August 06, 2003

Weblog as Place

Is your weblog a place in itself? How do you locate it in the scheme of things? What kind of map is it on? What's your relationship with your weblog? And with those who visit it?

This is the biweekly topic at the Ecotone coming up for August 15. Every blogger could write to this topic, even if not typically a 'place-oriented' writer, so I hope you'll put this on your calendar. Last biweekly posting on "Trees and Place" was interesting, with (at this moment) eighteen submissions. But back to the subject at hand.

This topic is timely. I find myself once more wondering about the "scheme of things" that is encompassed by the domain dysphonically called blogging... a silly-sounding word that may be more, or less, than its odd name would tell those outside the genre.

While there are people behind every weblog, not all weblogs are personal. Some are staffed more by opinion and persona than the authentic person behind the keyboard; reading this kind of weblog over the course of months tells no more about the blogger than his pseudonym and his politics. Others pour themselves into their pages, often more than readers care to know, and see the weblog as a very real form of sharing and community and self-expression. Where do you fit along this continuum?

As I consider the Ecotone topic coming up, I wonder if my place in the blogging world has changed awfully much from last summer when, early in the life of Fragments, I was pouring myself into my writing to find my bearings, to discover my purpose in a world newly unsettled by the loss of my job and profound disappointment with my profession. As I read back over the Strange Farmer of Erehwon written in July 2002, I still can see Fragments through the farmer's eyes. Some things are different, and I hope to write about those in the Ecotone piece. But much is comfortably the same, and for this, I am grateful.

Posted by fred1st at August 6, 2003 06:18 AM | TrackBack

Fred--thanks for the reminder that this is coming up. We spent some time discussing this last night -- Jonathan Rowe, the very thoughtful interviewer on America Offline, the radio show four of us appeared on about place blogs--seemed very interested in this aspect. It was a good preparation for August 15.

Posted by: Pica at August 6, 2003 09:50 AM

I've been thinking about this topic. You say that all blogs are not personal, but they are. We bring the sum total of our human experiences to the blog page. Politics is local...a person's politics is a reflection of his ethicscornerstones upon which he builds "place". Your position on issues is as revealing as a photo of your home or a poem.

A slice-of-life blog really doesn't tell you any more than the author wishes to reveal. Your view of place is not the same as your neighbor...yet you're in the same "place"...but you're not really, are you? Place is not authentic, lives are.

We all have different tastes. Sometimes I listen to jazz, or opera... today its Russian techno rock. You see that's what I like about this place called the Blogosphere. I can drop into Fragments and sample your gentle day when mine's not. Or hop over to Frank J's for a lick of jolting satire when I need a laugh. Challenge and argue politics when Im frustrated with the system. Chose your flavor, authentic or faux ...that's the beauty part.

The Blogosphere is erratic yet ordered, extraverted and introspective, thought provoking and silly, informative and misleading. Best of all, it's a collaboration that reflects a million different places...each to be taken on it's merit.

However, I could be wrong.

Posted by: feste at August 14, 2003 07:06 PM

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