Wednesday, August 20, 2003


On my way into the library tonight I happened to notice The Weblog Handbook, by Rebecca Blood. So I grabbed it, and since it was a slow night at Project Read and not a huge book, I ended up reading a lot of it and skimming the rest. Very interesting to see how vastly different two people's conception of the term "weblog" can be. She focuses quite a bit on the "filter" sort of weblogs: lists of links to other sites and articles, with varying amounts of description and/or commentary by the blogger. But this is very much not my conception of what a blog is. Tina's blog was my introduction to the concept, and my idea of the whole thing mostly followed her model of personal thoughts and updates for family and friends. To me, that's much more interesting. There are already far more ways to get information on the internet than I know what to do with, so why add myself into the fray, even if the idea had occurred to me? On the other hand, there is very little about me on the internet and there is a very specific audience for this topic, namely the people who know me and want to keep in touch. Small audience, sure, but there it is. Ms. Blood includes these sorts of blogs, but they seem very peripheral in her book. She spends a lot of space on things like choosing stuff to link to, building an audience and dealing with your public, and sometimes it really just sounds like a lot of work. Very different paradigm. Still, I guess historically, these filter sites were the first blogs, so she's got a bit of a reason to focus on them. I'd be curious to know what fractions of bloggers fall into different categories today, though. The historical perspective was actually the most interesting part of the book, I thought. There was also a fair amount of stuff that was relevant to bloggers in general, regardless of type, such as web etiquette, writing advice, etc. So it was interesting for a quick read.

One thing I'm still trying to figure out (and perhaps always will be) is exactly what relationship my blog has to my pen-and-paper journal. Obviously, they are at opposite ends of the public-private spectrum, but there's also a varying amount of overlap. Sometimes my journal, when I'm feeling like writing a lot, contains a lot of random information about my life, much of which gets copied directly into my blog, leaving the more private stuff behind, of course. Other times, especially when I'm busier like recently, my blog gets more attention and I turn to my journal only when it wouldn't be appropriate to blog about something. Sometimes I feel like my blog gets too much just of "I did this" and not enough interesting thought or deeper description, which is more likely to go in my journal. I'm not sure I've found the right midpoint yet between interesting posts and the privacy of my mind/journal. Part of me doesn't really like splitting information between the two media, but I'm getting used to it. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Anyway, blogging about blogging can only go on for so long before it gets ridiculous, so I'll stop now.

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