There’s praise a’plenty. And some canny marketing too, methinks. Oh, yes. But I’ll weigh in as well, since that’s what it’s all about, right? Here… We. Go!
How tedious is this, how perfunctory and lacking of any sense of the mad, wild spirit of creativity that is tearing through the souls of (fill in the names or pseudonyms of your favorite bloggers here)? Sorry, Meg, but this piece strikes me as soulless, by-the-numbers, and regrettably keen to dumb things down as much as possible, custom-designed for Big Media to understand and quote it. Calculated to be Just what the Market Wants. My ungracious guess is that it’s just what the publishing industry would like to read, before the Blogroots -related book comes out. Antithetical to the spirit of what so many of us, you included, I thought, were doing…
(And almost as uninspiring as the radio appearance recently of another blog luminary, which, I’ve got to say, was one of the things that resulted in my lament a while back about how deeply I’m being disappointed of late by some people in the blogosphere for whom I’ve developed a sort of lame-o superheroesque respect.)
Take a breath.
If you people, you A-listers, you pioneers (and I bow in respect to the Old Blog Guard, but some just don’t seem to get the New, in much the same way, ironically enough, that Old Media don’t seem to get La Kottke or whatever archetypical high-traffic blogger that they happen to pick out of their very small grab-bag when a url is necessary for street-cred in their latest in-depth analysis), if you can’t muster the juice to sing a soul-stirring song about this beautiful web of voices we’re collectively weaving, then I suggest you step the hell back, and point your fingers to those of us who can summon the muse and weave the hymns that will bind the New Tribes together.
[Edit : I’ve just suddenly become aware that this piece was written for a Techo Journal, and that my guns-blazing attack may be Quixotacular. Nonetheless, I’ll fight to the f–king death arguing that the defining aspects of my writing here (or Golby’s or AKMA’s or Shelley’s or Jonathon’s or Eeksy’s or that of multitudes of others) are not Time Stamps or Permalinks. Lead, damn it, or get out of the way.]

Metablogging, non compos mentis

Join the conversation! 15 Comments

  1. I think we need a better word. Two years ago, or even one, saying a site was a weblog was informative. Today it isn’t. And it just doesn’t make much sense to define a collection of writings by the tool used to publish them.

  2. About midway through that Megnut article, I started hearing the voice of every adult from the Peanuts television specials in my head. Wa wah wah wa wah wah wa.
    I wish people would stop trying to give shape to a method of publishing that should be 100% freeform. I think that in a year or so, the what is a weblog question will be moot as sites begin to (and many are starting to) move away from the classical daily entry that blog tools suggest and evolve into something even more personalized than they are now.
    I can’t read warblogs. They consist of a long running interblog conversation that I don’t ever want to be part of. Everytime I come across one and begin to read by accident, I want gnaw through my wrists and loose my soul from this life.

    my, but that was a boring piece. If a weblog is nothing but a ‘style’ (a way to format text, composed of a specific set of ingredients), then what’s all the excitement about? I agree with mattpfeff. What sense does it make to define a website by the tools used to publish it? Really, I mean, if a newspaper defined themselves by the printing equipment they use, we’d think it pretty weird, right? So why does everybody feel the need to define precisely what is and what isn’t a “blog”. And why do people get so upset when their blog doesn’t fit with other peoples’ definitions? I don’t really understand. (and no matter how much these so-called “blogging pioneers” try to downplay it, i sense quite a little resentment coming from them these days).

  4. I’m just writing this to let you know that I find the word “Quixotacular” to be the funniest thing I’ve heard all week.
    Kudos, Stavros.

  5. Agree. This was about the “safest” thing I’ve read in months.
    More Big Dog barking.

  6. I love your passion.

  7. Thanks, Ike. That’s a really kind thing to say.
    Gets me in trouble sometimes, though.

  8. Trouble is good, Stavros. Trouble is good. You need to stir up more trouble, your kind of trouble gets people thinking and feeling.
    Good on you.

  9. Where’s the Hot Needle Of Inquiry when we need it….For those of you following at home, megnut has responded to Jonathon’s response to my rant here. I don’t blame her, to be honest, but I wonder whether it was my slightly vitriolic tone, the clarity and reasonableness of Jonathon’s post, or the prospect of engaging in debate with a wonderchicken that put her off.
    If the latter, then that’d germane to our discussions of identity and pseudonymity, perhaps, which is interesting.

  10. Thanks to Iconomy (bad weblogger, bad!), the comments on this post have hopped over to the thread attached to this post.

  11. Well, yeah, of course, Stavros – how could we not agree with all of that? – and yet (given that I dropped a comment to the effect of ‘an excellent article, Meg’ in Blogroots) I feel the need to defend the article… it’s a good summary of the technical features of blogging (at this point in its evolution – not, of course, ye olde style hand-rolled permalinkless circa-99 blogs), which is entirely appropriate for a technical site like O’Reilly, and certainly gives us something easy to point to the next time someone asks us how blogs *work.* But the extra layer, the ‘why bother’ layer, the soul of blogging, is the stuff you elucidate. Although much of it applies to other genres of writing, too (but perhaps not as neatly wrapped up in one handy-dandy package).
    So, yeah, Meg’s article ain’t the whole story (you’d sure hope not, or her book will have a lotttt of padding), but it achieves its specific aims of briefly explaining technical aspects of blogging circa 2002 and some of their implications.

  12. You’re right, as far as that goes, Rory, and I’m writing a new post about it as we speak!

  13. Damn, I can’t believe you or anyone else is sitting here, shitting on Meg’s article.
    Put simply, it looks abundantly clear that Meg didn’t write the article for anyone here that has read it. She wrote it for the great unwashed masses that go out there and write one terrible copycat article after another. I thought it was absolutely superb at explaining some of the basics to a general audience, and trying to cut through the “it’s a cultural revolution, man!” bullshit. I still get 2-3 emails a week from reporters asking me what a weblog is, and now I can point them to this article.
    If you didn’t like the article fine. But was it inaccurate? If so, tell me (or better yet, Meg) what was wrong with it. I see an article that covers the basics in a way that has never been done before, something that tries to cut to the core of what very loosely glues us together.
    And I’m not saying this because I’m her friend or had any hand in the article, it came as a complete surpise and I thought regardless of who wrote it, that it was fab.
    My ungracious guess is that it’s just what the publishing industry would like to read, before the Blogroots -related book comes out.
    Your guess is far off. To put it bluntly (and yes I’ll say this online as long as no one brings it up to the attention of our publishers), our publisher of the book is fairly clueless on how to do business online, how to design and edit a book, and how to sell a book. They’re a huge company that can’t organize themselves lunch, much less coordinate people to write any rah-rah pieces that could help them.
    And almost as uninspiring as the radio appearance recently of another blog luminary
    If this quote is about my radio appearance on WNYC, I agree wholeheartedly, and as a result, I’m never doing live radio ever again.
    If you people, you A-listers, you pioneers, if you can’t muster the juice to sing a soul-stirring song about this beautiful web of voices we’re collectively weaving, then I suggest you step the hell back, and point your fingers to those of us who can summon the muse and weave the hymns that will bind the New Tribes together.
    If this is an example of the top quality writing that gets to the heart of the summoned muse that binds the tapestry of hymnning new Tribes that is supposed to be so much better than the A-List claptrap you detest, I doubt you’ll find any converts.
    If you want to tell the blogging story, go ahead and tell it. Add an essay section of your site and write missive after missive that gets to the heart of what is great about what weblogging is and what it offers to people that do it. No one is ever going to hire you to write anything until they’ve seen your work.
    If you want to change the world (in this case, get better blogging stories out there), stop talking about and start changing it.

  14. in other words, stop blogging about it and write some articles in the traditional media.

  15. Well, that’s it, isn’t it? Changing the world, in this context, is talking about it. So I can’t really stop talking and change the world….
    I understand Matt was annoyed when he commented here, and was calmer I think when he responded to my longer post a day or so later about the article. I’ll just mention (and send email too) that the radio appearance of which I spoke was an amalgam of several different ones, one of which was, yeah, him.
    But as I said in the realtime Metatalk thread when he was on the air, it’s not what he said on-air that’s important, it’s what he’s done, and that’s Metafilter, which to me is the single most important site on the net in recent times.
    When Matt says put up or shut up, he does have the cred to do so.

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