Random thought: With all the uncertainty of what blogging/ web journaling/ rippling constitutes, I wondered last night if perhaps it is kind of latter day, secular confessional. You’ve got the screen, the listener with the feedback, the anonymity, the focus on oneself, and even the worship of a huge, all-pervading organization, with its priests of information. The time that we spend spilling our hearts almost seems to be trying to make up for the years of silence we all endured as we gave up the old institutions…
Suggestion… For those of us for whom good writing makes up the most important aspect of web journaling, I would like to propose a vote for the best written entries of 2003. We could start with single suggestions from bloggers (except one’s own blog, of course), tallying up, say, 30 of the the most often named entries, then vote again to pare it down to 10 entries, that can then be posted on their own page. Any ideas on this? Can you even remember any specific entries? (I find it quite difficult…!)
Evolution… A while ago I wrote that blogging is probably a new form of communication, still in its infancy and offering something that neither books nor magazines can. Beth of Cassandra Pages discusses this new trend, too, talking of our being pioneers in a new medium. Many of us have struggled with the sense of addiction that blogging brings out in us, and, for those of who are writers, the way it seems to invade the time we spend writing for print. William Gibson, the science fiction writer, went so far as to quit his blog because he found blogging to interfere too much with his writing. The funny thing is, blogging instigates us into writing everyday in a way that print writers only dream of! Many people who have never written before, suddenly find that writing is actually fun. What is it about blogging that gets you coming back, day after day, month after month, and probably year after year? Even online chatting never had me so hooked (I’ve completely stopped doing it). My hunch is that it’s fireside storytelling reborn. Where anyone round the fire can have a go. No hierarchies, no filters, no initiation process that stills the voices of those who don’t make it into some inner circle. The spreading of the word like wildfire. Minds suddenly set free.
An interesting development is that while this site receives quite a few visitors, my other blog, Harubaru: Far and Wide has from the beginning recieved almost no visitors. It is an illustrated fiction blog, originally intended for children, but I’m wondering if it just doesn’t work if done as an individual’s blog. Perhaps fiction in a blog needs to be created jointly, or perhaps it doesn’t work at all?
There is a lot of exploring to be done, and the imagination is rife with possibilities. It will be interesting to see what develops from here on.
7 replies on “Neurons Firing”
Another weblog award? Y’know, there are the Anti-Bloggies, which stand in the fine tradition of The Bloggies, which stand in the fine tradition of The Webbies, which stand in the fine tradition of some other Awards that the American movie industry hands out with much fanfare every year. Strangely, I don’t care all that much.
If you poke around a bit, you will also find that online diarists have been doing Best Entry of the Year awards since long before anyone ever used the term “weblog”.
Good writers on the Web, as far as I’m concerned, include Paul Ford, Josh Allen and Lance Arthur (see also Glassdog.com).
Gibson quits? Doesn’t even surprise me. People insisted from the start that the weblog was mostly a publicity stunt foisted on him.
That’s some nice illustrations on the Harubaru site. They remind me a bit of Winnie the Pooh before Disney had a chance to mess with the books.
While I have no problem with blogging awards, I would have a hard time remembering articles.
I can easily name several blogs that I read regularily and where many of the articles are a pleasure to read… but I usually do not bookmark articles, just blogs.
And about blogs forcing me to write… definitely! I can see why a professional writer would be loath to spend his writing time on a blog for free, but for the aspiring hobby writer a personal blog can be the start of a writing habit that may later transform into a career.
Another good writer on the web Chad Taylor from New Zealand.
I am not a professional writer myself, I fall into the category of “aspiring hobby writers” that Thomas mentions above. With that disclaimer, I will now share the three main reasons that I find writing online easy.
Near Instantaneous Reward
There is something to be said about the speed of publishing a blog. No waiting on editors, printers, or publishers, as you do it all on your own your way. Seeing your words “in print” with such immediacy is just plain delicious.
Sense of Risk
Making your own writing available online can be rather intimidating, especially for us hobbyists. To expose oneself in such a way is emotionally risky, as in doing such you open yourself to criticism from anybody, anywhere, with a computer. (I personally am rather glad that Mrs. Smith, my junior high English teacher, has yet to find my site.)
Starting a blog is like walking into a new writers’ workshop, where all work for a common goal. We all want to improve our writing, or find our voice, and we look to each other for feedback. Most criticism of other’s writing among bloggers tends to be constructive, and provides a great sense of reward. Knowing that someone thought enough to send a kind word or comment goes a long way. I have also found that most of us follow the old rule of “if you have nothing good to say, then say nothing”, which makes for a very safe feeling.
As to Harubaru, I have been wanting to ask for a while, but why have you stopped? I log on occasionally to see if you have updated it, but it has been quite a while. By all means, continue the story!
I don’t recall writing a single word about a “weblog” award. Please read more carefully next time.
How interesting that several of us mis-read your suggestion!
I enjoyed your reflections and those of Steve above. They describe well some of the freedoms and satisfactions of webblogging. One can get a little lost at times and it is very helpful to re-orientate oneself with the thoughts of others. So thanks for that, y’all.
BTW, I always enjoy your entries and you’d get my vote!!!
I’d recommend Wil Wheaton and Witt and Wisdom.
What age group is Harubaru aimed at? For me, I like the idea of a character blogging and telling me what happened to him today. But I would recommend shorter, frequent entries.
I like the illustrations, perhaps a link image from your main site would prompt people to visit.