Optimistically Cautious

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Nature of Blogging

I must confess that I quite enjoy blogging. More than fun, I believe it's a healthy exercise to regularly reflect and record observations and events in one's life. To an extent as well, I think the notion of being judged solely on the markers of thoughts, ideas, and experiences is a romantic one.

I read an interview by Rolf Potts about the art of keeping a travel journal in See Magazine this week. On the subject of blogs vs. paper, Lavinia Spalding had this to say:

"A blog serves a wider purpose. It's essentially published, which means that (in most cases, anyway) it's been proofread and censored for public consumption. Thus, in terms of the actual writing, a private diary entry can be authentic and vulnerable on a level that something broadcast on the Internet can almost never be."

I won't dispute the fact that blogs can indeed be very public collections of personal information, but I am more interested in the nature of the media actively allowing for the crafting of identities. Although some blog for themselves, most are aware that somewhere in cyberspace lies an audience. Consciousness of "public consumption" intrudes, and what isn't said then becomes more important than the content itself: the stories excluded are the more telling narrative.

I can hear my post-modernist literature professor echoing in my head. Or perhaps it's just my inner English teacher roaring to get out. Whatever it is, I fancy the concept that a blog can be deeper than restaurant reviews, theatre critique, and fashion commentary.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mack D. Male said...

I've written about this before, but not recently. Perhaps it is time I revisited the subject!

Despite that audience existing somewhere in cyberspace, I think you must first blog for yourself, and for everyone else second. Of the thousands of blogs created each day, most don't last longer than three months. I suspect one of the main reasons is that the bloggers started with the sole intent of building an audience.

Your notion of using a blog to "craft an identity" is interesting. I don't doubt that it happens. More often than not though, I'd bet the blog simply becomes part of the creator's overall identity. No matter how hard you try, you can't completely control the image that is presented. Something as simple as the act of hyperlinking tells volumes about someone.

BTW, told you that you'd love blogging ;)

November 20, 2006 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Gravitas said...

Now I'll be striving to hit the three month mark!

I think whether or not a blog assimilates to become a part of the creator's identity is determined by how conscious the writer is about the narratives he or she chooses to include. Everything said (and not said) becomes a thread in the tapestry of the blog. I'm fascinated by the facets people can expose - and often in a more concrete and articulate manner than what's possible in everyday conversation.

But yes, I agree that one must blog for themselves first; an audience is simply a bonus. Besides, it's really more fun when no one knows you have a blog at all ;).

November 21, 2006 at 10:08 PM  

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