Thursday, December 16, 2004

Blogdex 16 december 2004



Having tackled "Blogs which got people into trouble" it follows there has to be be category "Bloggers who chicken out". Indeed there seem to be according to Jeff via Grauniad

Surprised there are not more once only "graffiti blogs", or, "poison-pen letter blogs". No doubt blogs are being used right now by agents to send coded messages in their pixels. They say that is how the Apocalyptic Caliphatists do it.

The thought for today is posting "sustainability": which in plain English means, Can they keep it up? Blog "experts" say the way to successful blogging is to post at least twice a day (I know! I know! I am tempted to say it myself, but better perhaps not to lower the tone.)

It is surely a wonder that so many people managed to hold back the torrent which is their fanciful thoughts and imaginings before blogs existed. And is it generally a good thing that they can now fully express themselves, day or night, in ever increasing numbers even under the constant protests - mostly of other profligate bloggers - of TMI?

Pychological research suggests that all this writing is a "jolly good thing" for the soul of Man. Who can doubt it? Jaw, jaw is better than war, war, even when war may only amount little more than sitting in the corner with face in sports pages of newspaper going "ngh..." when asked a series of reasonably civil questions by life partner about dog walking, shopping or whereabouts of children.

It appears that some people start blogs not to become famous writers, but to make money. Thought that was the same thing. This new type of making money appears to be : enough filthy lucre to buy a pair of Manolos when the urge takes you. If you are American - I am not, but read the literature [including Peanuts] and see all the films - appears to be the equivalent of the pree-teen Cool-Aid stand, as Rachel Lucas (Blogdex 20 = , 16 December 2004 ) admirably admits to. Or is she being disingenuous? A tad Bridget Jones perhaps....

Rachel, if that is your face in the picture with the "chicken" cut, then look no further for a reason why you get so many hits, apart from the more important feature of your wonderful personality and intelligence which shines through your prose, that is.

To make sure you don't think I am picking on you, rest assured it is all in the nature of research: from the particular to the universal, so to speak, rather than the other way round. I have cut back my web access to Blogdex (plus an occasional Google) for the moment to see what comes of it.

Serious point: Rachel talks money. I must have been ten years ahead of my time - in the early internet days well before weblogs - when it seemed here was a perfect distributionist vehicle. Just couldn't work out that micro-payments business. All you had to do was hand out millions of online capable PCs to the poor and downtrodden of various types and let them go mad or even get sane.... And, hopefully not over egging the cake, voila the concept of "job" need not seem so daunting or even necessary to those needs are small. Weblogworld hasn't quite worked out like that yet, being as it is restricted to the well-off in the main.

It might be worthwhile, at this stage, to check out the statistics on who - social class-wise - uses weblogs.

Google "weblogs and social class" is not as illuminating as I had hoped.
Certainly, cyberdash does not provide the answer but the phrase

student blogging has shown that "less private writing" may [...] help writers to compose their lives, albeit in a social,more public way.

says something to me. The whole article is worth reading. I like

Composition has traditionally privileged dialectic and Platonic perspectives on invention in writing (LeFevre, 1987, 49-50). The scholarship often depicts the writer, working alone, drawing on deeply divined personal truths or engaging in inner dialogue as the means of creating knowledge.

Wonder how much the blog is about this inner dialogue, though since a public act, the langauge has to be changed (by the internal censor) to reflect this public nature. It is not a bad thing to be taking one's thoughts and placing them on the page as if one is addressing another. I find my writings have always started with the feeling of a person of a specific type to write to. But there will be - I notice what I write does this - a subtle shift away from the immediacy of the thought as the composition expands.

How many boggers write straight to post or do no editing? The most entertaining blogs seem spontaneous, but if they have been pre-written, then this spontanilitude might only be a feature of the writing, which will no doubt have been edited, immediately or at different times, before final posting. In any case, whereas it is possible, with a few Heys! and a couple of Noninoes! to create a jolly air on paper, it is very hard to do the same IRL if you are feeling glum.

Put the writing at risk not the writer

.. was in a workshop today at Purdue where we talked briefly about the idea of students writing publicly in blogs. One of the concerns expressed was that students could be at risk by writing on the web. However, the first goal of public writing is to put the writing at risk, not the writer. Students can post under pseudonyms or anonymously while the writing remains vulnerable to public readers, to criticism on the web.

I'm obviously going to have to come back to Clancy Ratcliff (who writes of "...children's entelechial smiles...", making you look it up since you don't really know what it means just to make sure it meant what you thought it might mean)- seems to have alpha written all over her blog, in my eyes. She has lots of interesting links for the academic and exceptionally intellectually curious other.

Under the same Google "weblogs and social class" search, a bit futher down page one, is this fascination under the title Digital democracy 2003. There are many links there which I must come back to, but leave with this Map of the internet : Out of Africa and the map from it,
which doesn't exactly answer my original question but leads to a set of equally interesting ones.


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