Monday, August 01, 2005

blogs as channels of insight

Blogs as Channels of Insight

We were with some new friends at a little get-together last night.

One feller exclaimed with tremendous vocal volume that his daughter is in college and "is really into blogging." My ears perked up. I heard the magic word that makes my world go round, that single thing that mattered to me, meant more to me than life itself.

"Blogs, eh? Say on, good sir", I think I might have yelled at him.

"She writes stuff for her blog every day, she's an English major, and she reads the blogs of her friends, and writes comments on them." he answered with all his might.

"I would like to see her blog sometime", I shouted.

He looked at me with what I assumed was good-natured and polite tolerance of the shape of my shoes, which I admit are lumpy looking.

As he stared down at the lopsided galloshes I had slopped onto my feet, I reached for my cup of coffee, hoping that abrupt and dignified motion would detour him. I have other shoes, I just never wear them.

"It's on Xanga", he explained loudly.

I refrained from showing off by suppressing a strong desire to ponitificate on Xanga, LiveJournal, Blogspot, Typepad, Craig's List, Always On, Corante, Metafilter, Blog Expulsion, Personal Democracy Forum, and other blog communities, multi-authored team blogs, web-rings, and portal hubs.

"I will check it out," I screamed crazily. "What's the name of the blog? Or her full name? Does she use her real name in the blog? Is it password protected, so only friends and family can read it?"

I was wishing someone would turn off the lawnmower in the livingroom. I mean, the carpet was freshly cut, hence--the noisy, gassy mower had served its purpose, hadn't it?

So, why did someone have to let it just sit there? and idle like that? with a rope tied around the handle? to keep it running while no one was attending it? Rather annoying.

He told me, in a vocal register quite in excess of a whimper, that it was not locked. He gave me the name of the blog, and her real full name.

So I'm going to check it out later.

I will post a comment at it, no lurking.

"It's a great way to keep tabs on her, what she's experiencing and thinking", he wailed thunderously, entirely unprovoked. "I've explained how to be safe online and she mostly just writes about classes and activities going on at her college. I love it."

Here a blog is used as a tool to gain insight into a loved one's life who is off to college.

Blogs, the miracle that they are, even bring families together in a digital monitoring that can be better than letters or photo file sharing.

A blog by a college student can contain photos with poetry or explanations of what's going on in the photo. The frequent updating of blogs means that parents can have very current information on their children's moods, problems, and adventures.

Now if dad had a blog, his daughter could keep tabs on him, in a mutual surveillance for reciprocal benefit.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


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