Blogging in the 18th century:
One of the distinctive features of the periodical literature of this era was its discursive, dialogical character. Many of the articles printed in the Berlin Monthly (Berlinsche Monatsschrift), for example, the most distinguished press organ of the German late enlightenment, were in fact letters to the editor from members of the public. Readers were also treated to extensive reviews of recent publications, and sometimes also to lengthy replies by authors with a bone to pick with their reviewers. Occasionally the journal would call for views on a specific question — this was the case, for example, with the famous discussion on the theme “What is enlightenment?” that began with a query posted by the theologian Johann Friedrich Zoellner in the pages of the Berlin Monthly in December 1783. There was no permanent staff of journalists, nor were most of the articles in each issue directly commissioned by the journal. As the editors, Gedike and Biester, made clear in the foreword to the first edition, they depended upon interested members of the public to “enrich” the journal with unsolicited contributions. The Berlin Monthly was thus above all a forum in print that operated along similar lines to the associational networks of the towns and cities. It was not conceived as fodder for an essentially passive constitutency of passive consumers. It aimed to provide the public with the means of reflecting upon itself and its foremost preoccupations.
It was slower, of course, and embedding video would have to wait a while too, but it’s an interesting lineage.
So as not to reflect solely upon times past in states abolished more than half a century ago, there is a NATO summit beginning tomorrow. The most interesting question is whether a concrete path to membership will be opened for Georgia and Ukraine.