Kimberly De Vries on Sat, 11 Aug 2007 00:56:55 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The banality of blogging

On 8/10/07, Benjamin Geer <> wrote:
> 2007/8/10, pavlos hatzopoulos <>:
> > We are also happy for the discovery. Blogs are tools, and so are pens,
> but
> > you *cannot* write anything you want with them. Tools determine the
> limits
> > of what you *can *write.
> How does a blog limit you any differently from a pen?

I don't think it does, but some writers may perceive it as having a
different set set of constraints because a pen is so familiar that
most people know exactly what the limits are, and so take them for
granted as natural, rather than arbitrary or artificial.

> Blogging invites and celebrates banality
> On what evidence do you base that conclusion?  People are using blogs
> to publish all the sorts of things that they previously used pens for:
> scientific research, fiction, journalism, political manifestos,
> everything.
> > when bloggers attempt to give a different
> > picture of the 'personal', which is immanently political, which is
> > inherently transgressive they are brushed aside.
> And you think that phenomenon is unique to blogs?  I'd say it's just
> as strongly associated with pens.

After teaching writing to first-year college students for about 15
years now, I can tell you that most blogging closely resembles the
work of inexperienced writers. Further, I have seen in blogs that last
more than a few months the same improvement I see in students who
really work at writing--meaning they just keep doing it every day, and
they learn something about writing for an audience.

Blogging is not unusually banal at all, it just makes visible to
everyone the banality that inexperienced writers universally produce.
Welcome to first year writing! :-)


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