What should be the focus of a blog? I suppose a pole might be appropriate but you need to know what questions to ask before you can make a pole and then there is the tricky issue of whether anyone would be interested enough to respond to the pole. Another possibility is to just start free–associating which appears to be the technique of choice for many bloggers. For me, the most interesting aspect of the question relates to a more basic curiosity. What are blogs and is there actually any point to them?
Based on a quick look at a hundred blogs, the true nature of the medium is certainly not obvious to me. I’m reminded of way back there when CB radios were the big thing. Of course, a few folks did talk with each other about things they really wanted to discuss but for the most part, the CB world divided into talkers and listeners. Hours were spent by talkers trying to find someone, anyone, who would “come back” and at least give the impression of listening. Once the connection was established, the motor–mouth would talk. The listener was only required to respond enough to let the talker know someone was still listening. For the best talkers, even that little bit of feedback was not necessary. A blog is sort of like a CB radio for talkers and whether anyone is listening doesn’t seem to matter much.
Blogs are also a bit like personal diaries. It used to be that your diary was a very private thing, complete with lock and key. You could enter your most secret thoughts or wonderings and then lock them away. Even if someone might be interested in what you wrote, sharing it was a very big no – no. Maybe talk radio and reality TV have added to making sharing a diary with everyone the cool thing to do. Blogs have become but another way to do just that. At a minimum, some blogs can definitely leave me thinking, “I most assuredly didn’t need to know that.”
On the bright side, many blogs are very interesting and a few are down right fascinating. The variety of content and writing styles are enough to satisfy all but the seriously curiosity challenged and I have seen a couple of blogs that might even get a reaction from people who aren’t interested in anything.
My survey has brought me to the conclusion blogs aren’t anything in particular. Rather, they are the latest iteration of a recurring phenomenon. Technology starts out being used by and available only to the elite. It then gradually is adopted by more and more people and becomes part of the popular culture. Radio evolved to CB radio and now has further evolved to cell phones and mini–movies that can be recorded and instantly transmitted. You can be in Ohio and watch your grandchild smile in Texas. Very cool, don’t you think?
TV has evolved to reality TV and call now to vote for your favorite new singer. TV has and is becoming interactive. The Internet started out only for the intellectually elite and has evolved to shopping, playing games, and who knows what is to come. For now, we have blogs. Anyone with a computer and a tad of knowledge can post his or her diary, opinion, idea, picture, or profound insight for all to see and appreciate or hate or ignore and if the spirit moves, they can even comment and do some blogging of their own on someone else’s blog. For now, I’ll content myself with posting sundry ideas on SundryIdeas.com. Perhaps there need not be a point to it.