Weblog modern equivalent of a Wunderkammer
The articles Licensed Curiosity (1994) of Nicholas Thomas, Korby Parnell’s Wiki as Wunderkamer (2004) and Julian Dibbell’s Potrait of the blogger as a young man (2002) lead to making the comparison between the popular 16th and 17th century Wunderkammer and the current popular modern Weblog.
For the comparison we have taken the cabinet of curiosities a wealthy civilian of the 17th century and compared with a simplified modern Weblog. We found in the comparison a number of similarities: both provide a segmented world-view, display exotic objects that comply to the interest of the owner are placed central; both operate in a community; for both the collection is a mean to build status and identity; both collect to create dialogue and conversation: both form opinion; both are considered to be option building tools; are considered authority undermining; both are not scientific of nature; both share their collection according to categories and themes; both have catalogs and a encyclopedias.
A number of differences between a Wunderkammer and a Weblog are: the cabinet of curiosities is not accessible to the public, a Weblog in first instance is public. The Weblog excludes people through its theme, resulting in regular visits by similar interested people; objects in a Wunderkammer are touchable but with a Weblog they are virtual; the Wunderkammer was not structured according to date but a Weblog is. Weblogs often have a archive and a search function where third parties can search with. Miracle cabinets did have such options.
Interesting is the fact that the development of Weblogs a similar evolution seems to display as the Wunderkammer. The evolution of the Wunderkammer in short: from treasure-rooms to Wunderkammern / cabinets of curiosities, slowly development of catalogs, later were collections brought under in museums. In museums were collections made to create an all inclusive world-view. With Weblogs we see the following evolution: from static Internet pages to current attempts to combine these in online encyclopedia and a wish to index the Internet in order to form an all-inclusive view.
As long as the technology for bringing together and index all objects on the Internet is not satisfactory, will the Weblog remain a comparable equivalent of the Wunderkammer for the owner and his community.
In conclusion the comparisons between both hold on many points and more research is recommendable. For encouragement of this discussion will this essay be placed on several Dutch and hopefully also discussed on English Weblogs .