Sunday, March 06, 2005

The problem with blogs...

Actually, there are several, none of which seem to be affecting their popularity. And I'm not sure why.

The first problem is a practical one. Where does one find time to make daily (or even hourly) posts to one's blog? I see all these wonderful and not-so-wonderful personal blogs online, and they all seem to be relatively fresh and up-to-date. Obviously, many bloggers spend a fair amount of time posting to and managing their blogs. Where do they find the time to do this? Certainly, the average blog post isn't (or isn't often) a lengthy piece of well-thought-out commentary, so I don't imagine the average blogger spending several hours crafting the language and grammar to get it just right. But still, you have to spend a few minutes on each post, and minutes add up. Frankly, I don't have the spare time to carve out a half-hour or more a day to post to this rather anemic blog. Do other bloggers just have more free time on their hands than I do, or do they make the time? Or are they faster writers? (Not bloody likely...) So how -- or, perhaps more importantly, why -- do other bloggers find the time to do this? It perplexes me.

A second problem builds on that "why" question. Why do bloggers blog? And why do others read those blogs? (If, in fact, they do...) The typical blog, of course, is nothing more than a personal diary made public. It's vanity publishing, made easy by 21st-century technology. Does one's every thought warrant public exposure? I think not, not even of my own thoughts. So there's a kind of deluded self-importance mixed up in all this, somehow. It's symptomatic of the creeping me-ness of today's me-dia, where we only read and watch and listen to that narrow blend of ideas and entertainment that cater to our own individual tastes. And what caters more to one's personal tastes than one's personal ramblings, enabled by the blogging phenomenon? All me, all the time... it's a little overwhelming.

The third problem is the old wheat from the chaff thing. With so many blogs cluttering up the blogosphere, how does one sift through and find those few that truly merit attention? Or maybe it doesn't really matter, since we only care about our own blogs -- not about anyone else's. I don't know; I fear missing something important, but I don't really want to wade through the spam-like mass of bloggishness to find it.

Finally (for now, anyway), one has to wonder how long-lasting this whole blog thing will be. Anyone out there old enough to remember the birth of the web (then capitalized, of course), when anyone and everyone had their own personal web page? And anyone know how many of those web pages are still around today? Few, indeed. The novelty wears off quickly; it's one thing to cobble together a web page, another to keep it up-to-date. Perhaps the same thing will happen with blogs. The posts will get fewer over time, and the novelty of the whole thing will diminish. That will solve the quantity problem, no doubt.

But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.

2 comments:

braingirl said...

About the time, I have to make it. My challenge to myself it to spend no more than one hour blogging. I find that I spend that much time surfing anyway, so if I can become effcient about how I collect notes or remember something I want add, then I try to keep it to the time alloted. I also find that it helps to do it first thing in the morning, then you're done for the day (like taking your vitamins). To that end, sometimes I draft posts during the day or in the evening in case I can't think of anything clever.

About why? I firmly believe that the best reason to blog is for you. I can't be caught up in thinking my blog's a success because x number of people read it (although I have kept meaning to ask where to find that groovy counter panel you use). But the only way I can find satisfaction is to do it for me, and no one else. Although it is kind of cool when other people read it.

Will the blogging phenomenon end? I don't know -- as I watch some of the cool things happening (including the case with Apple), I kind of think that blogs will force a lot of changes before they evolve into what they'll be next. Every day I'm truly shocked at the people who start blogs. And shocked in a good way.

Incandenzian said...

Quote - "The third problem is the old wheat from the chaff thing. With so many blogs cluttering up the blogosphere, how does one sift through and find those few that truly merit attention? Or maybe it doesn't really matter, since we only care about our own blogs -- not about anyone else's. I don't know; I fear missing something important, but I don't really want to wade through the spam-like mass of bloggishness to find it."

You might like to read this:

http://shirky.com/writings/powerlaw_weblog.html

It's kind of related to the part of your blog I quoted above.