Weblogs suck: Well, this isn't totally true. Now mind you, your weblog, probably sucks. Why? Because outside of your immediate circle of friends: nobody cares. On this, he's right. Be as thoughtful and insightful as you like: nobody's going to give a damn.
Now, on his notes about why, I think he was particularly apt in his descriptions of weblog users. In fact, most of the people I read fall into one of his categories. But here's the problem with his argument: he attacks the medium based on the users. By his logic, we could write a similarly scathing article about IM, which he offers as an alternative to weblogging. After all, most of the conversations that happen over IM are pointless insipid drek. Any freely available mass-consumer information vector is going to get crowded with noise. Look at LJ. Flip through some random users blogs, and think about what goes on there. Insipd crap. But, at the same time, we're forming communities and social networks. Maybe it is fairly insular, but we've got a high-volume high-bandwith information exchange going on here.
"The word 'Blog' is fucking stupid. I don't agree. In fact, I wouldn't say "blog" is a word; it's a contraction. Weblog. Say it fast. Faster. Faster still. Try and turn it into a single syllable because you're lazy and don't want to expend effort in talking. Blog.
As for his problems with blogs versus chat: a blog has the advantage of being available for reading and commenting 24/7 which most blog authors are not. Because of the serial nature of a blog, a user can forumlate a thought or argument and state the entire thing without interruption. They can reach a large number of people at the same time, often not possible with other modes for the 24/7 reasons. It's not a replacement, nor is it superior to chat: it serves a different purpose.
Let me really attack the points I disagree with though. His acceptable uses of weblogs.
- Expert in a field: These sorts of blogs are very interesting. But: everyone knows something of interest, and if they are effective communicators, reading anyone's blog can be highly informative. Now, since most of us have some form of career, that makes some of us fairly qualified in something, hence, allowing most people to have some reason to post under that context.
- Celebrity Figure Information: Ummm... most of those people are fucktards; who gives a shit about them? Really, does knowing what some model had for breakfast to go with her soy-latte really matter two shits to me? Um no. I follow the blogs of people like Neil Gaiman and Bruce Sterling, becuase Gaiman posts about his work (expert in field) and Sterling has interesting things to say (opinion of worth).
- Opinion of Worth: This is the typical academic crap. Your opinion only matters of you can back it up with the opinion of someone more important than you, until you've completed metric buttloads of post-doc work. Face it, I'm at least as educated on politics as your average politician, in some cases more so (not to mention any Shrubberies). Now, in basic logic we cover the fact that someone's opnion matters not by who they are, but by how they formulate it. Ignoring an opnion because of it's source is a logical fallacy. In otherwords, this is elitist crap. I define an "opinion of worth" based on how well argued someone's stance is.
- Chronicle Model: This can make an interesting blog. And anyone is capable of doing it. No one's life is so dull that it can't be made interesting by creative telling. If your life is so boring that you can't chronicle its events, kill yourself now. Or, make your life more interesting by getting out and doing shit.
- The Author Model: Ummm... alot of people try at this. Some of the worst blogs on earth are by authors or aspiring authors. Technically, my blog follows that model, as I release short essays regularly.
You can't set up these appropriate uses of weblogs. Yes, some bloggers are really annoying. Some bloggers have this stupid cow-eyed shock when they meet someone who doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about. Some bloggers are an insular support group of loosers who circle jerk each other and lick the cum off the internet. Some are pure exhibishionists, etc. But, you can't set up these restrictions based on the criteria set forth here.
My criteria for a weblog author that shouldn't go and choke on thier PB&J sandwich:
- Thought: a blog should be the product of, and the creator of, thought.
- Interest: a good author can make anything interesting. It's the responsibility of a blogger to keep thier blog entertaining. If you don't have a way with words, bolster it with having a few, well thought out posts, every now and again.
- No support groups: there are bloggers that set up these little safe havens where everyone who agrees with them are welcome and anyone who disagrees is scorned. They should die.
Most weblog authors either think they have something important to say (self-centered and egotistical authors), or believe that they have an audience that cares what they think (delusional and irrational authors.) What can be plainly seen is that most weblog authors need something to push them back into the real world from the self-centered and delusional world they have created for themselves.
Okay, on this case he's right. Remember, your blog isn't really that important. You're not going to accomplish alot with it. But you might accomplish a little. And that's something. You aren't keeping your blog for an audience (even, if like me, you write for an audience), you're keeping the blog for yourself.
Now, deliriumcrow brings up a few other good points. Blogs also will have an interest for posterity (assuming there is an attempt at preservation of them, which would be a worthy cause). The lives of kings and presidents and celebrities are well documented, but the lives of the remaining 95% of the world would remain a mystery to future generations if not for things like blogs and personal diaries.