May 02, 2003

Ordinary Blogs

I learned this morning that, which I introduced yesterday, has shifted its focus here in it's infancy toward discussion of the top 50 items on blogdex, popdex and daypop. Sigh. That sort of shifts focus away from vegetables and bugs and clouds and such that you might expect to find here on Fragments and leaves me once more out of the loop. But I did find in those 'popularity' indexes a link to a survey of bloggers about their blogging habits, and posed a question (scroll down to 5/02 on meta.popdex) asking about places that discuss reasons why bloggers blog (seems there are not permalinks yet). I especially appreciated one commenter's remarks to my post....

At the end of the day, I think the contribution blogging will make to knowledge isn’t by stream lining journalism or moving the editorial function of the news to the masses, but simply keeping a written record of millions of people’s ordinary lives – which aren’t always very important or enlightening, but are a kind of knowledge nonetheless, and one that think will end up being very useful to broadening human understanding in the end.

And it’s also just cool. It makes me immensely happy, for example, to know that I can now go and visit a cloudy little shack on the hills of Appalachia and hear about the invading Wild Leeks and the paper wasps. This news is more interesting than anything about the iPod.

I wonder if there would be a way to make a lo-fi-pop-dex – say, the bottom fifty links being blogged everyday. It would be like adjusting the frequency on an old ham radio. Of course, I’m also not interested in the iPod, so my judgment here is probably suspect.

I do feel quite under the radar, unheard above the buzz of the techno-politicopundits of the blogging world. It helps to know that some... including you several stalwart regulars ... come around Fragments from time to time to learn about an ordinary life in an extraordinary world. I'd have a hard time keeping the faith without you.

Posted by fred1st at May 2, 2003 05:30 PM | TrackBack

ordinary? no. different than mine? yes. Mebbe personal blogs are like looking through a microscope in a way...even the most pedestrian of events is interesting when observed from a different reality.

Or mebbe I am just full of it today. :::grin:::

Posted by: feste at May 2, 2003 06:23 PM

It's like grade school. You can hang around with the popular kids, either hoping to be one of them, or get them to notice you and include you once in a while, or you can be king of your own part of the playground and spend your energy on what you really want to do.

I blog because I have a good time doing it. However, I tend to read blogs that are written by those with much more talent than I will ever possess, and/or who invite me into a world that has nothing to do with the politics and social issues and stupid bad humour with which I entertain myself on my blog.

And occasionally I have an unexpected experience. Today, I went to World Wide Rant for my daily visit...Andy and his wife are birthing today, so it's a joyous occasion. Andy had a post about someone else whom I have seen once or twice who is not in my blog world, and recommended visiting his site to read about his first born. I clicked on the link, and sat in my office and cried as I read about the son that was born severely mentally and physically handicapped, grew up in spite of all the predictions, and was buried yesterday.

I dont' know this man, know he's from Texas and he's right wing (ergo RightWingTexan as the name of his blog!)....but his story touched me, and in turn I left a comment that I hope touches him.

So where am I going with this answer? I have no idea...I just know that blogging gives rise to all manner of expression and leaves a social record that I hope and pray can be read by whatever the electronics of the future are.

Posted by: Jane at May 2, 2003 07:10 PM

Don't give up on yet - they are still trying to strike a balance between the popularity function of the site and the collaborative nature of the blog - it might take a little while but I suspect in the end that it will be a good spot to get both the news that everyone is blogging and also the less well known areas of the net.

And forget the a-list bloggers. They are boring. I know which site I'd consider meaningful if I were if I were alive 100 years from now comparing your post Fragments from the 28th of April to instapundit's corresponding post that day on Minnesotas gun laws. In fact, I think your post describes exactly why ordinary blogs will, in the end, be more interesting to the ecology of the net then all the pundits out there.


Posted by: alex at May 2, 2003 07:53 PM

As one of the founders, I really do need to get over there and make sure Metapop isn't becoming yet another repitition of the same things thrown up everywhere else. That's not what it's supposed to be. The idea is to give everyone an opportunity to share their discoveries on the web to create a blog that extends beyond one little sector of the blogosphere.

As for me, I LIKE your blog. You've been on my "Daily Bites" since day one, and I don't see that changing. I like variety, I like diversity, and I like experiencing the quiet beauty of life that your blog reminds me to savor.

Like Jane, I blog because I enjoy it. I assume that's why you do, too. So who cares if we're flying below the "big guys" radar? Maybe that's what gives us the chance to keep doing it for the enjoyment of it, rather than doing it to pander to the expectations of a large and vocal readership.

Blog onward, Fred. Ever onward.

Posted by: Venomous Kate at May 2, 2003 09:32 PM

Just when I think the entire world is as insane as San Francisco, this site (and a couple of others) reminds me that no, there are places yet where things grow. Dogs, Bugs, Sheep, Trees, Brooks...

This isn't ordinary at all. I just wish it was.

Posted by: Huw Raphael at May 2, 2003 09:45 PM

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