Part one of a wiki-essay on "Thinking about a new/different way of doing blogging... and about what blogging is all about... "
Original at: http://mikro2nd.net/bits/Wiki.jsp?page=MikroBlog
Comments/constructive criticism welcome; be aware, though, that Part One is just painting background for a brainstorm, and not intended as a comprehensive, or even accurate, Recent History Of Blogging. Still very much a Work In Progress!
Blogging in the conventional manner -- having a blog at BlogSpot or LiveJournal or WordPress or even at your own domain using some custom blog platform -- it
all seems a bit passè, now, after the hype and frenzy of a couple of
The format is very much that of a newspaper article, isn't it? Headline, dateline, reporter, article. Even TV reporters follow the format. Oh, except for the
commenting, of course! And ratings. That's what was so exciting; a new
form of conversation. Two different kinds of conversation, really.
The first is the __News Mode__ conversation. It's a ''broadcast''
mode, primarily; News from me and my world to y'all out there who might
be interested in following my drivel. Great for venting. Later that
morphed into podcasts -- where did that all go to? -- and photoblogs,
but it's all much the same thing. Think of Life Magazine
in the 50's and 60's. That's why the mainstream news-media has managed,
though it took them long enough, to successfully incorporate blogs and
the blog style of things into their websites and mainstream content:
it's not so very different from what they were doing before blogs came
along. Though let's note in passing that many of them are still
extremely uncomfortable with the free-and-easy, short-and-to-the-point,
frequently vituperative style that commenters use. There's still a
whole lot of this style of blogging going on, and I don't think it is
going to disappear.
width='150' height='56' align='right' style='' class='image' }] It can
be demanding, though, for the C-list bloggers like Yours Truly.
Bloggers with, perhaps, a couple of dozen regular readers who share
some niche common interests, read and comment regularly on each others'
blogs, and, over time, become friends-at-a-distance. These are the
bloggers who are not in it for the money. On their sites you'll see
"Proudly Ad-Free" badges. They tried AdSense, and made the grand sum of
32 cents from it. The pressure from all those "How to be a Successful
Blogger" websites... the feelings of having let people down should you
fail to blog three times a week on a regular schedule... keeping that
blogroll up to date... acknowledging all the comments... keeping the
comment-spam under control... It all becomes too much after a time, and
we see many of these C-listers give up their blogs after a couple of
years. Sad, really, because many of them bring a fresh, interesting, if
slightly myopic, story to the world.
The idea that bloggers were going to replace conventional
journalism with news-from-the-streets... where did that go? Sadly
not too many bloggers are keen to follow the Courts beat, nor to drag
about after boring political hacks looking for the stuff the mainstream
media masticates into news.
But! The conversation is peculiarly stilted. You leave a
comment on someone's blog. Perhaps they reply via another comment.
Perhaps somebody else comments on your comment. You probably never
get to see that. Did you bookmark that conversation? Unlikely! And
even if you did, will you remember to go back and visit the bookmark?
You might comment on half-a-dozen blogs on any given day. It's a hell
of a lot of work keeping up with all those conversations!
There have been various technical fixes to the problem -- email
notifications on comment follow-ups, websites that follow the
conversation for you and attempt to centralise it -- but none of these
have been particularly successful. So as a means of actual conversation, conventional blogging comes up deficient.
But it did get us started, didn't it? We're all writing and conversing much more than we were a decade ago when we were still mainly a
television audience -- mere passive consumers of the torrent of crap
deemed by the Media Powers to be in our best interests -- and their way
of ramming crappy advertorial down our collective gullets.