The Meaning of BlogLove

(this comment is about 4 years too late, and I actually wrote it a year ago on a friend's blog - but whatever)

I've never really explained this even to myself, but it took me about a week of posting to realize that the point of a blog is not about me at all; it's all about the internet, and all about my wondrous fickle audience and whoever the hell happens to pass by on a random google search that day. The medium is the message or some completely relevant old chestnut like that.

Blogging is a test of remaining fresh/interesting in a merciless flea-circus of text and imagery and hypertext links that rewards the competitors not with cash or prizes but with aggregate attention span. I've posted some highly experimental and wacky things, and I've taken my lumps in readership fer sure. But ultimately we do it to be loved and almost only to be loved, and a few seconds of attention is all the love there is out here but that's good enough. Individual commments of praise are nice but they don't stick in your head; like all these virtual KB they get sucked down the cognitive drain. Keep an archive for yourself and your diehard fans, sure, but otherwise it’s 'what have you done for me lately' and if you can't deal with that immediacy, if you try to draw attention back to what you wrote a week ago, a month ago, whatever, it's sayonara. The only real 'old school' arguments go on inside the comment box, but those exercises in logic and reason are kept hidden from the casual visitor's view by the the owner of the blog, who is a lot like the wizard of oz. With blogs linearity and cohesion is irrelevant and actually distracting (readers on the web don't read posts all the way through but scan first for words or phrases that catch their attention), time is essentially meaningless (eg you can write in whatever time or date you want on the post when you make em). Editing posts after the fact means that all posts are in the eternal present. As a blogger your powers to cover your own tracks are enormous, and they can and should be used to enhance your ability to be loved. Only google will remember what you wrote - the secrets are in the cold hard cache. As for love, if we don't get enough love from our statcounter on any one particular day, then there is always hope, limitless and seductive hope, for our audience is potentially as vast, democratic, curious and instant as it is (most of the time) moronic, apathetic and vindictively anonymous.

I had to learn to serve the medium; it's changed me as a writer, but not in a bad way. The bottom line is entertainment and enlightenment. I have no particular loyalty to writing on the net vs as a poet-guy or as a fiction writer or columnist. If I could 'find my Pelican Man' by blowing up beachballs and tying them to trees or building a canoe out of tangerine wedges I'd do that too.

Good luck to all writers-turned-bloggers who try to remain pure to any particular craft or style; the pressure to change and be flexible in your approach is enormous, and with good reason. Ironically life ain't easy when there's nobody holding you back but your 'publish' button, when you have make your own rules and decide for yourself who the rest of the world will decide you are. All things can and should be said but of course watch it don't make you batty. Freedom is a cupcake but true unabashed cacophonous freedom of speech will wear you out. I speak from my borderline crazy and damaging-to-any-'real-writing-career' experiences on FIAC. Oh yes this bloggin is a whole new ball o wax.... agh, I am slain

1 comment:

The Mighty Kat said...

pucker, and - *smooch*! Great post.