The limits of blogging

March 12th, 2006

I’m a little frustrated by blogging right now.

1.) Long arguments are hard to follow and even harder to respond to.
For example: I’d love to sit down and talk about same sex marriage with Rick from Shark And Shepherd, cialis generic nurse but I’m not even going to try to respond to his three epic posts within the confines of his blog or mine.

2.) Political blogging rewards the extremes.
Extreme stances get attention. Being reasonable turns your traffic into a trickle.

3.) It’s a small blogosphere after all.
The Cheddarsphere consists of somewhere between 50 and 100 active bloggers with maybe another 500 or 600 people actively reading those blogs. My senior class in high school was bigger.

4.) It can sometimes feel very incestuous in here.
Charlie links to Rick. Rick links to Jessica. Jessica links to Dennis and Dennis links to Charlie. (And I just linked to all of them. Pretty clever, huh?)

5.) I occasionally get a definite “Emperor’s New Clothes”‘ vibe about blogging.
The Main Stream Media are fascinated by blogging. Maybe because they feel threatened. Maybe because they see an opportunity. Either way, I think they magnify the importance and impact of blogging beyond the actual reality.

Does all this mean I hate blogging or think it has no value?

Nope.

I like it quite a bit.

Just having the opportunity to publically dispute Eugene Kane and Dave Berkman is worth my monthly hosting fee.

But I have to admit, I can’t help but think there should be something more to blogging.

Right now it mostly feels like a cross between a freshman-year bull session, the last year in high school, and an internet bulletin board.

All of those are good things. But I think I was expecting blogging to be bigger than that.

Entry Filed under: Observations

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wm. Clement  |  March 12th, 2006 at 5:55 am

    I like the differing opinions. Absent the ability to sit down and have a nice leisurely discussion, due to locality or what ever, this is the best way.

  • 2. sheldn  |  March 12th, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Blogging by itself will never give you the “Bigger that it is” feeling since it is one of many avenues to communicate that users may choose or not choose. The Internet has given us this great way to connect and at the same time it has fragmented us by giving more choices.

    I agree with you (Elliot) and Wm. Clement. It is definately impersonal and you cannot translate the non-verbal cues that comes with face-to-face interaction.

    I do appreciate seeing what brings out the commenters and having the time to read a post, digest and then comment as I see fit.

  • 3. Nick  |  March 12th, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    #2 bugs me quite a bit sometimes. I sometimes think about saying something really wild just for the attention… but can never bring myself to do it.

    #3 & 4 are a little bothersome, because a lot of the “big” Wisconsin bloggers like Charlie, Jessica and Althouse rarely seem to link outside big blogs. They’re very greedy. Either that, or they do link more than I think, but because they never link to me I don’t notice.

  • 4. Dean Mundy  |  March 12th, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    All valid points, IMO. #2 seems the most necessary evil with blogging. #4 is why I like to link to different people. But that means reading a lot of people, which runs you back into the problem of #1.

  • 5. Belle  |  March 15th, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    re: #1 — everyone should read this post.

    Seriously.

  • 6. Daniel Cody  |  March 15th, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    re: #2 – You’re assuming that only the 500 or so people within Wisconsin are reading the 50-100 blogs by Wisconsin bloggers.

    I don’t like making generalizations (!) but you only seem to be focused on the people like those given in #4.

    On the contrary, there’s a lot of content out there from Wisconsin bloggers that isn’t about other Wisconsin bloggers or read primarily by other Wisconsin bloggers.

  • 7. Heather  |  March 15th, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    Extreme stances may get the attention at first — but only in the stare at the car wreck on the freeway type way. I don’t think they actually change anyone’s point of view.

    The blogs that I bookmark and return to are the ones who present rational (i.e., ‘reasonable’) arguments in a fresh, insightful, interesting way — regardless of political affiliation.

  • 8. From Where I Sit » &hellip  |  March 16th, 2006 at 11:00 am

    […] Cantankerous at Ask Me Later has a pretty good comeback for my existential blogging crises: “Whether 100 people or 100,000 people read a particular blog, what blogging gives to everyone is the opportunity to have a say.” […]

  • 9. From Where I Sit » &hellip  |  March 17th, 2006 at 9:21 am

    […] During the discussion they talked about how Spivak and Bice quoted sections from a post of mine to make the Wisconsin blogosphere seem small and unimportant. […]

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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