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Previous | Next by ben 19 June, 2003 - 4:51 PM

i'm liking cory doctorow more and more. at first i vaguely avoided him for two reasons... first, i had a feeling that he would be way too much for me to delve into without a lot of time on my hands. luckily, working on this topic of information transformation in the 21st century (i love how the more comfortable you are with a topic, the more you can come up with pithy phrases like that), i have been given the chance to delve into him a little bit more. in this article about blogging, he brings out exactly the same point i've been making, while giving me a new look at blogging society as a whole.

mr. doctorow is a dedicated blogger and to use his term, "infovore", doing exactly what i wish i had the time to do. he goes out across the web (mostly) and other sources to gather as much information as he can, filter and sort it.
"Writing a blog entry about a useful and/or interesting subject forces me to extract the salient features of the link into a two- or three-sentence elevator pitch to my readers, whose decision to follow a link is predicated on my ability to convey its interestingness to them."
i'm not sure about the word interestingness, but creating new words is part of this communication revolution, and he's got a strong enough vocabulary that i'll buy it, but more importantly, he discusses in this article something i've been tossing about for a while now...

everyone who i have gotten to post here has been on for a while before posting. most came on and simply read for a few months, before finally posting. some have commented on their first visit, because of content, but that is a pretty rare type. however, those who have commented or posted end up doing it more and more. it seems more and more that the reasons people don't want to post, initially, is that this form (a message board) of communication is a totally new one to most people.
personally, i have been exposed to online communication for more than a decade, from bbs' to muds to this site. i have watched and listened to peoples' excuses not to post, and then afterwards, when the glow of response hits them, when you see that people are actually listening and have something to add to your own thoughts. i think that this shows people that they really do have something to talk about, that other people (at least here) have valid opinions that they may not have thought of.
doctorow presents the idea that blogging helps him keep track of his own thoughts, but i think more than that, interacting online allows us to learn more about our ideas and form more robust opinions on subjects, and thus argue them more convincingly.

that's about it for this post... i guess i've talked at you all enough for one sitting... and i'll try to work on making my writing more accessible, grin.

6/20/2003 >> pyrex

If you wanna organize your thoughts, why not just keep a journal; the ancient form of blogging? And blogging isn't just about learning to argue better and forming robust opinions, it can also just be fun. Like 'hey, thought this link was fun, anyone actually reading this blog must have some kind of parallel interests with me, so i think you'll like it too'.

Sometimes, or actually quite a lot of 'times', I find myself liking the latter a lot better than the former because as we all know, blogging seems to turn anyone competent enough to use a computer into a wannabe journalist. I say wannabe because it seems most people haven't understood that journalism is infact supposed to be neutral statements of facts and events. And because these people have no editors or fact checkers or just general limitations of literary freedom most of what they churn out can be just.. drivel. Of course there's positive sides to this freedom but eh.. yeah. Enough out of me for now.

6/20/2003 >> ben

i agree with you, i was kind of synthesizing his argument and my own... the idea of a blog as a link archive was one that you and muhgcee and i had laughed about when we first started, no?

6/20/2003 >> ben

which is why i've tried so hard to keep from describing EA as a blog site, as well... since (for the most part), we don't fit into the molds that they have set... basically, we're much more focused on asking questions and sparking a discussion here than saying something just to have it said

6/20/2003 >> pyrex

I'm not talking about simply a blog filled with links but y'know, FUN stuff. Joint projects (writing, imagery, etc), photoblogs, maybe a travel blog (if you're loaded with cash or have enough suave to charm sponsors), etcetera.

Hm, a lot of questions popping up in my mind.. need to write an essay or something on this.

6/20/2003 >> ben

go for it, says i... seriously though... yeah, we seem to defy any sort of mold, other than that we are moldless here. we have full fledged discussions in the comments, sometimes 2 or 3 per post...

i'm probably just trying to delude myself, hehe

6/20/2003 >> pyrex

Hehe, yes for the moment at least we defy almost every mold I've seen. There's blogs like ours, for sure, with multiple posters and whatnot, but I dunno if I've seen that, like ours, is open to anyone. If we ever make it big, however, I think that'll inevitably have to change.

And.. what was I gonna say.. I had a gone something to say.. Ah yes. Because we're still kind of a closed circle, there's limitations on what's posted. If this was, say, a blog with more design-interested people such as I, I could be posting left and right about design theory and links everywhich way. But with the crowd that we presently have, I feel the content is somewhat limited. Thank god we've more or less gotten out of our political period, but it's still kind of a mixed pool of stuff we post about. Does the nationality majority also have something to do with this? The social class average of the people posting? So.. whee?! Hehe.

6/20/2003 >> erato

why not post about design stuff? i'd like to hear about it. i don't think assumptions should be made on what ppl will/not respond to. just do it and see what happens!

6/20/2003 >> ben

true... that kind of thing is, i think, reserved for gawc... and of course, because this starts out as a group of my friends, what common interests we have in each other will be probably fairly small at first...

6/20/2003 >> ben

also, what you just said, about post anything and see what happens, that's what i'm looking for as well, at some point, i think people will start to feel ok about doing it, when they see how there aren't any bad repercussions that can come from it

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