Thursday, July 28, 2005

[Insert "Telstar" here]

All of us who blog, I would think (and hope), give some thought to what blogs are, what their particular one will consist of, and the implications of what they post. For some, the explicitness is the point: not just sex blogs, but also the myriad "personal blogs" whose chief focus is the life of the individual and his/her family, friends, et al. There are subject-specific blogs. Then there are those that occupy a rather vague space between those two sorts. This blog, it seems to me, is in that middle category, as are, I suspect, many other blogs.
None of this is new, I know. But I bring it all up by way of directing you toward a post by Raminagrobis (three posts in four days!) on both his reluctance to write too much that is "personal" and, then, the rhetorical nature of blogs: it creates a powerful sense of intimacy between post-er and reader without necessarily assurring the reader that what you are reading are in fact the true thoughts of the writer.
There's also the matter of the audience one seeks via a weblog. Be honest: why else would you bother keeping up with one of these things if you didn't want or hope someone would come along who would keep returning and (even better) tell others about your work?
So: assuming all that is true, it immediately beggars the question of just how big an audience is big enough in the eyes of the blogger. For some, apparently, an earth-bound audience just isn't enough. (Hat-tip: The Mad Perseid.) I truly don't know what to think about such a site beyond smiling a bit and saying that it seems a bit silly. It's harmless enough, though, and in any event probably doesn't pose a real challenge to SETI's prestige in this area. Still: if you can't find an audience here on Earth large enough to make you happy, what makes you tihink you'll find one Out There?

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3 comments:

The Mad Perseid said...

Woo hoo! My name in print!

But seriously, it's a lark, anyway. Wouldn't it funny, however, if a passing scout ship read our blogs and decided to make first contact? All that effort by Seti wasted, especially the effort to turn all the computers in the world into one giant Skynet.

Yup! Definitely too much sci-fi! :)

John B. said...

Welcome to Blog Meridian, Mad (if I may be so familiar with you as to use your first name).
The idea of your random, ordinary "Well, I farted around some MORE today" blog being what sparks a comment from an alien is both funny and disturbing to contemplate. It reminds me of a scene from Carl Sagan's novel Contact in which the first received transmission from space is not, say, a thank-you note for Pioneer 10, but . . . a re-transmission of one of Hitler's first televised speeches.

mannequinhands said...

Interesting to think about. I have thought about my blog's so-called purpose in life, as it is mostly a "Here's a quasi-interesting thing that happened to me" or "I've been thinking about this" or "Here is my opinion on this issue" kind of thing.

I read blogs like kottke.org, where he mostly discusses technology, the web, science and pop culture. He almost never talks personal info, and he has thousands of readers.

And then there's dooce.com, where she is almost constantly personal, from talking frankly about topics like her religious upbringing, her mental health and her family, and she's also a "blog celebrity".

So - what is it? Do different people just want different things from blogs? Or is it not about the subject matter but about the quality of the writing or how compelling the blogger makes the story, whatever it may be? (Sort of like how I pick some novels to read, I guess.)

Just some musings. Anyway, I hope an alien never reads my blog, because he will think that earthlings are really, really big dorks. :)

(By the way, thanks for the comment on the Hands. It's good to be back in the blogosphere.)