The Loneliest Jukebox

Graham Barnfield's weblog, being gradually replaced by his Twitter feed -

Graham Author Page

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Theories/Practices of Blogging

It would be morally comforting to produce an upbeat statement here, in the bombastic style of one of Frank Capra's Why We Fight movies ("why I blog"). Sadly, the truth is less dramatic.

My introduction to blogging was based on two factors. Firstly I was (and am) chronic at HTML and FTP applications. Updating my online CV, which itself is no design classic, seemed to take me forever. The lure of 'pushbutton publishing' appealed to my underlying laziness. Secondly, as a freelance journalist, it struck me that there were often articles -- or barbed comments -- to be issued on topical issues, sometimes rooted in personal experience. Yet these wouldn't find an immediate, paid and printed outlet -- still my preferred option. Nevertheless, the points struck me worth as making. On pragmatic grounds, blogging had its attractions. (Hyperlinking to the usual retail suspects* meant a steady trickle of additional income for me, or a chance to dispose of some of my personal belongings on Ebay, but that's another story.)

Alongside my pragmatic reasons for starting a blog, I couldn't miss some of the discussion surrounding this activity. As someone who'd written web content in the late 1990s, I was all too aware of the way hype and futurology could overestimate the potential of new technologies. (Indeed, these days social forecasters like to talk of a revolution in 'pro-am' new media, perhaps as a way of avoiding such rhetorical excesses in future. Just in case they are correct, I'll be maintaining a myspace page alongside this blog. You never know ...)

So far, so unspectacular. Then in the Summer of 2005 I got caught up in a breaking news story. The scope for instant replies, repudiations and resistance became clear. At times I got my retaliation in first, and became more convinced of the potential of blogging, once given a clear focus. My enthusiasm for this potentially democratic development increased and I've continued to blog since. Everyone else was at it, after all. New forms of networking and organisation ran in parallel with the wild predictions about blogging's future. One would be foolish to miss out on these opportunities, but equally foolish to forget that content itself is more important than any particular delivery system for words and ideas.



Couldn't resist it.


Post a Comment

<< Home