Glassdog to close personal narrative.
May 2, 2001 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Glassdog to close personal narrative. Well, at least the Life Serial, that is. Will there be a new section to round out Glassdog Services (tm)? We hope so.
posted by rich (33 comments total)
He's closing lancelog as well. The last post is on there. I'm a little sad, but also very glad that he is finding acceptance with himself! It sounds like he may just write fiction in the future. Did anyone else get that impression?
posted by hippo at 12:45 PM on May 2, 2001

It's the natural progression it seems. You can only narrate your life for so long before you long to be done with it and just write stories.
And what, you ask, does writing teach us?

First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation.

So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.
--Ray Bradbury
posted by john at 12:56 PM on May 2, 2001

Lance, Ernie, Jason..... whole lotta closings, recently.

Can blogs (or blog-like self-narratives) sustain themselves? Or is Lance right - at a certain point, the audience knows the author too well to be surprised, excited, entertained, etc. Or the author becomes to familiar with their own voice to be surprised, excited, entertained, etc.

And though we'll miss these authors, what difference does this make to our community - besides the obvious lack of their voices, directly?
posted by J. R. Hughto at 1:00 PM on May 2, 2001

People will need to look elsewhere.
posted by hijinx at 1:03 PM on May 2, 2001

It means we need new heroes to replace the old.

I respect Lance for what he's done, and I've seen this coming for a while now. In fact, it became pretty obvious about a year or more ago when every update began "Well it's been a long time since we last updated..."

In this type of narrative, I think there is a point that people reach when writing for other people's voyeurism becomes boring and repetitive.

But fear not. There will be others to take their place, I'm sure.
posted by dogmatic at 1:07 PM on May 2, 2001

I realized a long time ago that I didn't have much more to say online. The reason I figured it out so much earlier than these web icons is that I had far less to say in the first place ;)

I like Zeldman's way of doing things, personally. Most of his main blog-style page isn't personal, but then he's got a semi-regular My Glamorous Life column.

I think this allows him to write about himself when he wants to, but not feel like he's letting people down if he only posts links and brief commentary for a while.
posted by jragon at 1:11 PM on May 2, 2001

posted by Calebos at 1:14 PM on May 2, 2001

It means we need new heroes to replace the old.

No, it means that we have to be heroes.
posted by holgate at 2:08 PM on May 2, 2001

Well, really, there's only so long you can prattle on about your life before it gets old. It's like getting a phone call every day from your mother telling you what happened in the last 24 hours. For years.

That's what I found, anyway.
posted by solistrato at 2:08 PM on May 2, 2001

See Hero, third definition "a person noted for special achievement in a particular field."
posted by megnut at 2:11 PM on May 2, 2001

it's kind of a shame that he's closing down that section. i found it to be more entertaining than a lot of blogs out there.

thank god his web-design section is still up.

you hear me?!?! HIS WEB DESIGN SECTION!
posted by jcterminal at 2:14 PM on May 2, 2001

Well, really, there's only so long you can prattle on about your life before it gets old.

I don't think that's true at all.
posted by rcade at 2:22 PM on May 2, 2001

Thank you, Lance.

Thank you for years of entertainment, thank you for opening yourself up to me and letting me get to know you on some level.

Thank you for helping teach me what the personal web is about. Thank you for moving me to tears, for making me laugh aloud at my desk, drawing confused stares from coworkers.

posted by cCranium at 2:25 PM on May 2, 2001

Lance may not be a hero to you, Calebos, but he's been a hero to a lot of us. Lance has inspired more people (pre and post Web log) to start their own site than ... well, you. He has had consistently good design, used the newest technology, and pushed the limits of what a personal site can be. He's an incredibly valuable asset of the Web community and has been for years -- since before most of us even had Web sites.

And he's my hero. He inspired me, all those years ago. In fact, on one of my very first Web sites, he was at the top of the list of people I want to be just like. And he will continue to be my hero even if he doesn't post to Life Serial. Personally, I'm crossing my fingers for a novel.
posted by benbrown at 2:52 PM on May 2, 2001

Hey Ben--

Now that Lance is gone, will you be my hero?
posted by dogmatic at 3:08 PM on May 2, 2001


I probably wouldn't have a website if it weren't for a little gd.INSPIRATION.
posted by toastcowboy at 3:11 PM on May 2, 2001

I don't know Lance. But I'll miss him.

The internet gave him a voice. He gave the internet character.
posted by prolific at 4:24 PM on May 2, 2001

I never read glassdog.

But one thing that I noticed in the last 2 years or so with all the blogs is that they all want to update daily. This probably makes sense for a while if you want to gain traffic, but the bottom line is that the reader can sense that their entries are becoming a tedious chore. They stop writing about the "cool amazing thing that happened to me at a party last friday" and instead try to find the words to fill that day's entry.

One example of a site that hasn't fallen into this trap is They guy updates at various intervals; sometimes weeks go by without a word. But when he does post, he has something meaningful to share, an experience to describe. When he posts links, it's links he found himself. not links that have been posted on 50 other logs.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you have something to share everyday, do it. If you don't, don't wreck your brain to fill the space.
posted by Witold at 4:32 PM on May 2, 2001

Witold... it's obvious you've never read Glassdog.
posted by prolific at 4:41 PM on May 2, 2001

Thanks for the writing Lance. I'll miss you.
posted by tomcosgrave at 4:45 PM on May 2, 2001

dear god, people, he's not dead. he's working on all sorts of projects and is just moving around a bit. changing clothes, if you will. it's not like he's closing glassdog, even. and that last life serial? damn fine writing. sounds like he's opening doors, not closing them.
posted by judith at 5:14 PM on May 2, 2001

I can be cocky at times. But never so much that I can't see Lance's blinding brilliance. Lance is one of my heroes. His web work inspires. His introspection rips at your own insides. And his fucking hilarious.

He helped shape the net. He may inspire from afar, but he will not be replaced.
posted by halcyon at 5:27 PM on May 2, 2001

Well, it's disappointing but it's what he wants to do. I'm not sure why this has to be a big momentous thing. (For one thing, Ernie & Jason both say they'll be back.) I saw blogs being closed even as I was starting mine ... going on two years ago! Even Cam closed just when things were getting going on the weblog scene ... and then he rethought his approach and came back. [Oddly, I can't find those posts, but surely someone else remembers.]

My personal standard is an update no less than every three days if I can avoid it. Most of the time, I do update every day. But having that as my standard removes that it's Tuesday and nothing happened syndrome. So what? Maybe tomorrow. Also, I long ago decided that I write my blog for myself, not for other people. I think using those guidelines I'll be able to keep going for a very long time.

But if I don't, well.
posted by dhartung at 5:29 PM on May 2, 2001

The original comment on heroes was not directed at Lance alone, nor was my remark/word. I think Lance has done some great work. He's a very talented writer. I just thought that to call these people heroes was a bit over the top.

Looking at the entry that Meg supplied, I guess my definition of hero is more along the lines of definition #2. Meg points to definition #3, which I guess does apply. BTW, def#3 in its entirety reads:

"A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. See Synonyms at celebrity"

So, I guess I just misunderstood the meaning that dogmatic originally assigned to the word "hero". Sorry about that. No disrespect intended.
posted by Calebos at 7:39 PM on May 2, 2001

Is this what happens to bloggers? In the end, all the comments are about the commentators, and the poor blogger, knees to the gay confessional, hardly merits a nod? It kinda seem that trauma over daily updates aren't, in the end, what L was dealing with.
posted by lme at 7:42 PM on May 2, 2001

sounds like he's opening doors, not closing them.

that's a nice way to think about it.
posted by register at 9:35 PM on May 2, 2001

Thanks for the kind words and the attention, but don't overdo this. I'm not going anywhere, I'm simply retiring pieces of the site I'm no longer interested in keeping up. It's not a grand gesture, it's not the death of anything, it's just another step forward. I'm cancelling one TV show on the network, but the reruns will live on.

I'll still be writing, just try to stop me. It just won't be what I've been writing before.
posted by honkzilla at 10:28 PM on May 2, 2001

Yeah, but you cancelled the reality programming, and we all know that can only mean one thing -- GAME SHOWS!

May I humbly suggest: "You Bet Your Life Serial"
I have to admit that I see you as more of a George Burns than a Groucho Marx type, but it could work...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 11:44 PM on May 2, 2001

Uh, Ime; Lance isn't a blogger.

Well, maybe he looked like one for a little while, but, you other people know what I mean.

Uh, hey, Lance.. yeah, uh, like, I was wondering what's gonna replace Life Serial. Maybe a new serialized Altered Reality thingamabob?

As for heroes, Lance is my design hero. And my writing hero. Although I think Alexis was the first one who really inspired me web-writing-wise.. and that Ben sure is a funny guy, although all the stuff from SMUG is probably my favorite.

Hmm.. that reminds me, I'm supposed to be in the middle of recoding my site. No where did that pesky database go?
posted by rich at 7:04 AM on May 3, 2001

Looking forward to the new stuff Lance. You're always an inspiration.

And I think CuJoe's on to something with the game show idea...maybe something along the lines of The Gong Show?
posted by dangerman at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2001

I still owe Lance money for teaching what the 'p' tag was for back in '97. I'm sure whatever is coming up will rock like hurricane. Lance rocks ballsack.
posted by Jeremy at 8:44 AM on May 3, 2001

"Lance rocks ballsack"

Shh! You aren't supposed to talk about the tagline before the redesign is up!
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 8:58 AM on May 3, 2001

Lance still owes me a yo-yo from the 3rd anniversary Glassdog contest.

Either that, or at least a pint.
posted by rich at 11:38 AM on May 3, 2001

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