‘Dude’ is concerned enough to send an email to ‘Andi Mac’ at her new podcast, an Internet radio show called ‘The Mayan Calendar Cast’ at www.airstream-indie-radio.com.

You mean, dear reader, you missed this bulletin about October, 2011? So, you’re not a regular listener to the Mayan Calendar Cast?

Fear not. If new age existentialism isn’t your bag, there are some 50,000 podcasts – a cross between a Web log, pirate radio show and public access television – that cover everything from documentaries on speed walking www.zipzapzop.com/ to tomorrow’s chart-topping bands www.garageband.com. Even the Vatican podcasts its daily radio show at http://www.vatican.va.

The Web log, or ‘blog’, appears to be the preferred forum for self-expression these days, equipping millions of Netizens with a virtual soap box and megaphone. Whether you use the blog to rail against the war in Iraq or chronicle your cat’s diet, who cares. The important thing is it’s yours. And, you are not alone. As of early December, there were 22.5 million blogs in existence. And, according to David Sifry, CEO of blogger search engine Technorati.com, the so-called blogosphere is doubling every 5.5 months. Blog readership is even higher. In other words, somebody out there shares your views on the war or just wants to read about your cat.

But the blog, for some, may not be enough. Words and pictures are fine. But to attract a big audience, sound and video must be added. And, voila, the blogs of tomorrow will be an all-singing, all-dancing form of citizen-inspired entertainment, art, product demonstrations or travelogues.

More information on the Les Blogs conference can be found at the conference bog at lesblogs.typepad.com/.

Part two will follow tomorrow.

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