Having followed a number of weblogs for half a decade now, it's an appropriate time for me to reflect on the cultural impact they've had outside of our insular corner of the Internet. No, there's no sitcom about bloggers or any major musicals based on the lives of our breed of geeks, but there is one type of expression that weblogs have embraced for years that hasn't been properly documented.
Blog songs. There are a lot of really entertaining songs by, for, and about bloggers, and some of them are even deliberately entertaining.
Most recently, Jay Smooth fielded the first credible attempt at weblog hip-hop, a dis track entitled "I Know Why The Unicorn Cries". A solid beat, some compelling rhymes ("next time you post about me, watch your trackback"): this is blog music at its best.
But what about blog music at its most? For sheer prolific insanity, nobody can beat Nikolai Nolan. For this year's Weblog Awards, Nikolai trotted out one of his signature parodies with a take on Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body" entitled "Win a Bloggie". There's even a fan-made (or rather, Dan-made) video for the song.
mortifying entertaining enough, but Nikolai has a deep catalog. Like Destiny's Child? Well, how 'bout "Designer" instead of "Survivor"? Haven't quite consigned Sisqo to the heap of one-hit-wonderdom? Well, you'll have no need for Dru Hill's erstwhile lead singer once you've heard "Blog Song".
Going back a little further in pop history? Try "We Didn't Start the Weblogs", in which Nikolai does his best Billy Joel impression. Uncanny.
Nikolai hasn't cornered the market on weblog songs, of course. Victor Lams has a song called, appropriately enough, "My Weblog". Naturally, there's an MP3 version if the lyrics alone aren't sufficient.
There are some slightly more nuanced entries in the Blogging Hot 100 charts, though. Steven Frank's "Ben & Mena" is downright touching. Although I have to admit that after finding out he's responsible for the song, I'll never look at his more famous creative endeavor, Transmit, the same way again.
Some weblog songs are even supposed to be touching. Joi commissioned "Your Own Dot Org" from Shannon last year, and though I understand Mena's reticence about talking about the song too much, it's a great song in its own right, separate from the blog-related content. (Which is similar to "blog-related program activities")
There's even songs about ancillary or related disciplines. OK/Cancel rocked "We Got It", the world's first HCI Rap. It sounds a little bit like a Kid 'N Play outtake, but hey, that's not an insult in my musical world.
And there's lots of other music made by bloggers, with some of the songs being extraordinarily geeky, so it's kind of a fine line what constitutes a blog song and what merely falls under the category Leonard calls "script rock".
Got any favorite blog tunes? Which ones did I miss?