Andrew Bayer Is Dreaming of China takes issue with some of Dave Winer’s more upopian pronouncements of the importance of weblogs to the future:
Here’s the thing — he’s assuming, first of all, that everyone will have a computer. Maybe at some point in the distant future, this could be the case, but for the foreseeable future, a computer and Internet access are still primarily the domain of the lower-middle class and upwards. The poor don’t have nifty new laptops — if all communication is done online, aren’t we ruling out the most needy section of our populace? Dave says that “in this medium, each voter can have his or her own TV station,” but that’s not true. Blogs may look egalitarian, but I’m willing to bet that the overwhelming percentage of bloggers are white and middle-to-upper class. Maybe I’m just too left-wing to see how a medium that further concentrates power in those hands is revolutionary.
That’s just a little bit of a long, thoughtful entry. While I don’t agree with the presumption that Dave’s ideas are based on self-aggrandizement (from talking to Winer I feel comfortable saying that he deeply believes that weblogs are a transformative new medium — I’d say his involvement in the blog-tool world as an entrepreneur grows out that conviction and not the other way around), I find the dialogue utterly fascinating.