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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

22 - Out of Step (wth the "Blogosphere")

"Who reads these things anyway?" A fair question. If you've ever reflected on the process of blogging, you've likely thought as much. And with good cause. You don't need me to tell you there's a lot of shit out there (making this sentence a complete waste.) But even on a site like CHUD (home to the catalytic question) blogs are the gap-toothed siblings of regular articles.

Why? The immediate answer is: blogs are stream of consciousness lite and, as such, deserve what they get. If a representative sample of blogs bore out this theory, that'd be fine. But the level of attention paid to blogs both noteworthy and otherwise suggests they are a cut above glorified Twitterings.* So how did it come to this? How did blogging become worse than the redheaded stepchild of prose. Self-important loudmouth arseholes befucked the form.

Worse still, there's method to their bullshit. There are three kinds of blogs:

  1. The Popular - Your Hipster Runoff's and your Magic Molly's. Prolific, visually arresting blogs with numerous readers. They are prominent, generating as many hits from chance encounters as by reputation. Generally, well written.
  2. The Obscure - Your Skronked's, random Blogger offerings. Often, though not exclusively, well maintained blogs with a specific focus (advertising an independent artist or business, for example.) Fairly well written, on the whole.
  3. The Anonymous - Your random Tumblr blogs. Mostly over or under-maintained diary blogs with little to no accessibility to anyone unfamiliar with the writer IRL. Writing quality ranges from passable to rabies.
Affected profundity plagues blogging. It's obvious from the abundance of laboured, aching twee. Autumnal palettes and "arty" fonts and a smorgasbord of other bland, meaningless shite are rampant. Perusing such blogs is getting an eye rub from a headbutt; reading them is daring to accept a balloon from a shady clown. As your eyes scan the words, you understand that the dead have more to say. At least, they might not have to rely on their politician/writer heroes to speak for them.** On this evidence, calling shenanigans might even be applauded. The same cannot be said, however, for blanketing a whole body with ignorant assumptions.

Not for the first time, I feel out of step. I recoil from such "cool" blogs, while others borrow their gimmicks and mediocrity multiplies. The proliferation of their kind places me (and, by extension, this blog) in the minority. In a way, I'm OK with that. I don't want the morally vacuous arseholes who inflict these blogs on the world to read this. But as someone who actively seeks out (and enjoys the search) for writers worth reading, I increasingly feel like the alternative music rep wading through scores of crimes to find something fresh.

At the risk of sounding like a ganch, I'm under no illusion about the fluctuating quality of my own posts. This isn't a plea for validation or to solicit more readers. For many people, blogging is little more than an extension of social networking attention-seeking. And that's fair enough. Have at it, folks. But I won't stand for an all-encompassing brush tarring bloggers as "irrelevant" when there are exceptions as potent as Nick Nunziata, the aforementioned Allison Weiss, and this blog's own Christophe.

I read blogs. The quality and quantity of comments found for these blogs suggests I'm not alone. There's gold to be found. This lazy generalization shit will not stand.

* Yes, I am aware that this isn't the term.
** I love a good quote, but these cats are taking the piss.


Ian Pratt cares a lot.

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