Thursday, April 24, 2014

 

Pre-Deconstructing Blogging (Peggy and Megan)

Almost by definition, an article with this title would not, could not be a blog post. The subject is too vast and deserves too much reflection. The working premise here is that web-logs are simply public logs, lists of time-stamped records of information someone thought noteworthy as they wrote it: w(orld wide w)eb logs.

Much has been written about whether -- and why--blogging is dead. Generally, those thoughtful analyses refer to other publication done with software intended to facilitate blogging, and not blogging per se, and readership by people not particularly attracted to blogs.  Who is attracted to real blogs? Hmm, interesting question; arguably historians of the future, if people of the future find the past of interest, and possibly a few sympathetic contemporaries.

Blogging may actually live on, however. One might argue that twitter or del.icio.us are pure blogging frameworks, allowing one to post one's journal entry "à chaud" (while it's hot), whereas more general (self-)publishing frameworks facilitate web-publishing logs but also more complex (and composed) pieces, which usage then tends to overshadow the original intended use.

A service like del.icio.us does enable one to publish timely and succinct records, but often is used simply to save url "bookmarks" without logging annotation. Twitter limits the length of annotation quite drastically, and does not require --but does allow--associated web content such as a page or picture url.

What is lacking is a multi-link version of twitter or del.icio.us, with which one could comment on a collection of documents one wishes to associate, the arrival of the latest addition being the trigger for the log entry. For instance, I read a provocative piece belittling Megan McArdle's review of a book she hadn't read. That I could share, with a comment, via twitter or del.icio.us. But then I wondered, "does Megan McArdle make anyone else think of Peggy Noonan?" and found Untangling Megan McArdle’s Feelings About The Gays: An Exegesis We Undertake So You Don’t Have To, in which the author suggests "She’s Peggy Noonan without the semi-redeeming old lady drunkenness." Neither twitter nor del.icio.us makes association of the two pieces possible, with or without annotation or commentary.

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