Who reads comments on Samizdata postings long gone? The writer of the original posting does because Perry sends them to us, so I read this one, from Chloe (of this blog), yesterday, about a posting whose only previous comment had been five days earlier. I had said that blogging is nicer, by its nature, than email chat-rooms. But Chloe said:
I see a difference between chat rooms, e-mail discussion lists, message boards, and blogs. I think it has to do with how easy it is to use the thing, and that reflects the mentality.
However, I believe if you haven’t read a blog you hate, you haven’t read many blogs.
Certainly there are rat-blogs out there. PLENTY of them. So many I hear of a new one every week.
But I guess it just depends on if you agree with it, or disagree with it. Maybe the hateful rat-blog I can’t stand would be the comraderie-laden paradise you love.
It’s all about perspective.
I sit corrected. However, here is further proof of just how subtly nice bloggers can be, when they’re trying to be. The other day, my recently acquired friend Alice Bachini was having, if you’ll pardon the expression, a blue period:
I don’t get lots of readers
Is this bad? If not, why not? Any thoughts? Maybe I should take the site meter off though in case new readers look at it and find out how relatively alone they are and get empty-restaurant syndrome (ie wander off for someone more popular and therefore probably/”probably” better).
Don’t suppose I’ll get lots of comments on that either, it is rather dull as subjects go. But I can do duller.
Mutual friend and Samizdatan David Carr tried to cheer her up with some comments, but Alice wasn’t having it.
But then, and I’m sure not at all coincidentally, we read on 2Blowhards, the following:
Something I’ve come to appreciate over the past few months is blogging as an improvisatory performance art. What generally seems to create the most buzz in the blogozone is political ideas. Steven den Beste and Glenn Reynolds, for instance: brainy guys doing impressively heavyweight things — and I hardly ever look at them. No music or poetry (or something like that). Culturebug that I am, I’m drawn instead to style and personality, and gravitate to the likes of (among others) Colby Cosh, here, who has a heavy-metal guitar-solo way with a posting, and Kelly Jane Torrance, here, a model of class, grace and generosity.
I’m happy to report some tiptop recent blog discoveries, both of which project a ton of likable personality, and both of which have style to kill. They’re distinctive without trying too hard; they just seem to “have it.” (Of course, that “it” may take a lot of effort to achieve.)
Alice Bachini, whose blog, A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside, is readable here, is a Brit with an eccentrically winning manner — lots of playful irony and mock-naivete, delivered with a verbal gift that’s enough to make an American feel cloddish and want to give up. This is blogging as charming chatter — until you realize how much substance, daring, and fresh thinking is also whirling by.
Exactly so: “mock-naivete” and substance – couldn’t have put it better myself. (But as for that “enough to make an American feel cloddish” stuff, Michael, you ain’t foolin’ no-one.)
An Alice quote follows, in 2 Blowhards Bold, followed by an equally canny and kind push for this guy.
My point is, there is more than just “communication” going on here. Real friendships are being forged, between people who have never yet met each other in meatspace, and quite conceivably never will.
Small dramas like this are being played out every minute all over the Internet, and they were being done with nice e-mails long before nice blogging came along, as Chloe might also have said. More and more, we are living in a world where “perspective” (as Chloe did say) is the place we get our friends from, rather than just place itself.