Friday, April 03, 2009

blog philosophy

i have been thinking about this post for a few days. this is post number 400. i have been posting on this blog since may 2006. i had been meaning to post something about the trip to london, but i have been having some 'feelings' about that, and then when i noticed it would be post 400 i thought it might be a good chance to stop and take stock instead.

i think i am experiencing a bit of e-world over-exposure. a few months ago i started facebooking, and more recently got on the twitter band wagon. i very quickly set my facebook settings so that no one can search for me (in other words, i can only add people i WANT to see me) and i am ok with how thats working, but the last few days i have been twitter spammed. i started following the prime minister kevin07, and within about 10 minutes i had all these people start following me, including the liberal party. what the?! i blocked them all, including the one that was just a link to an online casino site. ok i can block them, but the fact that people can set up their twitter to automatically follow someone who starts following someone else is just stupid. and eerie. what sort of world is it that you want to read updates about people you dont even know? what sort of person is it that needs to accumulate followers like the toys out of a happy meal, plastic and meaningless? that is NOT social networking, or whatever you want to call it.

but i dont see the blog thing as social networking, for me. i started this blog when i moved to canberra from wollongong and knew no one. all my friends were still in wollongong and sydney and i was lonely and at home working on a phd. when i started going to canberra SnBs i heard that some people had these knit blog things, and i thought that would be a good way for me to tell the people i had left behind what was going on with me. so i blogged my knitting but i blogged my life as well.

this tendency has come back to bite a couple of times. once i blogged something about a dog competition and got a nasty comment from a fellow-competitor. i changed my comment settings. recently, i blogged about another dog competition and had part of my text taken out of context (no permission no credit) and used to start a debate on RiotACT where i was villified by people i didnt know for comments i had made in the context of a blog NOT in the context of starting a debate on RiotACT. that whole episode was very distressing, not so much because of what was done but because of the rationale that was used that it was ok. that is, my blog was public and therefore 'fair game'. technically speaking correct. ethically speaking, low. lazy journalism at best.

i have however, always been aware of the paradox of public diary keeping. because this blog really has become a kind of diary. now i have moved away from canberra as well and left behind all my friends there, i feel the need to stay connected more than ever. time poor and chained to a desk, blogs, facebook and twitter are all good ways to stay in touch with the people i care about. so for me they are friendship tools.

but they are not this for everyone. for some they seem to often be a means of taking pot shots at others and hiding behind so-called 'anonymity' when we all know what they really mean. they can be tools of one-up-manship and name dropping and creation of false personas with hidden agendas. this is me being 'half-glass-empty' and focusing only on the negative, when there are real and genuine positives, i know that.

still, they give me pause for thought. i am not sure anymore how much to share. if i were to focus only on knitting, then posts would be few and far between because i am so bloody slow. and i like other peoples blogs that dont just talk about knitting. so i tell more than that, and sometimes more than i should, because thats who i am.

but a blog is not who we are really are. to judge people from what they put into 30kb posts is to make a serious error of judgement. im sure we're all guilty of it, im sure i have been. but i dont really want to stop blogging. i get so much out of it, from doing it, and from other people doing it, that i can put up with the other stuff. its just tiresome, that wherever there is human nature, there is 'other stuff'.

i dont know, maybe i need to quit the facebook and twitter instead. maybe i just need a new template.

or maybe we just all need to go back to letter writing and phone calls.

anyway, thanks for reading!

k xx


m1k1 said...

It's a pleasure as always to read what you are thinking.

Bells said...

Kylie, I love you and your blog to bits and I love that you never feel very far away. So I'm glad to get to the end of this post and find that no, you're not giving it up!

I have misgivings about all this stuff all the time, esp about facebook lately. Twitter feels a bit less personal and so I feel more free to play around a bit there, but FB is damaging sometimes, I agree.

And I would happily get a real letter or phone call from you any time!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 400 up.

I hear you, and I completely understand. The settings on my FB are as close to alcatraz, and I think only 15 people can actually see my full account. I'd leave, but being so isolated from everybody back home, its a way to keep in touch. Twitter... well, I'm in two minds about it. I don't take it seriously, so that's fun - like one glorified IM machine that everybody can read.

But blogging. I love your blog. You have such a wonderful turn of phrase and I look forward to what you have to say. Yes, there are some real bastards out there who are too cowardly to say things to your face and hide behind the "anonymity" of a digital screen - because there's nothing personal there, you're just writing words on a computer screen and sending them, nothing more. But there are also your friends and colleagues that read what you say religiously and give a damn, and sometimes that's the reward, you've made a connection with people. /end{soapbox}

I'm glad you're not giving up. Maybe a new template is in order - maybe a complete change (Wordpress is good, and you can port everything across). Maybe you're just going to change your point of view and make this knitting blog someting else - an opinion blog with some knitting, a lit blog with some cooking - who knows - at 400 posts you are more than allowed to tweak things a bit. And congrats again - I look forward to see how the next 400 go.

PS: all that aside, nothing beats a letter or parcel in the post, a phone call for a chat, or a cup of coffee for a catch up. That's really what connecting and communication is all about. >.< Oh, and you rock, thanks for an awesome post.
*hugs again*

2paw said...

I'm glad you are still blogging, I look forward to reading about everything, knitting, dogs, work, leisure etc!!
I am glad I have missed the Facebook bus, so to speak, I'm pretty happy with a blog and some Ravelrying.
happy 400th!!!