Prologue: On Blogs

What happened? After months, almost years of being against blogs, Jordy suddenly has one. (Actually, two, but the other one’s for programming.) Has Hell frozen over? Has Mrs. Stebbins extended an essay due date? Has Kevin refused food?

Actually, the last two have happened, and this week it’s been mighty cold. So I can start a blog if I want. You’ll notice it’s not on Xanga, which is a moderate site, or MySpace, the worst designed “site” in existence right now. (And that includes this one). Facebook I haven’t really seen (because I don’t have an account), but I imagine despite its cleaner design I still would have bailed eventually.

But the central issue is why I have a blog at all. Suffice it (for now) to say that I have interesting thoughts and this is a medium of communication. (Heh, did you realize that was the singular of “media”)? Let’s take a look at my ideas about blogs.

Originally I didn’t really get it. Who would want to read about someone’s daily activities, from homework to shopping? But then Xanga took off and I realized that OK, there were such people around. And, having been a Xanga commenter (perhaps a.k.a. troll), I discovered that sometimes there were interesting thoughts buried in the boring stuff. Or that even the boring stuff could be interesting.

And then there were the people who posted rants, stuff that really shouldn’t be seen in public. Coupled with this were stories on Slashdot about how people were getting in trouble for what they wrote on their blogs. A blog is not a diary, I thought, because it is completely and utterly public. Private posts nonwithstanding. There are some things that people post that they would never say in person to anyone

But finally I realized that, you know, maybe that was a good thing. People could go home and rant on Xanga, telling in a roundabout way what they had to tell somebody. Like a diary, but with the sense that you actually could tell other people, your friends.

Today’s blogging teens live a double life. What is posted online never appears in real life, and real life conflicts don’t usually show up accurately online. But a therapeutic rant now and then, though showing someone’s darker side, might really help them keep from going crazy in real life.

That being said, I’m not going to do that, or to let my blog degenerate into a conversation with a few people. Of course, nobody might end up reading it, because a non-Xanga/Facebook site just isn’t convenient. That would be sad, especially because of the shiny RSS button up there (“shiny”?) that makes it easy to watch for updates, in Firefox, Thunderbird, Safari or any other RSS aggreggator you please.

So, one last pet peeve. I don’t like it when people post something and disallow comments. Because of the double-life thing, there’s no socially easy way to talk to someone in real life about what they say online, and the comments are the only recourse. So use my comments. Just click the “Post Response” link below. You don’t even have to register an account on this site (although you can). And if you have something private to say, e-mail me.

P.S. Get used to long posts. I write things until I’m finished. *grin*