so i wrote a paper, but it's not that paper

Tuesday, February 03, 2004, at 08:35AM

By Eric Richardson

Last night / this morning I wrote a paper on blogging. It was for the assignment I mentioned a week ago. Nothing from this draft will end up in the final. I've mulled this paper for a week and a half now having no clue what it was that I was actually going to write. I thought I had a good idea, but the step that turns that magic idea into a bit of reality with a thesis was nowhere to be found.

So I wrote this draft. It's a decently written piece, but it's not this paper.

Then I took a shower, and instantly knew what I wanted to write. My real problem was that I had two papers fighting in my head.

In one, I would write about how I felt that the first few years of the Internet were us sort of doing things just because they could be done. "Wooo! The Internet's global!" we said, and we reveled in the fact that we could now order cds from Sweden and chat with people in Spain. The global information economy ruled. Then a couple years later we looked around and saw that 90% of our lives weren't global. When I go grab a bite to eat it's here, in LA. When I go to a movie it's here, in LA. When I go see music it's here, in LA. And my thesis would be that sites like and LA Blogs and others like them are a response to that 90%.

I'm not writing that paper either.

My second paper would couch itself in a narration. It would look at the LA.comfidential controversy and say, why are these bloggers so uptight about a corporation trying to sneak into their club? What is it they're trying to protect or worried to lose? Why can't a corporation write a blog? Tony Pierce seems to always be talking about wanting to do it. Yeah, sure, he sees the downsides, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

This is the paper I'm writing. It'll go better now that we have that out of the way.