Weblogs new venues for Tom Paines?

__Seldom noted: as small businesses get pushed out by big-box chains
pampered by the current regime, the Internet recreates the voice of the small__

Down in the lower-right corner of the first page of the _Marketplace_ section of The Wall Street Journal, onJune 28, 2005, an unsigned article about a book otherwise destined for obscurity, highlights a whole new, significant perspective on business and societal trends in the USA (and therefore, the whole world).

“How a local bar holds history of a small town” is the headline leading one into a review of _Little Chapel on the River: A pub, a town and the search for what matters most_ by Gwendolyn Bounds of … The Wall Street Journal.

It turns out that big chains are pushing small businesses out of business. This is not news.

What is news is that, in another article in the same day’s Journal, which I somehow did not manage to clip and file, the World Wide Web with its millions of publishers of individual weblogs is featured as a new way of letting individuals and small collections of people make contact with others around the globe. It is such blogsters, as we are called, who are influencing public policy, and media investigatory reporting, way out of proportion to the size of any individual website.

Okay. The local bar, the book under review says, was where people with no voice over history have gathered to construct a community voice. The loss of the pubs is the loss of such a power center (as slight as that voice may have seemed, prior to the publication being reviewed).

Without the other article in the same edition of the same paper, I’d have been ready to dissolve into tears over the loss of such a venue as the village pub.

But I do see that while the entrepreneur is doomed in battle against Wal*Mart and such behemoths, the lack of a forum where creativity and political motivation is not upon us. It just means that the new pub is the weblog, of which there are millions.

It isn’t easy to find a website “where everybody knows your name,” I’ll admit. But it is possible. And that is not yet being covered. Webloggers are the pamphleteers of the future, the Tom Paines, the successors to _Uncle Tom’s Cabin._ It’s time that the general public learned about that. After all, we’re a public voice. Or not. It’s your choice. Bob Cramer.