January 30, 2015

First sensible thing on blogging I've read

Links from other bloggers β€” the original currency of the blogosphere, and the one that drove its collaborative, conversational nature β€” just don't deliver the numbers that Facebook does. But blogging is a conversation, and conversations don't go viral. People share things their friends will understand, not things that you need to have read six other posts to understand.

(link)


With all the handwringing over scale and business models, I think the real value of blogging has been missed.  Mass communication is not actual conversation - there are no conversations at scale, only monologues (possibly with annotation or heckling).  Krugman has mastered this medium.

But conversation is much more important.  Facebook has nothing to do with conversation, because it is basically your high school reunion, over and over again.  Twitter is fun, but shallow by design.  I'm happy to catch a Steve Martin bon mot or participate in one of Espenson's writing sprints (those are awesome), but I don't imagine I know these people, or ever can.

But a long term blog with multiple contributors who otherwise could not regularly share thoughts or feelings - that's pretty cool.

'Cause, you know, Rilke - β€œat bottom, and just in the deepest and most important things, we are unutterably alone, and for one person to be able to advise or even help another, a lot must happen, a lot must go well, a whole constellation of things must come right in order once to succeed.”

Superficiality can take you far, but only so far.  And, certainly, I would welcome the opportunity to sample further the rewards that superficiality can bring.

But this eisengeiste thing is deep, the real shit, an actual conversation among friends.  If I may speak frankly - from one unutterably alone fictional character to others - thanks for that.

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