I got my comp copy of ‘We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture’ in the mail today, and have had a quick look through it. It’s the first actual book I’ve ever held in my hands that talks about web sh-t, other than HTML textbooks and such.
It terrifies me, the physical presence of the damn thing. And seeing my comments at Metafilter in a serif font, in black on a white background? Disorienting to say the least.
The last thing in the book is a reprint of this conversation, initiated by dogmatic (who memorably described the thread as a ‘stumbling, chortling abortion of a discussion’), in which I played a fairly pivotal part, in tried-and-true wonderchicken style : seriously addressing the question posed, while simultaneously setting up a straight man to aid the inevitable descent into silliness and self-referential tomfoolery.
My take on the conversation is a little more philosophical, perhaps. As I mentioned in dogmatic’s comments : ‘it really did encapsulate in a single thread so many things that MeFi is, or was at that point : self-absorbed MetaTalking, self-referentiality, high-seriousness, utter silliness, a sense of community, an appearance from the admin (Matt), some cross-cultural banter courtesy of Miguel… and more. Taken as an artifact of sorts, removed from its context, I think it’s a fascinating little document.’
rodii, who has since departed from the MetaPlayground, perhaps forever, ably played my straight man. He was also one of the people who did not give permission for their comments in that thread to be used in the book. These people have now annoyed the piss out of me (well, a little), as the publishers decided to include the thread anyway, with the parts of the conversation contributed by those who opted not to play along simply excised.
The result of this is that I come off looking a bit goofy, I think, and even though that’s nothing new, I prefer when I look dumb to do it deliberately. But I’m enough of an attention-whore (and that’s in large part what this blogging thing often is, if we are to be honest — attention-whoring) not to care too much, pleased as I am to see my Meta-Antics captured in print.
The tenor and taste of the words change so completely, for me at least, when they are between hard covers, though.
I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of the book so far – I plan to dip into it in small measures. It is, however, spurring some thoughts of rebuilding and refocussing this wee site here into something different. What, I’m not quite sure. Certainly another monument to my towering ego (or salve for my deep feelings of inadequacy – Fork! Spoon!), of course (see also : whoring, attention-). That goes without saying.
It strikes me as amusing (and predictable, if you know me at all) that the first book I’ve read praising and proselytizing the weblog has led almost immediately to thoughts of getting the hell out of weblogging.

People Say Stuff Sometimes

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. So, let’s invent something new. Not metafilter. Not weblogging. Something new. I got the hell out of weblogging. So, what’s next?
    What’s the next evolutionary step after weblogging?

  2. BTW, congrats on being in the book. And you can be in one of my books any ole time you want.

  3. That’s a hell of a good question, Bb, and one that I’ve been thinking about today.
    Just off the top of my head, I think we might be in for small, incremental steps, until computers are several orders of magnitude more powerful than they are now, and monster bandwidth is cheaper than water.
    But what might those incremental steps be? Lemme make a pot of coffee and think about it some more.
    Anyone have any ideas? With blogbooks and Old Media attention paid to weblogging and all of that, is it time for us who prefer to explore new territories rather than build settlements to start pushing the envelope and dreaming up something new?

  4. And you can be in one of my books any ole time you want.
    Heh. Thanks, Bb. I’ll start getting my 8×10 glossies ready!
    In all seriousness, I wonder if the next step for me, at least, is to actually try to write. You know, books and shit. Something I’ve been trying to avoid attempting seriously for most of my life (see also: inadequacy, feelings of- ).

  5. Well, you’ll make little money, and you’ll have to deal with editors, and you get to have the joy of watching your carefully worded prose hacked to bits — except for the part that everyone, just everyone knows they could do better … but yeah, welcome to the world of writing professionally.
    First of all, cut the inadequate feelings shit or I’ll hit you upside the head (Now where have I heard that before?) What genre are you interested in?

  6. I was thinking porn movie scripts to start…
    bwow chicka chicka bwow

    †obligatory porno soundtrack emulation
    I don’t really know, Shell. But one of the reasons I started blogging at all was to start writing again on a daily basis, which I enjoy, mostly, after years of not bothering. But I haven’t even been doing that – a link and a quote just doesn’t count!
    I don’t usually tend to think these things through very well. 🙂

  7. Have you seen Brainslug? You might try something like that. It’s basically just short little vignettes of (I’m assuming) fiction. Pretty entertaining, certainly Writing, and I imagine more instantly gratifying than a book.
    aside: i want props for spelling vignette properly since it took me like 10 minutes to figure it out – stoopid g’s.

  8. {Stavritos}! I’m sorry I spoiled your play. I got an email from the publishers long, long ago about this, looked up the thread in question, thought “they can’t be serious,” and just forgot about the while thing. I can’t imagine how that thread must read now, but I would have been pretty embarrassed to have it, intact, be my claim to fame in the blog world. Of all the gin joints threads in all the world, why did she pick that one?

  9. rodii!
    Thanks for stopping by, amigo. I’m not really pissed off at you….

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