24.9.08

(More) Thoughts on blogging

These posts are over a week delayed, but I can't seem to be sorting the ideas systematically. So I'm resorting to that old cliche about just writing, and (hopefully) letting them sort themselves out.

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I've posted before about how blog relationships are like Venn diagrams. It has since occurred to me that there are other models to describe blogs, and bloggers.

Neighbourhoods, for instance.

An extension of the concept that each blog has its own 'address'.

Some blogs are like those neighbourhoods that are more popular and more desired than others. Everybody wants to be seen there, and even if they don't inhabit the area, they want to be known as if they are close to people who do inhabit them. These blogs are always full of life, with lots of back-and-forth chatter between the cool folk who're seen as being privileged to live there.

Such blogs also attract lots of lookers-on, shy folk who want to become part of this community, but are too uncertain about their own 'coolness' factor to attempt to establish contact. These people end up simply hanging about in the public park that borders these areas, watching enviously at the fun, trying to put together a coherent story from all the names and events that get bandied about, pausing occasionally to try and make sense of semi-regular references that seem to be the cause of much mirth and mock-outrage.

There are blogs that are quieter locales. Little alleys full of little personalised touches left by those who live there, and which yield unexpected treasures if you ramble far enough and often enough through them. These places are usually discovered by just a few lucky people, who find that their joy is inexplicably unappreciated by others who they introduce these areas to.

These places often have an ethereal feel to them, and give the impression that the only continue to remain inhabited, because of the appreciation shown by the few who do visit. These visits themselves are often the matter of unceasing surprise to the inhabitants, who cannot understand what interest others derive from what they themselves view as mundane and arid surroundings. Conversations in these places tend to be short, with long pauses, and then only at varying intervals when the inhabitants deign to come out of their shadowed tenements.

And then there are blogs that are community enclosures. Self-contained worlds that only grudgingly bother about the bustling world around them for unavoidable purposes. Worlds in which everybody is an aunt or uncle or sibling or child. Where every newcomer is keenly watched, and is a source of much (usually non-malicious) interest, till such time as judgements of character have been universally issued and agreed upon. Where what really matters is the little occurrences that made up the day, while the events of the 'outside' world are mentioned to share mutual feelings of outrage, ridicule, and hilarity.

Finally, there are blogs that are public spaces. Institutions so big that everybody merely shares them, visiting them for individual needs of entertainment, education, enlightenment, peace. Places where a person's own individuality is, by necessity, diminished to their leaving a little mark saying that they were there.

9 comments:

Lekhni said...

Nice! I wonder what those community enclosures are? Blogs written for family and friends, and visited by no one else except for the occasional Googler?

shyam said...

I'm happy to be seen in THIS neighbourhood :)

shyam said...

Hm, I think my blog doesnt fall into any of these categories... you need a "Misc". I'm a Misc.

??! said...

Lekhni:
Thankee.

Just so. There are Diaryist Bloggers who blog only to keep their friends and family updated, usually because of issues of distance.

Shyam:
Awwwie. And you'd be Generic (Standard) Neighbourhood, no?

Shyam said...

Bog standard, my friend. Bog standard :D

Falstaff said...

You should so be reading Network Theory.

??! said...

Falsie:
Don't tempt me, I might just take up a course in socio*. And then imagine the number of such posts you'd have to read.

* (am assuming you're talking about the general theory, not a particular book. Right?)

Falstaff said...

??!: If you're trying to scare me with the prospect of endless posts applying soc. theory to blogging, you're barking up the wrong tree. I'm six months away from getting PhD in this stuff, you know. I have pain thresholds you wouldn't believe.

??! said...

Eeeep. I forget.

You're right - you've already suffered far, far too much. Poor boy - and then people like n! make fun of you. My sympathies.