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applicable information and parentheses

rmeyers's picture

As we are reading these articles and blog posts about the genre of blogs, I began to think about why I read the blogs I read, and why I don't write one myself. (The second was fairly obvious, and flows from the first: I have a dairy, but a truly private, paper and pen documentation of lists and life, because nothing I say has a purpose besides fulling a need I have to catalog my life.) But I also realized as McNeill mentioned that "I am drawn to Web diaries that most closely resemble traditional literary tests" (25) that all of the blogs I read are by authors (and while I do not read many blogs, this is still, I believe, significant). They are usually by authors who have written books I like, and who do not often post meaningless rambles. Not only do these blogs connect me to their work and a kind of literary community, they also give me information on new works and book signings --applicable information. So for the same reason I read these blogs, I watch the vlogs and read the webcomics I do (even rarer than blogs I read are vlogs/webcomics I watch/read). It comes back to applicable information, and sites containing everyday experiences addressed in a funny or new way (For example, the webcomic xkcd) or information about something I appreciate (like recent posts by John and Hank Green explaining, among other things, The Great Gatsby and the economics of ecology). Applicable information, in other words, is something (information? a joke? a shared experience?) that I can apply or find applicable to my life. (Does this go back to the question of genre as a personal way for organization and viewing the universe?)

And I fear I have just exposed my lack of blogging ability: this is a rather self serving post (and filled with parentheses... what about blogs makes parentheses so appetizing?).


xhan's picture


 It is interesting to me that you say "nothing I say has a purpose besides fulling a need I have to catalog my life", because i feel like when i write in my diary because i feel like my experiences, thoughts and ideas are important and meaningful, and jotting them down is a way of capturing, remembering, and sharing them. Perhaps Mcneil would turn her head in disgust since she finds them "too personal" and  "badly written".  Although I agree with her in that online blogging can never replace the role of traditional literary texts, I feel that the role of blogging is often an important and useful one. 

As you mentioned in your post, you find that oftentimes blogs contain information that you appreciate and applicable. I believe that blogging is a great tool for social networking. There is no better place to discuss and connect with all sorts of people(from different countries, backgrounds, time zones, etc) about subjects of interest such as literature, politics, entertainment news, etc. As our world becomes increasingly more technologically advanced, more and more people are beginning to communicate virtually. Blogging is a great opportunity for people to share ideas with one another without having to be in the same room. Like many information that is available online, information may not always be accurate, but since readers come into these situations knowing that blogs tend to be highly opinionated, readers read these blogs more for entertainment purposes( e.g. humor) as opposed to accuracy.

rmeyers's picture


Going back through my diary and reading the comments and lists that are written within, I know that I would not want my diary published. And a realization that the internet is a kind of "published" (using the term loosely) is important. I would propose that the way you write in your diary is different from the way I right in mine; as you say above "I write in my diary because I feel like my experiences, thoughts and ideas are important and meaningful" with at least some though to the idea of "sharing them." I would congratulate you for this, especially if you were writing an internet blog. Like another few users have mentioned, the blog is meant to be read, not only written (although internet writers do not often realize this). Authors want their work to be read, and any published diaries, I feel, are by authors, not diarists (if you will permit me to distinguish between these terms). Maybe I am changing my mind, but I would have to say that your comment has made me think about how important it is to know that what you are reading is meant for an audience. Everything I read is something I know is meant for an audience, and usually written by professionals who use their real names (something user teal noticed as "something worth writing for").

I remember going to see an author speak, an author who found himself at the forefront of a 'new' "New Weird" movement (it was not his label, he explained, although he does not seem to mind its use). An audience member asked him why he did not write a blog and the author replied that the thoughts and stories he told in his novels and other writings were enough-- that he did not want the internet to be populated by his every small and insignificant thought. I remember being startled by this statement. I mean, if someone as educated and thoughtful as this author felt too exposed by blogging... well! And although he is someone I would be interested in hearing from more often (through books or blogs), I deeply respect his descision and motivation.

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