Thursday, April 13, 2006

secret depths of blogging

Blogging is a tool, not cool. I mean, it's not cool to have a blog, any more than it's cool to have a home, car, furnace, television, library, garden, business card, or cell phone.

Blogging is a new form of talking, if by talking we mean opening something and letting something flow out.

Blogging is a new form of thinking, a way to get your mind into the other person's shoes, to wear those shoes mentally and walk around in them for a while. That seems to me to be why The Dullest Blog in the World shows shoes as its identifying, categorizing icon.

Blogging is a new form of laziness, as Chartreuse declares candiedly. It enables us to think we're accomplishing something, when usually, no matter how brilliant or amazing our posts, we're not. So we can console ourselves with "at least I published a breakthrough, insanely excellant post on my blog today", and be content with that, and do nothing else that day of any real merit or value.

Blogging is a new form of conversation, if we enable comments, and respond swiftly, completely, and politely (when all else fails) to reader comments.

Blogging is a new form of arguing. I don't think I need to bore you with the bellicose details of trollers, baiters, hazers, snarks, harshing, flamers, of blogger asbestos.

Blogging is a new form of smug self righteousness.

Blogging is a new form of combative freedom alliance.

Blogging is a new form of online journalism.

Blogging is a new form of personal networking and microphone slobbering.

Blogging is new form of typing. Words. Into. Space. The Digital Effluvium.

It all, all the words, it all goes somewhere. Into other eyes and minds perhaps, then into actions, embodied, then into nowhere, oblivion, forgetfulness. What residue remains behind, in you, in the universe, in society?

The Most Important Blogging Question =

What impact does your blog have on your own mind, life, social interactions, dreams?

Blogging is transitory, it cannot last, it's vulnerable to attack, server stalling, server unavailability, delete, blogger negligence, blogger burnout, mis-rendering, and mis-cache.

The so-called secret depths of blogging are contained in the comments. Posts are generally shabby blurted outbursts. It is the reaction of the Other, the user comment, the reader response, that makes the blog real, relevant, valuable: a record of interactive conversation.

While some posts may be so complete, perfect, and true that no comment is necessary, nay, even humanly possible, most blog posts cannot claim this high level of sophistication. I know mine sure don't and won't.

Blogging is scribbling, rarely transfers intact to print, is in the moment. Many bloggers write sloppily, merrily, unprofessionally, lackadaisically, unprintably.

Archives? What's that? Ancient, week old stuff? Who needs it?

From comments posted to "Questions with Chris Locke on Blogging"


# Martin Jensen Says:
January 19th, 2006 at 11:05

I’m also one of “Rageboy’s Kids.” I started out with the typical, personal blogs - essays, poems, commentary, etc. I had small kids then and couldn’t keep it up.

But a couple years later I found a “cause” and got the blogging itch again. It wasn’t about random thoughts or “musings” but rather a specific area of healthcare technology policy, directed towards a very small audience of people who had influence out of proportion to their number.

So the questions about “getting attention” and “most influential” are, to me, off the track. When I am pitching a position, I need to reach only a handful of people — decisionmakers, maybe, or more likely the people that are the centers of meme propogation (a la “Tipping Point”).

Sure it’s gratifying to see the stats that say somebody has read your most recent entry, but the really important thing is to see something happen, months later, that suggests you made a contribution to the discourse.

Your hit counter is never going to tell you whether what you wrote made a difference, but when a small chunk of reality starts to look like a reflection of some idea you had last year, then you know you lent your smidgen of weight to the right memetic lever…..

# v[s^P,e-rS Th' G)_r"A.t# Says:
April 12th, 2006 at 22:52

Blogging is typing words into space, the digital effluvium.

Talking is speaking words into air, the sonic medium.

Publishing print books is inscribing a line of ameliorization all over the beginning and end of a pulpy massacre of trees and terrasphere, to rot in drippings of unnatural tears.

Only remaining is Mind, which pens its noise on the fabric and sand of the universe, etching nothingness into nothing much, mnemonic mulch for the flowering of new ideas.

# Martin Jensen Says:
April 13th, 2006 at 09:20

Mulch happens.

# v[s^P,e-rS Th' G)_r Says:
April 13th, 2006 at 10:24

I’m currently running into so many server, template, cross-browser compat problems, I’m thinking of abandoning digital text altogether, and moving to music podcasts and video renditions on CMS platforms.

My main problem with blogs is they need to be more web sitey, while web sites need to be more bloggy, especially online newspapers, which rarely embed hyperlinks in editorial text and rarely have a normative comment function.

I think I’d rather make my computer sing for my supper, than lecture people and argue about random topics of faint concern. If I can just be insane enough to entertain as I teach, now that would be the music video blog revolution I could sink my ships into.



Newsandseduction said...

Indeed, existence is about being in conflict with others in some way, irrespective of sexes. It is true everywhere. But unlike in a jungle, human beings creatively manage such conflict. It is difficult to believe that The USA is such an unhappy place, though competitive.

But I am not totally differing with you. May be you have your own reasons to derive your opinions.

carrie said...

what does it all mean?

in the end, maybe it doesn't matter...

steven edward streight said...

Carrie: I guess my main point that I keep harping on is "what is your blog residue?"

I wonder what transformations blogging causes in us as we blog, debate, praise, critique, argue, defend, attack, learn, understand, discover, explore...via the blogosphere.

I'm not saying blogs, books, memoirs, love notes, poems, etc. are pointless, worthless, uneventful.

I'm just warning that something could happen to me, or the internet, that could cause all my blog posts to disappear forever, like they never happened, or prevent me from blogging (sickness, injury) for example.

Rather than blindly typing away, we can reflect on not only what we're doing, but what is happening to us as we do it.

steven edward streight said...

Newsandseduction: this is a bit of a tangent, that I started, but I think my generalizations on how men and women differ in social combat holds true, probably universally.

Men "combat" each other to become friends, even if it's just good natured teasing or other civil provocation. "You think that job sucks? Listen to what I had to endure a few years ago..." a guy says. One-up-man-ship. Conquer, command, control. The hunter instinct.

Very few women take up hunting as a sport. Explain that. Rape, serial killing, torture, war, business scams...who does these aggressive, brutalizing acts? Men, mainly.

Creative ways to handle conflict? Is war creative? Internet censorship? Child abduction? Pension raiding? Stock price manipulation? Downsizing as CEO bonuses and salaries skyrocket?