A Blogger’s Guide to Surviving Worldcom

Yup, Worldcom is going for Chapter 11 protection, following its stock doing a remarkable impression of that boat from Harrison Ford’s latest (i.e., diving fast and so radioactive nobody wants to touch it). Expect “Women of Worldcom” in Playboy soon; lots of lawsuits, and many, many fun anti-trust discussions about which ex-Baby Bells are allowed to buy which parts of the corpse.
But WorldCom isn’t some irrelevant venture like Enron (energy?) or Andersen (accounting?). WorldCom runs the Internet, and the Internet, as we all know, matters.
So it is with some concern that I greet the nervous speculation now appearing that, should WorldCom truly bite the corporate big one, ‘net might indeed go dark. And being a pessimistic, plan-for-the-worst kind of fellow, I think we all must address the primary concern of all Americans should the Internet fail: how the hell will we keep blogging?
I submit to you, therefore, the following Disaster Recovery Plan, in the spirit of preparedness. Should the Internet fail, I would suggest all bloggers immediately implement this plan: for if we don’t, the — well, you know the drill.
Blogging Disaster Recovery Plan
Equipment Required: Detailed street maps for entire U.S., cellphone, credit card and/or cash, one (1) magic marker, one 4′ x 3′ sheet of posterboard
Step 1: Locate the nearest copy shop. KinkosTM preferable, but any with PC access will do.
Step 2: Rent a PC and type your first post-Internet blog entry. Suggested topics include why it’s all Bush’s fault; why it’s all the Democrats fault, and why it’s all Robert Fisk’s fault.
Step 3: With your magic marker, draw the image of your (former) blog home page on your posterboard sheet.
Step 4: Print out your first blog entry, and make about 100 photocopies. (Unless you’re Glenn, in which case, make about 30,000).
Step 5: Exit the copyshop, and select a well-trafficked nearby streetcorner.
Step 6: Displaying your new home page posterboard prominently, begin handing out copies of your first blog entry to random passers-by. Shouting out your headline, town-crier style, is permissable but should be undertaken with caution. Headlines like this are OK, headlines like this are liable to draw unwelcome attention from the local constabulary. Do not be discouraged if few of your fellow citizens initially accept the gracious gift of your prose; remember, you are now on the cutting edge of the newest of new media, and pioneers must always face initial resistance. Endeavour to persevere!
Step 7: As soon as you have positioned yourself at your new home-corner, call Dave Winer on your cell phone and let him know you’ve updated your blog. Dave will be standing on a streetcorner somewhere near the exact geographic center of the U.S., and will be keeping a list of all recently updated weblogs on a (particularly large) sheet of posterboard.
Step 8: Now for the key to preserving our way of life as we know it: links! If your blog entry contains a link to another blogger, ensure that you have (using your U.S. street maps) prepared detailed directions for how to get from your streetcorner to your fellow bloggers streetcorner. With every copy of your blog entry that you distribute, also include a copy of the directions. Where appropriate, you may wish to substitute airline flight schedules or Amtrak timetables for more distant bloggers.
Step 9: When you run out of copies, return to your copy shop, and repeat steps 2-7.
If we all stick together, we can transition to the new media world gracefully, with minimal interruption to our blogging activities. I urge each of you to begin stockpiling your Kinkos access cards and magic markers now.
Finally, TTLB has also learned that the nice Pyra folks at Blogger will also be providing services for the new blog paradigm. For current Blogger users, Pyra will dispatch low-paid interns to stand on your streetcorners for you, freeing you up for valuable blogging. To ensure that the transition from your current online blogging to the new paradigm is as smooth as possible, the interns will of course fail to show up much of the time, and will also occasionally wander off, taking your blog copies with them.