I agree with Caitlin that this post by Jim deserves wider comment. Maybe Scott, who has been delving into McLuhan, can help.
My response to his visit and his subsequent comments surprised me. The distance and analytical nature of the blog changed my voice, making it more metallic and harsh as I examined someone who I’d met for two hours and then passed judgment on him as if he were another blog. He is human and I forgot and in doing so became a little less human myself. That I think is the great flaw of blogs and technology – we have trouble communicating our humanity. There is no inflection of voice, a smile, a raised eyebrow to redirect, clarify or soften sarcasm, to add humor where it was meant to be. The words simply sit on the screen, not controlled by the writer, but interpreted by the reader. Even if we don’t assume new identities, as in Wikipedia or Second Life, we are new, different because of the flat nature of the medium. Perhaps, that is why there are all these odd fights, flaming on blogs and Wikipedia – the nuance of humanity is not there.