I was recently looking at the work of Julien Beever, an amazing sidewalk artist who does these anamorphic illusions in chalk on urban sidewalks.
His work is imaginative, fascinating, and beautiful, but temporal. The first rainfall and his creation becomes nothing more than chalk dust floating through the storm drains.
It occurred to me that blogging is much the same, especially blogging that is time-relative in that it relates to current events in some way. The words so carefully considered and presented on the page soon lose their currency as they are superseded by new events and new blog entries. Like Beever’s chalk images, they simply devolve into their component parts – bits stored on anonymous servers scattered throughout the internet world. For the most part no one cares; it is, after all, “yesterday’s news”. But in the same way that Beever photo-documents his work to retain a record of the created image, it is now easy to create a physical copy of all or part of your blog for posterity.
One company that has taken the concept of mass customization to blog publishing is Blurb. Using their blog slurper and formatting tools it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to publish your very own book containing a copy of your blog – or at least those entries you feel are worth putting on paper. Or a personal diary. Or a photo spread. Or that novel you’ve been working on in your spare time.
It’s an interesting model, and worth checking out.