Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Web-cams out of words": Four years ago today . . .

Would that my blog were as cool as this graphic. Image found here.

On February 27, 2004, in its earlier incarnation on LiveJournal, I unleashed this on an unsuspecting blogosphere:

This is the maiden entry for Blog Meridian. I have no idea where this thing will go. I'm starting this (seriously) in part because I'm taking a break from folding laundry, in part because Beethoven's 9th Symphony is playing [this version, in case you're curious] and something about the 4th movement (the "Ode to Joy" movement) says, "Now. BLOG!" Well, okay.

[snip]

I have not read many blogs, but most of the ones I have read either are filled with entries like, Well, I farted around AGAIN today, and we readers are supposed to celebrate that person's conquering of a new day, or they are filled with way too much angst-ridden navel-gazing that assumes that total strangers out there in cyber-land are gonna relate to those who say, There's nothing new left to feel. Hard to connect with that sentiment, too. In the case of both examples above, I wonder what motivates the blogger to blog. But then again, the same question can be extended to each of us. I suppose it's the strange combination of private diary and open book that the blog presents us with. So: we're cyber-exhibitionists building web-cams out of words. The words reveal spaces, actual or imagined (and always filtered by the conscience that produces them)--and then there are the spaces between, the things not said. Two different dimensions, touching on each other, but each its own space. But there's also a kind of intimacy this medium creates, too, that perhaps many of you have found seductive in various ways (if not, then what ARE you doing here?).

And here I am, four years later. Believe me when I say that I've had more than one occasion to wonder what I'm doing here. There were a couple of times when I gave serious thought to quitting this blogging thing . . . but then something would come along that, for better or for worse, would revive the spark. As of tonight, that spark is burning as brightly as it ever has.

What shines even more brightly about good old Blog Meridian is the fact that early on it somehow attracted readers much smarter (and more loyal) than it deserved--and, even more extraordinary to me, they still visit. Fearful Syzygy and Raminagrobis have visited and commented since the LiveJournal days; once I moved over to Blogger, more of you found your way here, or I to your blogs, via the old link-exchanges I used to participate in. And your blogs led me to those of still others . . . The only point is that, even given the writer's desire to blog, readers and commenters help sustain that desire. It takes a blogosphere to nurture a blog, and this particular blog has benefited immensely from some excellent nurturers.

Anyway. We made it to four. Thanks. I think I'll keep it going for a while longer.

9 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Four is good. Five is better. Congrats on longevity in this medium which has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff pretty quickly.

Cheers.

Winston said...

Johnny, me lad, ye have done good. I've only been privileged to glimpse the hem of your garment for perhaps 2-1/2 trips around the sun, it has become a part my daily routine that somehow refreshes, broadens, and keeps me going. Our ramblings in these empty spaces quickly become a part of the measure of who we are and where we are going. Keep it up...

Imani said...

Happy 4th! Thank you very much for sticking to it as I went through a very traumatic time over the new year when one of my favourite bloggers decided to pack it in.

Pam said...

I find myself feeling uncomfortable when I say the word 'blog' outline. I think I am in denial about how much I wrote in my space.

I'm glad you took a break from folding the laundry - and I like the idea of words revealing spaces.

Indeed they do.

Congrats!

Pam said...

Oops. OUTLOUD. When I say the word blog OUTLOUD.

Geez.

John B. said...

Thanks, all, for the kind words.

Randall, sometimes the chaff doesn't get separated; it ends up getting caught in someone's teeth and is just damned hard to get out. My blog is a lot like that, I think.

Winston and Imani, I'm quite moved by your comments. It's hard to know just what effect(s) we have on those who visit; I've honestly just tried to amuse myself and/but hope that whoever happens to visit doesn't feel s/he has wasted his/her time. Anything more than that is gravy. So, again, thank you.

Pam, I'm glad I started this mess, too. And thanks for the clarification, though I thought there for a while that "outline" was a new way of saying "offline." I was able to make it work.

Ashley said...

4 Years, that's a long time and a lot of consistency. Not to mention a lot of thinking.
I think "a web-cam out of words" is a remarkable and concise way to put it.
Thanks for introducing me to the world of blogs. Had you not I might only be familiar with the virtual scrapbook type of entries. And, I have to agree with Pam's comment as well.

Pam said...

John, thanks - I've had a fever for a few days, and lucid thoughts, much less well-constructed sentences -- have been few and far between!

Happy Leap Year Day!

Jennifer said...

The idea of the blog seems to be slowly becoming a part of many people's activities of daily living. Yesterday my mom asked me how my "Blob" is coming along. I'm thinking maybe I should get a membership at Balli's.