Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Meaning of BlogLife

Ok, so I've had this blog for a couple of weeks now and none of my original beliefs about blogs have really changed.

One of the main issues I have with blogs is the sheer number of them. What would make a person read one blog over another? How do you find a good blog? How many great blogs are there out there that remain undiscovered? Let's say you find a blog you like: how likely are you to search out more blogs? Do you search out more blogs and "expand your horizons" or do you simply keep reading the one you like and therefore become a drone for that blog? What the heck is the point of all this, anyways?

I hadn't created a blog before because I figured, well, who the heck would wanna read it? And would I really want to take the time to write anything out?

These thoughts were brought up again today by a post I read on boingboing (speaking of being a blog drone...) about web comics. It could very well be applied to blogs as well. Here is the passage cited in the post:

"If you make a comic and put it on the Web, it's because you want that comic to be read. And if a comic deserves to be read, it deserves to be found. Especially by people who are looking for something like it. It deserves to be searched. If it can't be searched, a feeling of futility condenses in the air."

You can imagine how it might be annoying, then, to find that a variety of Google searches yield no results when trying to find this blog. I mean, I typed all sorts of full length sentences verbatim and still couldn't get a hit for this site.

So what's the point?

I guess the only people who will find it are the people to whom I say, "hey, have you seen my blog"? Kinda sad.

I wonder how many other blogs out there are in the same boat and just don't get read? I have been checking out Denis McGrath's Dead Things On Sticks pretty much daily (I told you - I'm bored at work). It's a blog aimed at writers, mostly, since Denis is, well, a writer. It's a very well written blog though, (go figure) and quite often has an interesting point to make. But as I look at the comments section, I see there aren't a lot of posts and it got me wondering how many people have seen his blog. It would be sad to think only a handful of us know about it. Denis obviously puts a great deal of thought and effort into some of the posts...

And that's why I think blogging is a form of cyber-masturbation.

If you are engaging in this solitary experience strictly for your own enjoyment with little or no feedback/witnesses...well...

Once I decided to actually create a blog myself, though, (to keep the cyber-pipes clean, I guess)another debate sprung up in my head: do I blog anonymously or make my identity known from the start? Each has pros and cons. If I blog anonymously, I can write whatever the heck I want without worrying about what people might think about me after having read it and I can even take on a dramatis personae. The major drawback to this is that no one will know about your blog unless you tell them about it, and telling your friends about "The Phantom Blogger" who writes stories eerily similar to your own life might tip your hand and the whole alter-ego thing becomes pointless.

Having decided that I would write as myself, I was free to mention friends and locations without having to disguise my tracks. I am free to give a shout-out to my housemate Dan's blog or Tristan's projects and attempt to give them a boost.

But my content and writing style were defintiely cramped.

I got shit to hide, son.

Like most people, I have my fair share of skeletons in the closet or things I'd just rather not be known to certain people. I'm a gemini, which means I'm pretty much Sybil - I got personalities like Imelda Marcos has shoes. As a result, different people know me in different ways. Some circles of friends think I'm loud and confident, others think I'm quiet and shy. Some think I'm a jerk, and others think...wait a, actually they all think I'm a jerk. Bad example. But you get my point.

In this arena, given the fact that people I know will (might?) be reading this, I have to watch what I say to a certain extent. There are already some people I can't mention this blog to.

I mean, geez, I'm only two degrees removed from Cory Doctorow and I've been ragging on him pretty good. But, you know, I still think that boy needs a bitchslap so I won't repent on that one.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that, while some people use their blogspot like a diary, you're not likely to find that here. I have to restrict myself a little.

Kinda like masturbating with the wrong hand, you know?

(great, now I can't tell my mom about this blog...)


Dan Misener said...

Hi Phil,

If you're keen on others finding (and reading) your blog, I'd suggest signing up for Technorati. It's the system that BoingBoing uses to track which blogs are commenting on their articles. And you certainly link a lot to individual BoingBoing story pages. You could also use it to tag your blog entries with "Cory," "Doctorow," and "douchebag," leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for anyone with similar thoughts. Check out this page for more on tagging.

Rx Almond said...

Hi Phil,

I find your blog to be a great resource.


Anonymous said...

Is Mario LeCraig on crack? Great resource?

Great. As if my little brother didn't have a big enough ego ..