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"A format designed for Unabombers."
September 4, 2002 12:42 AM   Subscribe

"A format designed for Unabombers." Andrew Sullivan blasts Weblogs (odd, ain't it?) in a conversation with Kurt Anderson at Slate. Both Sullivan and Anderson rip on our own Rebecca Blood. I find it especially ironic that Sullivan refers to blogs' "supercilious tone." He also can't stand the idea that drives Metafilter, apparently: "Worse, [Blood] can write earnestly about a Weblog 'community.' Aaagghh. " *more inside*
posted by Vidiot (49 comments total)

 
I don't know about you, but I like blogs because they help me find out what other people think...both in a community like MeFi and individuals' own personal blogs. I don't think their only purpose is narcissistic bloviation. No matter what Andrew Sullivan says.

(There are lots of self-important windbags out there -- lest you think I'm particularly picking on Andrew Sullivan, he's just the most prominent and most egregious example I can think of at the moment.)
posted by Vidiot at 12:46 AM on September 4, 2002


The Blog Queen has tried to pass himself off as an "expert" on weblogs - sadly, the media is buying it as much as his "look at me, I'm a gay conservative - look how controversial that is!" Andy doesn't know the first thing about blogs - and has no clue about community beyond his tiny little conserva-echo chamber in which the NY Times is the ULTIMATE ENEMY (because they won't print his crap).

Neal Pollack explains blogging much better.
posted by owillis at 12:47 AM on September 4, 2002


I'm also getting really tired of Mickey Kaus's "Blogs are brand-new and cutting-edge, and aren't I cool for doing it! I was one of the first, you know!" shtick.
posted by Vidiot at 12:54 AM on September 4, 2002


Andersen says in his rebuttal: So, agreed: We don't need to say much more about either of these books, which seem pretty deeply unnecessary, as you suggest. And so much less interesting than the phenomenon they aim to explain and exploit.

I think that sums up perfectly every attempt to explain what blogging is, who does it, why it's so popular, etc.. Writing books about blogging, to my mind, is like writing books about talking. Blogging is talking, except on the web instead of out loud. People have always loved hearing themselves talk. How much analysis do you need?
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:57 AM on September 4, 2002


There we go with the 'blog queen' stuff again. What is the need for epithets, owillis? I also don't think the relationship between his sexuality and his politics is as based in self-promotion as you think it is. Rather, I think it is a reaction against the monolithic, immutable political and social labels that get attached to people who have an idiosyncratic ideology.

As for the books, I haven't read them, so I can't really comment on them, but I've always thought it a bit silly to write physical books about such a nebulous and tenuous concept as "weblog". Ten years hence, while the net is busy evolving and changing and transforming itself, these books will probably smell pretty stale. Why not publish online. Well, I understand partially- the economics of it don't work out yet, I suppose.
posted by evanizer at 1:02 AM on September 4, 2002


There go a couple of people who won't be buying Matt's book, I guess.. (For shame!)
posted by Vidiot at 1:04 AM on September 4, 2002


It's a writer thing. Kurt Anderson is a very good writer. Andrew Sullivan writes well. Their disdain for blogs is really an editor's disgust at what passes for writing in most of them. Blogs aren't about writing and the whole competitive, professional and editorial process that literary journalists have to go through to survive passes them by.

The wannabe writer aspect of many bloggers is doubly annoying because of this; as if they thought they might find an easy way into proper publishing.

If blogs were generally well written (meaning: often rewritten and scrutinized, with readers' ease and pleasure in mind) their criticism wouldn't apply. But blogs are mainly poorly written. And bloggers don't really care about writing and are far too arrogant to submit their efforts to an editor.

So it's an apples and oranges scenario, I'm afraid. Writers don't get blogging and bloggers (though they're always going on about reading) don't get writing.

Writing is something you do, not to express yourself, not to deliver some opinion or truth, but to be read and enjoyed by strangers who have a million better things to do. Blogging, in comparison, is just something you do. Both are fun. But writing is work and blogging is a pleasure and that's about as different as you can get...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:13 AM on September 4, 2002


evanizer: actually I'd seen the Blog Queen name elsewhere and took it to be a comment on his whole "Blogs were nothing until I got one" POV. Crazy Andy is my preferred term for him, and I think he uses his sexuality/pov as a crutch - much like I could be accused of if I screamed "I'm a black moderate - see, most blacks are liberal - so never mind if my arguments are inferior - I'm a novelty".

Why write any books about the Internet? People will chronicle the new-new thing all the time. Sure, some of it will be dated in no time - so you print a new edition or none at all. No loss, no fuss. Blogroots.com is one of the better online extensions I've seen of dead-tree or dead-film media before.

(I really don't care as much about this as it seems)
posted by owillis at 1:13 AM on September 4, 2002


Hmmm. I'm not so sure about a blogging vs. writing dichotomy. There are blogs that I read because they're well-written, and there are also particular MeFi posters whose work I read with relish because of a tone or style.

What do you think about one of the arguments (or at least assumptions) of the Slate piece -- that blogs are one-way communications channels? Are MeFi (and /., etc.) just anomalies so that bloggers can yell at each other instead of the rain? (Feels that way sometimes around here.) Is there a real weblog community, or is it just a collection of people who run weblogs and read each others'?
posted by Vidiot at 1:28 AM on September 4, 2002


Andrew Sullivan blasts Weblogs

Umm did you read the article? He blasts two dead-tree books about blogs. Not the format itself. Lets not bait.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:40 AM on September 4, 2002


Vidiot: this is a conversation. Matt's definition is perfect: Weblog as conversation. Writing is everything but conversation. It's, as it were, talking definitively and definitely not listening. It's writing, not bloody blogging, that's one way. The writer can be dead; it makes no difference. It's just not, er, interactive. Its beauty, of course, when it's well done, is that the reader feels like he's involved. But he isn't; not really. All he can do, if transported by Dante, is to scribble in the margins or write an essay about it; which Dante (and probably almost everybody else alive or dead) won't read.

On MetaFilter, any attempt to actually write would be quite rightly shouted down in an instant. Writing is the opposite of blogging and if you get that, you can dismiss writers' silly rants about blogging or bloggers' absurd resentment and approval-craving from proper journalists, never mind real writers.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:42 AM on September 4, 2002


The format is also largely determined by the techno-chrono-logy: It's a real-time diary/log/journal, a genre poised between the written word and the live broadcast... In an age of PR and marketing and media conglomerates, the blog stands apart, unvarnished, raw, unmediated. Even when you try not to reveal things about yourself, you do.

An explanation of weblogs included in a dismissive rant about the pointlessness of explaining weblogs? The irony here is so fulsome that it teeters on the edge of parody.
posted by taz at 1:44 AM on September 4, 2002


miguel: how is the involvemnt of the author necessary for reading to be 'interactive'? if we can talk about interaction between people and machines, then why can't a book be considered machinic?
posted by juv3nal at 2:12 AM on September 4, 2002


*warning: long post a-coming, probably best avoided*

To put it another way, Rebecca's Pocket, competing as it does with a million other blogs, is a far better blog (it's like an intellectual travel agency, leading to many interesting destinations) than Kurt Anderson's novel (Turn Of The Century) is a good book, because there are tens of thousands better books. Rebecca's book, as far as I can tell, is an excellent book about blogging. Which is what it meant to be. Does she write well? I don't know. She uses words adequately and gets her viewpoints across.

One shouldn't compare apples and oranges. I'm a writer and I love reading - yet I spend a lot of time on MetaFilter, because it's so enjoyable, exciting and (for me) instructive, pure and idiosyncratic. I'd rather be here than reading Dante, for instance. At least now. What does this say? Nothing. Weblogs like MetaFilter are truly like conversations with interesting people one wouldn't otherwise meet. It's an exchange; a magical exchange (no other word is more suitable) - something robbed out of the ether, directly from strangers' souls. The experience of listening and being listened to - in an honest, no-BS way - is unlike anything I could gain from talking to the readers of my books or even my friends who, because they like me, aren't as critical and demanding as people here.

That said, I do think there are writing skills that only come across on weblogs such as this - a talent for pithy, concentrated and succint forms of expression, full of personality and suited to the unforgiving attention span of the Web in general - that are surely the equivalent of traditional, long-form, silent writing.

I'm thinking of people as disparate as ColdChef, clavdivs, Riviera, eyeballkid, witchstone, Kafkaesque, y6y6y6, liam, jpoulos, vacapinta, y2karl, dejah, mathowie, stavrosthewonderchicken, Mars Saxman, Summer, rodii, crasspastor, pikachulolita, obiwanwasabe, marquis, bragadoccio, rory, hincandenza, spoon... an endless list I now deeply regret having started, lacking the patience to complete it... ;)

It's all about suitability to the medium. Anderson's and Sullivan's exchange is just a spurious cross-cultural wank. Yes, they're better writers. But is Andrew Sullivan's website a blog? No. Was Anderson's superb Inside.com a webby thing? No, just an online magazine. Both of these writers are just continuing journalism by other means, trying to keep up.

Yep, sometimes the old Canadian Marshall is as right as Wyatt Earp.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:48 AM on September 4, 2002


But blogs are mainly poorly written. And bloggers don't really care about writing and are far too arrogant to submit their efforts to an editor.

Oh, yes. But you just know from squinty little pissing matches like this that Sullivan's a little bit scared that since he got the boot from the New York Times, he's regarded as blogger first and journalist second. Confucius, he say: "Be careful for what you wish for."
posted by riviera at 4:53 AM on September 4, 2002


What this article - and this thread - make even more apparent to me is that "blog" is a tired and overextended word whose definition changes with every person trying to explain it. "What's a blog?" "That's too LiveJournal to be a blog!" "Who was the first blogger?" "I'm going to blog that!" - how many times have you heard all this and more, just shrugged your shoulders and thought, oh, who really gives a flying fuck? If such a huge population of participants cannot agree on what a simple term means, perhaps they should consider that the term is over-inclusive and they should be trying to define what it is they do.

While I agree that it's far too early to write "dead tree" tomes on the subject(s) (c'mon, people, let's get a little perspective before we rush in...), I for one would love to see a clearer distinction between the various forms of online publishing that are now lumped together as "blogs" (which is also, I have to say it, one of the ugliest words now current, but that's another topic...)
posted by JollyWanker at 5:20 AM on September 4, 2002


squinty little pissing matches

personally, i think this phrase pretty much sums up the world of blogs. i like blogs because of the news they help me find, but the quality of the discourse is so low (and i certainly have in the past added to the poor quality) that i find it hardly worth the energy of posting anymore.

but that's just me. *shrug*
posted by zoopraxiscope at 5:42 AM on September 4, 2002


After the 2000 presidential election debacle, how early was too early to write books about it? The Internet went mainstream in the early 90s -- how many books have been written about the Internet itself in the past decade?

People have been working with the weblog format for half a decade or more. Surely that's enough time and experience for someone or someones to be able to synthesize something useful and relevant out of it. This "too early" to write a book about it argument is weak. Books have been written about every topic under the sun. Is the suggestion that weblogging, something that by some estimates half a million people are doing, is not worthy?

Rebecca's book is thoughtful, analytical, and non-polemical (something that Andrew Sullivans of the world probably don't know how to deal with). Moreover, I predict that it will have a long shelf-life, as many of the issues she deals with will not be overtaken by technology. It is possible to write about the interplay of individuals, society, and technology in a way that is relevant even as particular technologies change.
posted by Medley at 6:13 AM on September 4, 2002


I'm not a blogger, but I'm curious why it has to be one thing or another. Isn't the whole point flexibility? One person wants their blog to foster a community, another wants to use theirs as a soap box. So what. The amount of navel-gazing that goes on in the blogging community (oops, there's that word) boggles my bloggin' mind.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:33 AM on September 4, 2002


In an age of PR and marketing and media conglomerates, the blog stands apart, unvarnished, raw, unmediated.

Does Sullivan really believe this? I've read a lot of blogs and while, yes, I feel that I know something about their authors, I don't for a moment presume that I really know the authors. I don't know them as I know a friend or a colleague (even though in some cases I may know more raw facts about them than I know about my colleagues or some friends). I know them as fictional characters. I'm fascinated by this because it's a type of human relationship that seems entirely new, but it's nothing if not a mediated experience, one determined not just by how effectively an author conveys her personality; and not just by how effective a coder/designer she is; but by economic conditions that determine if she will even be "on" or "off" the internet to start with.

a talent for pithy, concentrated and succint forms of expression, full of personality and suited to the unforgiving attention span of the Web in general

Ah, it's a shame Oscar Wilde never had a Weblog.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:49 AM on September 4, 2002


it's a type of human relationship that seems entirely new, but it's nothing if not a mediated experience, one determined not just by how effectively an author conveys her personality; and not just by how effective a coder/designer she is; but by economic conditions that determine if she will even be "on" or "off" the internet to start with.

This is not unique to weblogs, of course. But if by 'new' you mean since the Internet and people presenting themselves in text- (and now graphics-)based online fora, then you may have a point. But books have been written about this, too (see Sherry Turkle's Life on the Screen, 1995, for example).

Oh wait, was this MIT academic "too early" in examining online social interactions and their implications?
posted by Medley at 7:00 AM on September 4, 2002


He also can't stand the idea that drives Metafilter

Sullivan is attacking the notion of a Weblog Community, not a Community Weblog. I think he may be right. Try explaining to your Mom that you hang out with the same bunch of people that also have weblogs while you're online, and you'll realize just how ridiculous the notion of community sounds.
posted by machaus at 7:41 AM on September 4, 2002


Just what the heck is a "blog"? sounds like something from outer space or a medical term for something clogging arteries. Advise.
posted by Postroad at 7:43 AM on September 4, 2002


Yes, by "new" I meant roughly since the beginning of the internet in its civilian manifestation. Mid '80s-early 90s, say. Of course elements of this fictionality were present in the correspondence of earlier times. But personal correspondence was rarely written to anyone who didn't know the author IRL anyway or addressed (rhetorically) to more than a few readers at once (all of whom the author probably knew). Weblogs (online journals, whatever) make a space for authors to present themselves immediately, cohesively, and extensively in a form that's not quite a novel, a journal, a letter, or a play, but is a little of all. That's what fascinates me.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:48 AM on September 4, 2002


Is anyone else starting to get a serious case of creeping embarrassitis from the whole phenomenon of "What is blog" navel-gazing?

And on another note, I believe this marks the historical moment that Andrew Sullivan managed to get his head so far up his ass he can lick his own uvula. Only a scant few more inches and he will be completely inside out.
posted by rusty at 7:51 AM on September 4, 2002


If incestuous blog self-reference and self-obsession did actual chromosome damage like real incest does, we'd all be looking like the British royal family did it with a bunch of hillbillies right about now.

Keep on the lookout for my new book, Blogging is more important and interesting than Jesus, breathing and food.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:14 AM on September 4, 2002


"Writing is the opposite of blogging..."

Miguel, with all due respect, I think you're out of line. Blogging is an extention of writing. Your accusations that there's a marked difference between journalism and journaling that makes one less important or relative to the other? I find that offensive.

There are many differences between personal narrative and objective reporting. Each are forms of writing, but just as haiku is as relevant to poetry as freeform blank verse, journaling is as relevant to writing as journalism.

"Blogs aren't about writing and the whole competitive, professional and editorial process that literary journalists have to go through to survive passes them by."

Back when I was writing Facing the Mask in 1998, I took my efforts as a journaller VERY seriously. It was a labor of love but make no mistake. It was WORK.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:20 AM on September 4, 2002


Count me as someone who thinks the post was biased; Sully didn't blast blogs per se, just the books and certain ideas about them. The specific "unabomber" quote was, in fact, a (particularly ironic way to state) pro-weblog statement; or at least pro his individualistic view. Sully hates the idea that there is some holistic, larger blog community to which he need pay respect or engage, but even if you confine him to the "poliblog community" / blogosphere he's notably diffident, providing few outbound links and no blogroll to speak of. Even his letters column is anonymous. Knowing his history as a writer and editor this makes more sense, of course.

He said some nice things, he said some nasty things, and even the nice things fall in his modal style of fulmination. *shrug* Vidiot, I think you took this a little too personally.
posted by dhartung at 8:24 AM on September 4, 2002


It may be a bit of a tangent, but I'd also like to take issue with Miguel's "[w]riting is something you do, not to express yourself, not to deliver some opinion or truth, but to be read and enjoyed by strangers who have a million better things to do".

Given that definition of "writing", I agree to a certain extent with what you're saying, but (and here's the tangent) I don't think you get to (re)define "writing" that way.

Writing is setting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and putting down words. I can write to express myself, or to deliver an opinion or a truth, and I suggest that if you come by and say "oh, but that's not writing", you're just trying (unsuccessfully) to co-opt language in support of your own scale of value. But it is writing. You want a word that means "professional-quality writing that is copy-edited and rewritten and intended for the enjoyment of strangers with a million better things to do", you gotta find a new word. "Writing" already means something else...
posted by davidchess at 8:33 AM on September 4, 2002


Sully hates the idea that there is some holistic, larger blog community to which he need pay respect or engage...

So 'hating the idea' of something means it goes away? Wonderful. In fact, that attitude means that he implicitly defines it in his own image. Which is nice.
posted by riviera at 8:57 AM on September 4, 2002


"thats not writing, thats typing."
-the guy who rejected 'On the Road' by Jack Kerouac.

we dont remeber 'the guy who rejected' do we.

Ha-ha/. How dare andy even mention winchell.
look at andys site, what a task master he is. fresh, up to date, a thriving capitalist. I bet he uses those wall socket air freshners.

7th piece down on his site:"is Bush reading SunTzu?"
i mean, does he get paid for this? (i know bush makes 200k a year...)
he even acts like a blogger..."Dowds recent column" Oh, like thats gonna make me shell out a quarter.

Heres a nickel Andy, go buy some issues.
besides, they are just scared.
posted by clavdivs at 9:14 AM on September 4, 2002


Uh (scratching his head), maybe I'm looking at things askew, but I thought all of this was about content. Good, solid content, be it reporting, pov, or storytelling.

Our early 21st century culture tends to be in love with the next "it." When we stop debating the nature of the medium so much (I didn't say "stop" debating it as blogging will evolve and with it comes debate), then we'll know its entered the social mainstream. And we will move on to the next "it" debate.

As a storyteller, I like to write as if I'm having a conversation with someone. But that's just my particular style.

Speaking of content, what sites do you think really offer well-written content? I'm always on the prowl to meet new and interesting people with idiosyncratic points of view.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:33 AM on September 4, 2002


dhartung: Vidiot, I think you took this a little too personally.

Well, I don't think it was taken "personally" -- I don't have a blog (though one is in the works) and don't really participate in the 'community' aside from reading and posting to MeFi.

But, you (and others) raise a good point. You're right; the post wasn't written terribly well. An explanation, not an excuse: I was really tired after a looong day at work when I posted that. I could have phrased it better. (Sullivan and his bombast also just really annoy me in general, and my vexation at him kind of overflowed into the wrong areas.) Sigh. Sleep first, then post.
posted by Vidiot at 9:48 AM on September 4, 2002


Writing books about blogging, to my mind, is like writing books about talking.

I disagree; it's like writing books about writing. Rebecca Blood's book isn't a technical manual that will go out of date with the next software upgrade. It's about the creative side -- how and why to create a weblog, how to keep it current, and how to do it well. I think there's as much a need for weblogging books like that as there are for any form of writing.

It's pretty funny to see two journalists blasting another group for being "incestuous" and "smug-but-needy." However, the personal demonization of Rebecca Blood, by two people who clearly know nothing about her, was low even by the standards of professional journalism. Sullivan is an ass.
posted by rcade at 10:19 AM on September 4, 2002


If I slept first and then posted I'd never post. As it is I never sleep! *smirk*
posted by ZachsMind at 10:19 AM on September 4, 2002


rcade: the personal demonization of Rebecca Blood, by two people who clearly know nothing about her, was low even by the standards of professional journalism. Sullivan is an ass.

Agreed. Attack people if you want. Ideally, do it rationally and with examples to support your reasoning...i.e., don't be a jerk. But both Sullivan and Andersen (who really should know better -- he's usually not *quite* as snarky) came across as being disproportionally snide in that case. What about Rebecca so offends them? I can't figure it out. There are lots of blogs I'd choose to go after before hers.
posted by Vidiot at 10:43 AM on September 4, 2002


If Andrew Sullivan thinks his blog is "unvarnished, raw, unmediated," he is completely out of his mind. Rusty is right (as always).

As a tangent, all about Andrew Sullivan's derision, and not about his complaints about these books at all: Is there such a thing as a blog community? Umm... Let's see, last week I fedexed my house keys to a weblogger I met once so she could stay in my apartment while I was out of town, so that she could attend the wedding of another blogger she's never met in person. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, another website-maintainer dropped everything and helped my blog-partner move apartments. Today I got an email from a weblogger moving back to my town, someone who I met through my website a year ago and fell in love with.

"Alienated, disembodied, disassociated"? Only if that's who you are.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:12 AM on September 4, 2002


Hey Vidiot, don't be so hard on yourself - it was a dandy post! Here's a little present for you!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:21 AM on September 4, 2002


Good point, RJ. I think there are multiple 'weblog communities' -- obviously not everyone who has a weblog is in a 'community' with everyone else who has a weblog. But along similar lines to your anecdote: my husband and I met through our weblogs. The good friend we chose to officate at our ceremony? We met him through his weblog. The person who recommended our wedding photographer to us? Another weblogger we first met online. The best man? College friend of my husband's, but also keeps a weblog. The best woman? Not online yet, but has experimented with both Greymatter and MT. The woman I recommended my group hire last fall for an opening we had? A weblogger (whom we did hire). And so on...
posted by Medley at 11:24 AM on September 4, 2002


Is there such a thing as a blog community?

I met my fiancee tangentially via our respective blogs.

I get together with 15-20 friends each Friday night to play pool and drink beer and scotch. All of whom I met via weblogs.

People come together for a variety of reasons. The 'Net just makes it easier to find people with similar interests. Prior to blogging, people who met as penpals got together. People who met on BBSs got together. Folks who met via usenet got together. Folks who met on IRC got together. etc, etc.

Heck, I met Medley because of weblogs ;) Oh, and Medley, can you recommend a photographer for my wedding please? :)
posted by terrapin at 11:27 AM on September 4, 2002


(Tangent: terrapin, we wholeheartedly recommend Andy Linden of Linden Photo. He is fabulous. I was just at another wedding this weekend and couldn't help but compare that (lame) photographer to Andy. She missed tons of great shots that I know he would have gotten. Wasylik recommended him to us. Definitely try to see if you can get him. If you and the fiancee want to look at our proofs or wedding album, we'd be happy to show them to you.)

Oh wait, is this a sign of that ol' 'weblog community' at work. Better not tell Sullivan!
posted by Medley at 11:36 AM on September 4, 2002


awww...thanks for the present. Sleep would be better, though. Sonata is my friend.
posted by Vidiot at 12:45 PM on September 4, 2002


clavdivs: The "that's not writing" line regarding "On the Road" is usually attributed to Truman Capote.
posted by raysmj at 1:54 PM on September 4, 2002


It's also just turf protection. when blogger writes a book, she had circumvented the freelance magazine writing channel that sullivan lives in. nuance is lost in these gross overgeneralizations and projection.
posted by xian at 2:37 PM on September 4, 2002


Comments here.
posted by jjg at 2:53 PM on September 4, 2002


Writing is everything but conversation.

Maybe that is true to the writer who composes his or her thoughts without any awareness of the framework in which they place their words. But, even writers who don't consider their audience, and don't anticipate that audience's reactions, write within an internal monologue. We only see part of the dialogue when we read a novel, or a short story, or essay. But that doesn't make it any less a conversation.

When Rebecca Blood loosed The Weblog Handbook into the world, she started a conversation. Some responses to it, like Sullivan's, are simplistic and short sighted. Sullivan outright dismisses the book with the rationale that because it can't have hyperlinks as a blog does, it's not worth reading, or writing. That's like saying that people shouldn't write books about cars because you can't drive the book. Rebecca's book, as rcade points out, is about writing within a specific format. It's a valuable and useful set of guidelines for people unfamiliar with the format, and it also holds some wonderful advice for people who have been writing on the web for a while. (There's a section on being gracious to others that Mr. Sullivan might want to look over again, if he gets the chance. He may have skipped over that part on his first reading.)

I'm trying to get some friends and some family members to start weblogs. I think that they have unique perspectives on life, and interesting things to say. They're seriously considering starting weblogs, but don't have very much experience with the internet. I can't think of a better introduction than Rebecca's book.
posted by bragadocchio at 5:18 PM on September 4, 2002


Sullivan is attacking the notion of a Weblog Community, not a Community Weblog. I think he may be right. Try explaining to your Mom that you hang out with the same bunch of people that also have weblogs while you're online, and you'll realize just how ridiculous the notion of community sounds.

I'd say all but two people in my circle of friends are either directly or indirectly due to my participation in various weblog communities. My mom's met a few of these people and likes 'em, too.
posted by anildash at 6:24 PM on September 4, 2002


since capote has never had an ordinal profound thing to say (and a terrible actor) I'll stick to my guns. the quote i believe is "Thats not writing, it's typing" read it in a bio, saw it in a movie. It was probably the snark of the decade amongst literary hacks.
posted by clavdivs at 8:15 AM on September 5, 2002


I've always thought it a bit silly to write physical books about such a nebulous and tenuous concept as "weblog". Ten years hence, while the net is busy evolving and changing and transforming itself, these books will probably smell pretty stale. Why not publish online.

Posterity? History? How likely is it that 90% of the matter online right now is going to be around and accessible in 100 years? Those dead, barkless bits however...
posted by bradlands at 1:35 PM on September 5, 2002


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