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The Other Side of Everything

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Written on December 22, 2004, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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Interesting stats about the Blogging phenomenon I found chez teddY-risatioN™.

Basically the long and the short of it is that out of the millions blogging worldwide, only about 50,000 are updated daily.

Personally I don’t look for daily updates. I’d much rather wait for something of quality. I get a real high when one of my favourite writers publishes something new and interesting.

There are excellent blogs out there, nestling like pearls in the mire, and when I find one, I sigh. I despair in the same way that I did as a book-loving child, when I realised with horror that I would never live long enough to read all the books I would like to. Even if I lived forever, I would never read them all, because while I was reading, more would be written. At 13 years old I experienced existential panic, and tried for a while to read at least as much as I could, completing 3 books a week on top of whatever school dished up, even stealing when the library and my meagre child-slave wages wouldn’t afford me the books I wanted.

Books are one thing – they at least have the filter of commerce and editorial bias and manufacture to slow them down as they come into being as objects. But blogs are spreading like bathroom mould.

Some of my intelligent associates wonder what I see in this tacky low-brow glut culture, and I have endeavoured to explain. I’ve even converted a few. I say to those that will listen that some blogs are very well written, informative, moving, thought-provoking, amusing, visually stunning, compulsive reading; and some of them take the weblog form (which is still in relative infancy) and do remarkable and unexpected things with it.

Like this blog, a tissue of lies, which I just found. Is this for real ? It kind of does matter (even though in a literary sense it doesn’t) – because if it’s true, we are reading the diary of Mabel, a captive prostitute. Therefore I am gripped. The journal form is perfect, it’s convincing, and the suspense is killing.

Because of finds like this, I have gone back 9 years to when I first got a computer and a modem and started to surf the net. This time I am not gawping at NASA images that take 10 minutes to download and reading obscure texts about deviancy. I am not looking at any other part of the internet. I am just blogsurfing.

Since I began blogsurfing early in 2004, my taste has developed. My initial delight was in recognising like-minds on similar paths. I loved being able to respond and post comments. The interactivity and the dialog was (is) a tremendous and immediate thrill. I made contact with some great people. I missed them when they dropped out and stopped writing. Just like a real relationship – they were real (albeit virtual) relationships. This is not new to me – I have made friends via the net since it began, and met up with and connected to many genuine people.

Something wonderful found via a blog linked to from this one
Then as I started to write my own blog, and just kept going, I began to look at the varieties of purpose – personal diaries, business communications, reviews, commentary, creative outlets, takes on life, political soapboxes, religious pulpits, and many unmitigated eccentricities and egocentricities.

And of course the blogs about blogs, blogging, blogskins, the blogosphere, blogexplosion, blogistas, bloggerinas, and bloggers.

Then I became interested in the weirdness, the differences, the really sick puppies, the stuck people, the sad, the ranters, the stay-at-home Moms, the badspelin teens, the mentalists, the mavericks, the crazies.

Then I wondered why I neeeded to know. That didn’t last long. I just felt I needed to know. Then I knew. Then I went to bed.

Now I still surf regularly, and I leave comments, but I am very slow to add a new link. I have already gained so much from this, I’m not sure I’m ready for any more.

Recently, looking at my list of links down the side of my own blog, I decided to do a little winter-clean. Using Bloglines, an excellent web-based Newsreader, I can catch up with recent posts easily and I find it enables me to actually find time to read everything on my list – but not every day, maybe 2 or 3 times a week I get to have a really good long read. I made a Top Ten (see right hand column). I started to think about why I like what I like, and the librarian in me (6th form – the reference section being excellent for early morning heavy petting with my girlfriend, due to the long shelves of large heavy books which saw zero borrowing action between 8 – 9.45am) kicked in.

My favourite blogs are written by people I automatically have an affection for. It’s clear from the way their character comes off the page, they have something totally delightful about them; so I follow with total interest. If I met them in real life, I would almost certainly like them, because just by living their life and recounting it, they make me smile and feel and think and rethink and understand stuff. Their passion for life animates me. I feel a common sense of humanity.

Then there’s a bunch of people who also have something remarkable or insightful or unique about their offering but I’m quite happy just to admire their stuff from a distance, and I go to their gigs.

Then there’s people who are really different from me, and who are just sheer total entertainment value.

Then there are people who know stuff about stuff that we really need to know, and who are kindly passing it on. Thank Fuck for them.

Then there are the mad freaks, who I always have time for…

Blogging is an amazing cultural phenomenon. It’s rapidly become part of mature internet culture. It’s an exchange, not a one-way communication. It’s democratic, simple and cheap. It’s truly global. Millions of people are at it, generating billions of words, pictures, links..

The social phenomenon of blogging is very interesting. The collective creative process. Is this really the first flowering of a truly global culture ? Sometimes it does blow my tiny mind.

But enough blog already. Art about art is ultimately transitory and appeals to very few. This is too much. Midwinter has got to me. I clearly need to relax and get out more. Maybe I will just write about how mobile phones are changing our DNA. Or maybe I will just use my mobile phone to update my blog from the beach, when I get there. Or maybe, I will just make another evil clown.

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This thing has 2 Comments

  1. teddY
    Posted 23 December, 2004 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Hi there! Interesting post and I like it! Thanks for commenting at my blog and also advertising mine (not really, but big thank you 😀 )

    Will link your blog in my blog as soon as possible…

    By the way, wish you a happy Merry Christmas =)

    *Song I’m humming – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town*

  2. Laurie
    Posted 23 December, 2004 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Loved this one and “Up, Down or Sideways.” I’m forwarding them both to all my drinking and blogging buddies. Your writing is amazing.

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