In response to Liz’s Blogging Metaphor Project, my thoughts almost immediately went in this direction. I mean after all, I’m an engineer – even though I don’t play one on TV (*sigh*) – and I tend to look at things from a “how’s that made” perspective. In fact, “Bridges” is the title of my chapter in Drew & Gavin’s upcoming e-book, The Age of Conversation.
Actually, it would be simpler to reproduce the chapter here, but all the authors agreed not to do that for a while so it wouldn’t affect book sales. But I can at least give you a teaser, and the basis for my opening statement:
“A bridge, in terms of its function, connects or reduces the distance between two points. In other words, it makes it easier for you to get from here to there. Sounds reasonable, don’t you think? But what I find most interesting is the word applies equally to physical and non-physical worlds.”
Now, I realize that reading this has caused you to instantly want to drop everything and immediately rush out and purchase your copy of the book, but… try to restrain yourself for a moment and let’s think this one out. (Besides, it’s not available yet. But when it is, then you can rush out and… er, well, you know.)
But what’s really amazing about bridges, and what makes the metaphor so perfect, is the almost endless variety of bridges out there! Truss, cantilever, suspension, arch, beam; and many different forms of each. And no matter how similar or how close any two bridges might physically be to each other, they are never exactly alike! Even the ones meant to be the same are not, really; even visibly identical bridges always have unseen engineering differences.
Each is unique; just like every blogger is unique.
See, like a bridge, a blog is a connector between here and there. “A connector? A connector of what?” you may ask. Well, the obvious answer is “people” – but there’s so much more to it than that. Blogging also connects ideas, minds, hearts, cultures… yep, now you get the idea.
Here’s the thing; you can only ever build a half a bridge! That’s because, when a post is published,Â onlyÂ one end of the bridge is built; the other end is hanging out there in cyberspace somewhere. Where will it land? Well,Â whenÂ a post is read,Â theÂ otherÂ end of the bridge just got connected -Â voila! Now notice, class,Â the incompleteness of the one without the other.
Ah, but now lookÂ at what we’ve built together!