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I, Blogger

One Student's picture

Part of the reason I wanted to take this course is because I knew we would talk about blogs. But I have discovered that while I very much want to think about blogging as a genre, as a medium, etc. I don't want to talk about it within the context provided (thus far) by this class. I want to talk about it with fellow insiders, apparently, not with people who have never blogged in their life, or who blog in vastly different ways from me; and not while in dialog with texts by outsiders (who persist in calling blogs 'diaries', ferfucksake, for example) who focus on the blog as a primarily public sort of thing, and who see blogging's claim to fame as being tied to its readership and its potential to impact, I dunno, politics or whatever.

That has nothing to do with my experience. Mine has been a primarily social experience (a tremendously precious one), and whatever the structure of my posts look like, I am writing for an audience, and that audience is composed of friends. It's much more like letter writing than journal writing; and as someone on my flist just remarked today, it's a dialogue, at least the way we do it. The problem is, to really fully explain what I do with blogging and what it means to me and why it's precious and why I post and read my flist nearly every day, I would have to go on at length about my experience with mental illness, about how I communicate, about how I relate to people, about what writing means to me, about fandom ... and I could probably make it interesting, but I don't want to reveal myself like that. Not here. I would do it for my LJ flist, and I have, but not for this audience. Here, I theorize and get all academic and I don't get very personal (at one point, I did; certain things I posted last semester I would not post here this semester, having realized what LJ and Serendip are to me). There ... I do whatever the hell I want. Though not much theorizing, normally. I go there to relax and hang out, not to work.

I think I have just proved my point that genre is more about structure than content. The public working blog, the (more) private social blog: same structure, different content, different audiences, etc. Some people have writing blogs, where all their fiction is archived. And there's all those impersonal political or whatever blogs, which don't interest me much intellectually, because they're like newspaper columns, but online, what-the-fuck-ever, I think what my friends and I do is a lot more exciting, both generically and socially speaking. And I'll give you this much: I'm in therapy and on meds to a large extent because of friends I met online. Diary? Not so much.