It suddenly hit me today that the roarin' 60's of the j-blogosphere passed me by. Talk about depression! If only I had started blogging earlier, I could have been privy to be part of the elite of the j-blogosphere. You know who they are; the ones with the in-jokes, the constant hyperlink pats on the back, the hidden sparkle in the eye you can feel from a comment, the myriad neural network of links between their sites. The ultimate "Friends" series of J-bloggers, 24 hours a day.
The names are all out there (in no real order of importance); Mirty, DovBear, GodolHador, Orthomom, AskShifra, Krum, Amshinover, Soccer Dad, Lamed Zayin, Gil, Biur Chametz, Mis-nagid, Little Wolf, AddeRabbi, Shanna, AirTime, Ren Reb - to name a few.
Going back into the archives of these sites, I was in shock and awe of the candor, raw energy, and total goofy fun that used to exist. Pinpointing the exact time is difficult, but the big-bang of the modern JBlogosphere was sometime in early 2005. I don't have an exact date, but then again -- I can't carbon date these blogs, and carbon dating isn't always accurate. I don't think there was a creationist timeline; On day one, the Blogger was created. Day two, the comments section, Day 3, uploadable pictures and the like. That's only a myth/mashal anyway. Was it intelligent design or evolution? Did the JBlogosphere evolve? Could it have?
Delving deeper into the archives of these sites, you can see a rebellious youthfulness in the posts, the comment wars, and the metaphorical high-fives and backslaps when something really clever or hilarious was posted. These were the roaring 60's of the Jblogosphere.
If I could be so bold as to determine a date for this end of an era, I would say it must have been circa the return of DovBear from his vacation in late July, after handing over the keys to his blog to a wonderfully eclectic group of bloggers. That was also the time the Disengagement in Israel started. It was also the time I started getting into blogging.
Could it have been me? Was my entry in the JBlogosphere the meteor that changed everything as we knew it? Where are the sparks, the zeal, the fun, the outrageous posts of that bygone era? Are we now in the shadow of the un-fun, conservative 80's of the JBlogosphere? As fun as it may look now, its only a glimmer of the original wackiness reminiscent of classic Saturday Night Live with John Belushi z'l and Dan Ackroyd.
Granted there's a new cast of characters, myself included among them, but after some serious archeological blogging, I've determined that we're only Jonny-come-latelies. We're not even a revival with Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscapo - we're not worthy! I can't imagine DovBear letting Ezzie guest blog on his site. Amshinover's absurdities have diminished. The GodolHador has come and gone, and come and gone, and has metamorphosed into something different, yet less than the original. Joe Settler is academic posts don't have the wit of Krum. Israel Perspectives wonders if he (and I) are too radical? Ask Shifra has mellowed from the wild days of discussing hot married Jewish women.
So where do we go from here? Do you think the golden age has come and gone? Is there any hope to recapture the early magic? I think everyone would agree that the fun and pizzaz has diminished. Its not as fun as it used to be. Its more serious now. Even the flame wars are devoid of passion.
Perhaps we are on the edge of a new era, which by standing on the shoulders of those veteran bloggers, with the proverbial graying hair, a new growth spurt of enthusiasm will reignite the feeling from 6 months ago. Or maybe its lost forever, as bloggers find other things to do, get blogged down in work, family, and hobbies that have more physical exercise than finger pushups on a keyboard.
If its the first, I hope I don't miss out this time.
If its the latter, I'll go back to my other hobbies and wistfully dream about what could have been, had I started blogging in February.