Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blogaversary

Damn. August 4 was my 4th Blogaversary, and it blipped by me unnoticed. I think it had something to do with my son being born. Funny how life has this way of taking priority over blogging.

Anyway, I've been at this for four years now. It seems like 40. And it seems like four days. Time has no meaning in a blog. And a great deal has happened in four years. I got engaged, married, sold a house, bought a house, turned 50 and had two children. I'd say that it has been a pretty eventful time.


I didn't even know what a blog was when I stumbled into blogging. I'd been slogging away with my own Web page before that, writing HTML and then experimenting with programs like Dreamweaver to create pages. As irritating as Blogger.com can be, it is still light years ahead of hard coding pages with HTML.

Having been blogging for four years, I still can't really tell you what purpose it serves. Sure, it provides an easy and cheap (translate in most cases to free) outlet for writers and artists to publish. But at the same time, people tend to value things according to how much they pay for them. And with 14 million (give or take a few million) blogs out there spewing words for free, trying to get someone to read your blog and take you seriously as a writer is about as easy as a Jehovah's Witness making money selling Watchtower religious pamphlets in Las Vegas.

I suppose blogging is a social experiment more than anything else. Most people seem to stumble into it the way I did and get overwhelmed by the immensity of the blog community. It's a world with it's own rules, language and social pitfalls. There are trolls, lurkers, flame wars, stalkers and other virtual bogeymen. Since it is a one and two-dimensional world primarily of written words, it is fraught with misunderstandings and miscommunications. People make friends, enemies, allies and foes.

Blogging is carnival mirror of life.

Some people get burned out and stop blogging. Some take breaks and never come back. Some vow never to blog again and then blog the next day. I have gone days and weeks without blogging, but I have never really got tired of blogging or been tempted to stop. Maybe it is because I try not to make blogging an obligation or work.

Maybe I should write a book about blogging. I could call it Blogging for Dummies, but I tend to think that would be redundant. There is no formula for blogging. There is no plot, no real structure or format. It is the lack of a "right or wrong way to do it" that makes blogging so attractive to people. It is also why blogs will likely never be considered great literature in the classical sense.

But that is not necessarily a bad thing. All art needs to evolve. Perhaps out of the chaos and primeval ooze of blogs a new form of literature will evolve. It could be the expressionist movement or abstract art of the written word. And it may not be recognized in my lifetime as an art form.

I don't kid myself that I am a pioneer in this new way of writing. It's hard to consider yourself unique when millions of others are clicking away at the same thing. But I like to think that my blog is uniquely mine and not so much like any of the other 14 million out there.

Oh, and the sun revolves around the earth.
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