August 31, 2005

Blogging

Fortune magazine says there is no escaping the blog in business (January 10 2005 issue). "It can boost your product or destroy it."Maybe it has something to do with the fact that "If you fudge or lie on a blog, you are biting the karmic weenie", as someone was quoted saying. What I'm understanding is that blogs represent people, real people. No pc - no prepared statements with ulterior motives. Just people talking, stating what they think. From this, and from the numbers of people involved, blogging gets its power. A lie is unlikely to go unspotted, the free flow of information makes it difficult if not impossible to deliberately control public opinion. And everybody is equal - the amount of influence your word has, has all to do with what that word is - little to do with any other aspect of you: factors that incite little prejudicial filters in people, that so interfere in more common avenues of communication. The article states: "each blog adds to an inescapable trend fueled by the internet: the democratization of power and opinion." Reading this brought tears to my eyes - it feels possible - it seems to be exactly that: could truth and not marketing of perceptions and fears finally start shaping society and its evolution?
The article also says: "Yes, for all its democratic trappings, there are hierarchies of influence in the blogging world." Yes there are - any free agents that have some sort of interaction will generally aggregate into some kind of structure at different levels. But all throughout, the lowest level of structure is never lost, the individual keeps its identity, its voice - that's what makes it free -democratic. Power will always in this way keep its foundation in real thought, in an individual's expression of their truth - no place for manipulation of powerful over weak.

Ok. So this may be one aspect of blogging. Some people see another very different one altogether. Upon reading my thoughts above on the Fortune article I can't help but think that I qualify for the "self important moron" in bones's essay on why he hates people that blog. Excerpts of his description are, people that "believe that their opinions matter in the grand scheme of things", "they tend to be rather self-involved or often highly opinionated", "feel that their random meanderings on the subject are justified by their profound and unique insight into it." I have to say I AM all of this. I do want to think I'm important, I do like saying what I think, and I like the idea of other people listening, of being heard. That said, I also like listening to what other people have to say, and according to what they say I may also think they are "important". I think Bones's essay is great. I enjoyed his writing, his toughts. It may not be in blog format, it IS a static page. But what the hell does that have to do with the fact that he is stating his opinion about something, that he is posting it for the world to see? How is blogging in itself, and not the wanting to be heard because you consider your opinion worth sharing regardless of the format, part of the description of the "self-important moron". That said though - even if he is one himself - I do think there is something to what he says. It is not the first time I run into what more than disdain, can be construed as pure hatred for "self-absorbed" people. People that take themselves too seriously. People that want to excel, to stand out, to feel important. People that overthink things, over-philosophize, over question things, feel depressive and sometimes elated, live in their head, are constantly self-critical yet at the same time pedantic. People whose world is themselves.
This is me I am sorry to say. I have to say I am sorry to say this, so much so I have forced some changes in this in the past year. (Yet here I am talking about myself). Whatever the extent of the actual change that has taken place, one thing I could say is that I am now aware of the other take on things. The other way of living. There are people that are "grounded" whose world is THE world with the rest of us human beings in it. People who just live - live and laugh and know nobody is perfect, or important for that matter. People who just want to go out and fish, and work, and sleep, and who couldn't give a crap about any ideal, or about who is aware of them or what people think of them, or what they think of themsleves, or what they are doing with their lives. They just are. Laughing and having fun, having REAL human interactions. GROUNDEDNESS I suppose.
I think Bones's argument on blogging is flawed. His criticism applies to a type of personality and what that personality tends to do regardless of the technology used. Blogging is simply a more distributive and, at the same time, interactive form of transfer of information than person to person contact, phone, e-mail, webpage, IM. It combines the reach (number of people) and static-ness (conserving of information) of a webpage, with the interactiveness and real time feel of IM's and chat rooms.
As for the personality type... Although I accept the criticism and have seen the value of "groundedness" as I'm calling it, I heard something in a movie yesterday, someone describing a group of people as a people that couldn't care less about who is ruling them or any ideal, because all they care about is having their animal home existence, about having good food, good alcohol, and a good f---... Made me kind of think I don't exactly want to be this either. Thinking about things is not a bad thing altogether.
Maybe if I just try to keep my head grounded, contribute to the information flow, share my thoughts as well, and yet forget about my importance or impact altogether.

Point well taken Bones.

August 25, 2005

Trial Post

Start writing here.