September 2, 2000 2:09 AM   Subscribe

Weblogs.. Personal ones. Who has them, who reads them? Purely out of interest - personal not community ones. Do you have one? You don't have to tell us the address. Why do you have one? Does your friend have one? Do you read it? Have you ever thought about making one? And lastly, do you find them interesting?
posted by justnobody (18 comments total)
It appears to me that you're aiming at a pretty wide target, justnobody. Do you have a blog yourself? (Personal) Weblogs come in all shapes and sizes and aren't purely Blogger-maintained sites.And, yeah, I do enjoy reading Tom's log and a must-read for me is the always-informative Ed's weblog.
posted by williamtry at 2:53 AM on September 2, 2000

I have a blog, only about half of my online pals have a blog. I find them moderately interesting.

The problem is that a vast majority of blogs are the same stuff - can anyone point me to blogs that really and truly break out of the "I did this today, here are some links" mold?
posted by hijinx at 6:36 AM on September 2, 2000

hijinx: isn't that the whole purpose/point of a personal weblog (which is the type that justnobody specifically asked about); an insight into the daily lives of people.I guess it's just like real life; you either find someone interesting or not.
posted by williamtry at 6:56 AM on September 2, 2000

Eh, touche, william.
posted by hijinx at 8:18 AM on September 2, 2000

I've been online for about 9 months, don't have a weblog but do visit a small bunch semi-regularly.
For me, weblogs provided a wonderful place to start discovering the internet as they have always provided interesting/weird/ingenious/nice/cool places to visit.

I tell any friends that get internet access that they would do much worse than visit metafilter and etc. to get a feel for what's out there - the main reason being that weblogs are not multinational portals which attempt to corral ppl into visiting a small section of the web. In fact I now have a saved email with a bunch of weblog site links that I pass on - and have been thanked by all for the tip.

Weblogs are not the be-all and end-all of the web but they indirectly provide a nice community service and if I'm bored with any.......I simply don't go back and visit - as williamtry has said.
posted by peacay at 8:36 AM on September 2, 2000

I got one, and it's really for no other reason but to entertain myself. I personally don't really care who goes to my page, I just enjoy making and maintaining websites and since I have no other reason to make a website, I just make a blog. It's fun.
posted by deckard at 9:45 AM on September 2, 2000

I started keeping a weblog before I'd ever heard of the term 'weblog'. While I keep it mostly for myself, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't interested in getting more people to visit. No one puts themselves on the web for strictly personal reasons - doing so goes against the very public nature of the web itself.

The main problem facing webloggers then, is figuring out a way to make blogs interesting for those outside the blogging community. As with everything else, it all boils down to good content, and access to that content.

On my site, GreasySkillet, I've attempted to add another element to the experience through semi-regular audio logs. Just recently, I wrapped up a little audio documentary on a local comic book convention. I've also put up a few of my films in RealVideo format.

All of this is in addition to the usual textual content.

This sounds like one giant egofest - in a certain sense, that's exactly what it is. A personal website can be nothing less.

The key is making that self absorbed egofest interesting to others. Blogs that consist of a few sparse sentences every now and again serve little purpose. Indeed, they're a waste of space.

In some cases, tools like Blogger are providing a means for individuals to truly express themselves - this translates into interesting content. On the other hand, Blogger also enables a great many people to spit out a few simple lines of interest to (at best) an extremely small group of people.

In the latter case, Blogger is actively damaging to the weblog community, and the internet as a whole. There are those who argue that even the most uninteresting of personal sites are better than any corporate site. This, however, isn't really the case for personal sites that don't make an effort to connect with people.

That's really the moral of the story, isn't it? Weblogs that make an effort at communicating personal experience constitute some of the best content on the web. Those that don't, are actively damaging to all of us.

posted by aladfar at 11:22 AM on September 2, 2000

I have a weblog and an online journal. I don't particularly give a damn if anyone reads it or not. I think it's pretty interesting stuff and it gives me a way to express myself to the world at large. You might think differently. If you want to know what 'blogs I read go here.Aldafar, personally I find your comment about "Blogger damaging the weblog community" silly. Blogger, Pitas, etc. are a good thing because they give people a online voice. Yes, I too would like a bit more than pithy one liners, but at the same time I'm bored with the whole notion that "'blog populism is destroying the internet". If you don't like a particular 'blog than read a different one. That's what I do.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 12:14 PM on September 2, 2000

Blogger is by no means damaging in itself. It becomes damaging when people fail to take advantage of what it can do.

I grow weary of Blogger powered sites that are infrequently updated and rife with meaningless content.

I have no problem skipping over poorly written blogs - that's not the point. The problem arises when internet users new to blogs (i.e. the vast majority of those connected) come across them. After a while, they dismiss anything that doesn't have a corporate banner ad across it.

We have a hard enough time educating larger audiences about independent personal sites. Bad blogs don't help.

I believe that Blogger has given rise to a great many quality weblogs - at the same time, however, it has caused a proliferation of poorly written crap.

From this perspective, Blogger is damaging.

Don't get me wrong, Blogger is a powerful and valuable tool. I just don't think we should ignore the negative baggage that comes with it.
posted by aladfar at 1:32 PM on September 2, 2000

I wasn't stating that blogger was the best, by any means...it was merely the first, well known link that sprang to mind ;-) Now look what I started!

Yes I have a blog and I rarely do the "what I did today" things. It's more a personal "thinking" one.
posted by justnobody at 3:03 PM on September 2, 2000

I have a weblog, vocalu.nu, because I can't seem to keep my damn mouth shut and need someplace to say my peace. (You know, besides MF, heh.)
posted by thirdball at 10:24 PM on September 2, 2000

Weblogs are fan sites are brochures are games - there are millions of sites out there, each doing something slightly different. Anything that encourages people to put something else out there is good as far as I am concerned. Let the reader decide what they want to look at.
posted by barbelith at 4:18 AM on September 3, 2000

True, true. I write to keep my friends and family informed of what I've been doing or thinking. It's a nice way to vent publically. Who cares what people do with their weblogs. No one is forcing you to visit them. People's capacity to whine is amazing.
posted by john at 11:55 AM on September 3, 2000

aladfar, you're a dick.

The weblog is a tool. It is not here for the purpose of creating a higher consciousness, keeping the people away from "corporate" sites, or bringing about world peace. It is here to provide personal expression to its authors, entertainment or information as desired by its readers, and in some cases, debate and community-building. It was always possible to do this with a lot of sweat and hard work; now it's easy because some smart people got tired of the hard work and in so doing made it easier for not just themselves but everybody else to do the same thing.

Does the fact that some manufacturers make lousy shoes make people go barefoot? No, they just look for better shoes next time.

Blogger, Pitas, Groksoup, Manila are all just tools. The content that is created with them may not be for you, but hey, you're the one with the mouse. You don't like it, click on.

What are you proposing? A ratings system for weblogs, and the ones the committee doesn't like get nuked? "Hey, your personal expression isn't up to the par of The Fray. Get lost, buddy, the internet isn't for you, and you're ruining it for the rest of us."
posted by dhartung at 2:24 PM on September 3, 2000

Ban the pencil! Ban the pencil! People write bad stuff with pencils!
posted by jkottke at 6:28 AM on September 5, 2000

topic drift: would you consider slashdot.org a weblog?
posted by syn at 11:37 AM on September 5, 2000

Until we can develop the technology to prevent the Unwashed Masses from posting their drivel to the web, there are ways to show your support for this important cause.
posted by harmful at 12:09 PM on September 5, 2000

Gosh, I got reamed for that one. Perhaps a bit too high and mighty for my own good.

Look, I don't have anything against anyone experssing themselves - regardless of the quality of that expression.

I was just trying to articulate a simple fact: While great tools like blogger provide a wondrous new avenue of communication, they also force us to accept a certain amount of poorly written crap.

I've no desire to get rid of these sites, I'm just pointing out that there are a few negative consequences to the rampant proliferation of weblogs.

That said, I think I'll go use the new asshole y'all so kindly created for me.

No hard feelings though - MeFi is all about the LOVE.
posted by aladfar at 9:49 PM on September 5, 2000

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