Monday, January 03, 2005

Blogdex 3 January 2004 - New for old

Straight in at # 1 today with Dan Gillmor.

Not because I thought he might have anything to say to me that might amuse, entertain, inform, but because I have got out of the habit of running in and out of the more famous weblogs nowadays, and thought it might be worth a quick rattle. A duty just to check is one thing, but experience tells you when you have done a trawl you will have read little or nothing that sparks your interest. Of course what drives you on is the hope of finding a nugget, which happens more often than not.

Ended up on a cursory trawl of the blogrolls, reading a few lines, in, out, in, out, shake it all about, and back out again, none the wiser, except to confirm something I had been thinking about over the last two or three days: the wise blogger always keeps it short [ 'cos he knows people won't read great tranches of dense text] and puts lots of links in. The more succeful blogs in terms of readership and links are precisely those like Glenn Reynolds with punchy but not too expansive comments, links everywhere. Then again, you get the impression, also, which must be true, such writers writE their best stuff elsewhere for dosh. So, to these types, the blog is more of a publicity tool and a means of letting their immediate chums know what they have come across, where they have been or are going to, and what is rattling their cage, than a heavy vehicle for their genius. It simply can't much more be if they are professional writers or academics. In any case, they won't have the time to put hours of effort into posting.

Though I do the occasional short post, I am an essayblogger by inclination: read something, get an idea spend a hour or so trying to cobble something together about it. But the weblog may not be the place to put such "essays". First, because not enough time has passed since writing to be sure that it isn't twaddle. Then, as is human nature, if some notes are left to stew for a day or two, they don't look so good on re-reading. Also, three, after this interval the ideas from which the essay sprang seem to have dried up, making it harder to rewrite. I often find that letting something stew for a week or even a month, then just running through the file names till something triggers my interest, is the best way to improve something or make a decision on posting.

This is hardly about the immediacy of the blogosphere or as I prefer to call it weblogworld: the bl- sound grates on my ear, although I love that old English expletive, bloody. This must explain that it is the combination of the bl- and the g- that is at the root of the dislike. And of course, the long o- is more pleasing than the short.

This segues neatly into the new-for-old. One of my favourite radio programmes is "Sorry I haven't a Clue" on BBC radio4. Check it on the internet. A regular feature is new definitions. One that tickled my fancy this week was, bacteria: "returning more upset than when you left". This might lead, vid such blog terminology as blogroaches, the meaning of which ought to self-evident, to words like blogterium, with a similar meaning to this bacteria, defined as an unsatifying roam in the blogosphere. We've done it in a book shop or library: gone in with hopes of inspiration and come out with irritation and aggravation.

I am not in favour prefixing everthing with blog- , because it doesn't sound very nice. Troll isn't much better, in my ears, but troll, to troll, trolling is very effective descriptively and weblogwordwise
internet trolls
slashdot trolls


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