Saturday, September 6, 2008

All day and day, blog

By linking to this interview with pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman (one of my favorites), I suppose I'm essentially proving his point about the blogosphere:

Unlike journalism, blogging is not competitive — its cooperative. Networking is far more essential than writing or reporting. Which is why I don’t need to read any specific sports blog on a day-to-day basis; I will eventually get all that information without even trying. It aggregates itself.


... now EVERYBODY wants to be funny. That’s all there is. You can’t blog about any subject without making some sort of obvious joke, and that kind of thinking has spilled into the mainstream media. I guess what I’m really waiting for is a legitimately smart guy who wants to write a totally unentertaining sports blog.

And he's probably right, on both counts.

Given that I only have so many hours to read in a day, I visit only a handful of blogs everyday and check out a handful more semi-regularly throughout the week. It would be overwhelming to read 10-15-20 blogs everyday, not to mention the other newsier Web sites where I keep up with the day's events and the subsequent analysis.

So it wouldn't offend me if, say, of my five regular readers, that only two dropped by this site every single day. I don't even have those sort of expectations of the First Lady of False Hustle. Life happens. And I figure you'll get your vegetables somewhere else, just like me. Blogs should never serve as a substitute for real news. The blogosphere is simply edutainment. Go see a professional, you know?

For me, this blog is simply a dumping ground for the things that I keep on mulling over in my endlessly cluttered mind. I resisted doing this for so long, partly because of work obligations, partly because I was worried no one would read and mostly because, as a professional journalist, I was being a snob.

However, once you start writing and reading other blogs (other good blogs), you learn to see the virtue in the blogging community. I've enjoyed the experience more than I could have ever imagined; sometimes, I find myself blogging when I should be devoting attention to much more important things.

Finally, I also understand what Klosterman means when he refers to everyone wanting to be funny. In fact, some bloggers have confused comedy with crudeness or cruelty. I'm not really into that, for a number of reasons - some of them related to my regular paycheck. I only occasionally go to the shallow end of my comedy well because I'm not completely confident that my sense of humor will go over well or if its actually funny.

Either way, I'm out here with the rest of you, typing away in the silence of my second bedroom, hoping that some folks are feeling me and my digital doctrine. But if you've got something else to do, that's cool too. Just don't forget to come back home.


John P. Araujo said...

Count me as among those that have come to appreciate blogging. Like you said, there are good blogs and bad blogs, and I certainly count you among those that are so good that I check it nearly every day. The reason for that is not because we agree 100% of the time (which we don't), but because what you write challenges me and my thinking. It would be easy for you to write "rah-rah" stuff, but you often admit that you're still mulling over this idea or that concept, so that you're open to discussion about it. The mistake of many bloggers is that they say "I'm right, you're wrong, and here's why!".

At the same time, it would be easy for me to read only blogs with content that I agree with, but I learn NOTHING about myself or my views, or whether I might be wrong about what I believe. I think the better bloggers share a commonality in that they are not afraid to challenge their own views as well as the views of others. Ego-stoking blogs come a dime a dozen, but the blogs worth reading will teach you something new.

You're a natural for this, dude, and I think the blogosphere is better off because of your writing. Keep it up! :-)

blackink said...

JP, you're much too kind. And the respect is very much mutual - even though I consider you a closet Democrat. If not for abortion, I really think you'd be blue ;)

But I agree with you, particularly about challenging yourself to digest different viewpoints on previously held beliefs.

I'm definitely willing to hear all the arguments on any particular issue, as I think all people should be on some level. I think people should always challenge themselves and their beliefs. To do otherwise is intellectually lazy.