Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Apr 24 2009

Two-term blogger

I’m a few days late on this, but as of April 22nd, I’ve been writing in this thing for eight years. Thanks for all of you who supported my bid for a second term in office with your cries of “Four More Years!” last time around.

That said, I’m afraid I’ve become somewhat of a lame-duck blogger (or even more so, anyway). In fact, I’m beginning to think that most bloggers are (even more these days) lame duck bloggers, thanks to the plethora of instant microblogging social linking sites that have sprung up recently, added to the increasingly portable nature of Internet access these days. Who, after all, has time for lengthy descriptions of someone’s breakfast when they can get a play-by-play on the details and thoughts of some stranger throughout the day?

What bothers me a little bit about all of this, and I sound like an old fogey when I say it, is the growing feeling of obligation to pay attention to these things, these mundane matters that everyone (including myself, I must add, lest I be labeled a hypocrite in addition to everything else) is attaching so much value to these days in lieu of actual accomplishments. It was ok and kind of neat to have access to this information when it first became available, but I have to suppress a small shudder when I consider having to monitor this kind of thing all day, every day. At some point I missed, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter became necessary items, like TVs and radios before that. But unlike the old media, which could be passively observed, this time you have to participate and work at it. This was supposed to be a Good Thing, all the educators and socialogists said, this was supposed to be what TV and radio couldn’t give us because it was busy rotting our brains. For the office-bound employee with an Internet connection, it is a welcome distraction, of course, and that was indeed my inspiration for starting this account back in 2001, when I had such a position full-time. But these days I find it becoming a little irritating, all of these niggling little things to take care of online as well as in real life.

Or it could just be that it’s an incredibly nice day outside and I am inside here typing this dribble. Ah, well, screw it, I’m going outside, where I can Twitter that I am passing a 7-Eleven or something similarly inane.

posted by Poagao at 10:54 am  

8 Comments

  1. quality not quantity. the basic architecture of the human brain stays the same even when the artificial funnel (notes, letters, phone calls, conversation, books, poems, songs, paintings, blogs, microblogs, etc) its squeezed through to express itself, changes. so the happy burden is finding good brains to spy on who say things that resonate, spark other thoughts etc. keeping up with the zeitgeist isn’t a worthy end in itself. a lot of times the good ole public library (or just feeling the sun on your face) trumps the internet.

    Comment by v — April 24, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  2. oops! i didn’t address the main point : PS as for feeling a burden to participate? if i don’t, will the world stop turning? who will care? i just make sure i engage in some medium (talking, writing…) with the people who do care, or, like here, i engage just to express myself primarily for myself.

    Comment by v — April 24, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

  3. Who reads blogs anymore? I skim read a handful in Google Reader if I have time but that’s about it. I think many bloggers have begun to wonder whether it’s worth slaving over a blog that hardly anyone reads or comments on especially when you can achieve pretty much the same thing by updating your twitter and facebook status throughout the week. And sure there’s a lot of drivel on twitter, but there’s some good stuff too. It depends who you follow.

    Comment by Naruwan — April 24, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  4. I look for substance and insight in the blogs I read. Yours has both. I haven’t found much depth in twitter or facebook sites; I think they’re a manifestation of our ‘short attention span’ cultures.

    I don’t think blogging can be considered a lame duck activity any more than the diarists of the last century or the editorial writers of the last 30 years; perhaps the media have changed but the content is what is so valued. Twitter and facebook fall dreadfully short on this score.

    Your efforts are appreciated by a larger audience than you have any way of knowing about. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by PacRimGuy — April 25, 2009 @ 12:41 am

  5. but don’t bloggers have a way of knowing how big their audience is?

    Comment by v — April 27, 2009 @ 3:57 am

  6. twitter is just not for stupid stuff. check out this post: some people are using twitter to organize and change the world. like someone said above- it’s who you read/communicate with: http://speedchange.blogspot.com/

    Comment by v — April 27, 2009 @ 4:00 am

  7. That’s a good point, v, and I agree that with Twitter as with many other things, the quality of discourse depends on the people you’re communicating with. As for knowing how big my audience is, I have some stats programs but don’t generally bother as they seem pointless. Unlike some bloggers, I never saw this as a way to make money, but just a place to jot down some thoughts from time to time, thoughts that require more than a couple of sentences.

    Comment by Poagao — April 27, 2009 @ 9:18 am

  8. Twitter, Instant messaging, Facebook, mobile phone texting…some people enjoy it, but I agree that they require constant attention and it can be quite time consuming. But I say set your own boundaries and just go with that.

    Of course I am biased, but I enjoy blogs because I like reading opinions, travel logs, and subjective thoughts. I just cannot get that with office chit-chat, twitter, or anything else. Also, with my own blog, I kind of enjoy looking back on it each year and seeing the big events. It’s easy to forget with all that goes on day to day.

    Comment by Bryan — April 30, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

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