Ouch!

December 22, 2006

Just as I’m getting into posting almost-daily entries on my blog, Joseph Rago at The Wall Street Journal writes of “The Blog Mob.” Still, I agree with many of his concerns, which I more or less mention in my very first posting.

Rago even uses the word “solipsistic,” which I also used in my posting. I’m not vaguely accusing him of plagiarism, though. In fact, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in viewing a good number of blogs that way. I first learned of the word myself from Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita (the written diary, or paper “blog,” of the narrator). For more about solipsism, read the entry from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Not to sound snobby, but I do agree with Rago that many blogs are dull and/or terribly-written. I would also add visually unappealing, and even confusing; I hate it when bloggers copy and paste extensive quotes, and the only original text says something like this:

    Just found this on [topic].

    [bleeding chunk from article]

    This sounds very important for [blogger’s constituency].

I may be no model for good writing myself, but it seems that bloggers feel pressure to post something everyday. For that, quality of writing and thought suffers for the reasons Rago outlines in his article. In his view, political blogs are especially problematic. More people may have more opportunities to say what’s on their freakin’ mind to a broader audience, but it tends towards divisiveness and “preaching to the choir.”

So far, my daily compulsion to post comes from the fact that I have considered the relevant topics for a while already, or I have a personal experience that seems somewhat relevant to my blog’s overall coverage (librarianship, higher education, and technology). I just hope that I don’t run out of material, because I actually like blogging. It’s rewarding to provide what I perceive as decent postings to stimulate dialogue, and to transcend the prejudices of both obstinate Luddites and hardcore technophiles.

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One Response to “Ouch!”

  1. Jason Says:

    For some balance, here’s a story from Wired about blogging, and how it can bring attention to abuses of power throughout the world. The article talks more specifically about Global Voices, which “aims to redress some of the inequities in media attention by leveraging the power of citizens’ media.” For more, read the GV About webpage.


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