You can’t stop the blog
Vail, CO Colorado
So it was about a year and a half ago that I was struck with the stinging urge to keep a weekly log of thoughts and events that occurred in my life. Not too uncommon right?
Journals and diaries have been around for ages; for some reason there has always been that need for folks to get their thoughts down on paper. I’m of course no exception.
But I couldn’t just keep this writing to myself. No, no, I had to publish it to every man, woman, and child from here to the planet Pluto, excuse me, dwarf-planet Pluto (does Wi-Fi travel that far yet?). That’s right, I started writing a blog. Why I started doing this is actually beyond my knowledge. Things like, “Had nothing better to do,” start popping into my head when I’m asked the question. Regardless, the reality of the situation is that a weekly blog posted on the Vail Trail Web site for over a year has now turned into a biweekly column for the Vail Daily. What a wonderful world.
And in case you’ve been unable to see the light of day for the past five years, blogs have taken off faster than the morning-after pill ” or something like that. But if you are in fact in the dark about what the heck blogs are, they were originally called web logs and then morphed into the term blog as they became more popular. Makes sense right?
It makes perfect sense, in fact. But what doesn’t make nearly as much sense is why blogs have become almost as cool as Donald Trump. No seriously, it seems that anyone with a hint of angst or opinionated fire throws up an online rant about whatever may be bothering them on a particular day. And with sites like Blogger.com you can have a site up in less time than it takes to write a woeful bit about your latest bad hair day.
Despite the occasional boring ramblings of bloggers, their place in our world cannot be ignored. One Web site, which I actually choose to believe, estimates the number of blogs to be around 55 million. Blogs have been deemed as a source of alternative media that can publish anything while escaping the shackles of convention and need to please a target market. While some may consider blogs to be an unreliable source of accurate news, people are certainly reading them.
Personal blogs have captured readers that can’t seem to get enough information about people they don’t even know. This need to please a market that thrives on personal information has caused some to post information to the blogging world, excuse me the “blogosphere,” that unfortunately lands them at the end of the unemployment line. The term “Dooced” was coined after a blogger under the pseudo-name Dooce posted remarks about her employer and was soon fired. This may, however, have been a blessing in disguise for Heather Armstrong, the author of dooce.com, for now her highly personal blog, often touching on struggles with depression, pregnancy, parenthood, and religion, is one of the most successful on the web and, through the sale of advertisements, is her primary source of income.
So maybe this undeniable attraction to blogs comes from the sheer fact that, like Dooce, they are a gateway into the personal lives of people we don’t even know.
Kind of like a soap opera except with real people. Can’t get better than that, right? Some folks don’t quite agree.
Blogs have been described by real journalists as being bush-league amateur hack writing that has no place in modern media. How could they? Others (non-bloggers of course), consider blogs to be boring, self-indulgent tales about nothing, that do more ego-feeding of the writer than entertaining of the reader.
I will certainly agree that there are blogs out there that should probably be sent on a one-way trip to the black hole of cyberspace (no comments please), but for the most part they contribute positively to information land. Bloggers have the luxury of sidestepping politics, conventions, and constraints of typical media merely because they are conveniently behind the scenes. Hack writing has it sbenefits.
So now that I’ve moved on from being a self-indulgent hack writer on the web to a, well, self-indulgent hack writer in print, I can safely say, in my infinite blogger wisdom and spectacular grammar: blogs ain’t goin’ away. So go ahead and join the mainstream ” we’d love to have you.
John Poole, an Eagle-Vail resident, writes a biweekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at email@example.com.