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CAOS Weekly Philosophy : Just Blog it!!!

Started by Brad Nunnally, 2005-04-19T17:50:05-05:00 (Tuesday)

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Brad Nunnally

Blogging has seemed to sneak its way into the mainstream over night. It got huge t.v. spots during the 04 elections as people either cheered blogger on or damn them to the seventh pit of hell. Since then blog, blogging, blogger are all terms that are used everyday.

I personally do not have a blog. I have thought about getting one but just haven't had the right motivation for it yet. So I have a question to those that do. Is blogging all that cracked up to be? In some ways, can't it be seen as an evasion of privacy? When people ask me what is a blog, the only way I can describe it to them in layman terms is an online diary. Does it ever worry you about who might be reading your blog? Should there be some unofficial "rules" to blogging?

I can understand needing a place to write down you thoughts and stuff, but why a blog? What makes blogging so "fun"? As I have meet many people who don't even know what blogging means, these are some of the other questions that I have heard. Also, for my own personal sake I would like to know what makes blogging so special. How far will blogging go? Will it be the next big news source as some of the media are predicting?

Brad Ty Nunnally
CAOS Vice-Pres.

Brad Ty Nunnally
Business & Usabilty Consultant at Perficent
Former CAOS Hooligan

William Grim

In most cases, I consider blogging retarded.  I don't care about one person's personal life, much like I don't think many people care about my own personal life.  I'd rather tell people about my personal life face-to-face and vice-versa than post it for anonymous people to see.  Not that anonymous people knowing about my life bothers me... I just don't see any point to it at all.  I mean, I read a few blogs to see if it was really as interesting as people say, and I was like, "Wow, maybe if you like daytime soap operas."  I could care less for drama.  I avoid drama in life; why not on the Internet too?
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley


"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...


I've seen slashdot classified as a blog.  The term is rather loosely defined so I won't deal with that.  The people who post random comments on current events are just that; people who post comments on current events.  It's the op-ed page of your local paper, if you agree with it it's dead on, if not you pass it off as trash.  Blogs cannot replace news media but will be flocked to by the believers; they are the fox news of the Internet.


So whose blog would you read if everyone had a blog?

I think I would read the President's Blog

Maybe Chris Rock's or Lewis Black's Blog

"Make a Little Bird House in Your Soul" - TMBG...


I personally have a "blog"  I consider it nothing more than a way to look back at my life during this time and see what was going on.  A journal or diary if you will.  Weather or not people want to read it, well that's their business.
Bryan Grubaugh
Quickly aging alumni with too much time on his hands
Business Systems Analyst, Scripps Networks.


I think part of the fascination with blogs is not that it is drama, it's that it's voyeuristic.  People like to pry into someone else's life.  Take the movie The Truman Show.  People liked to watch because they are peering in on his life.  The same desires apply to blogs.  You get to see what's going on in another "fairly normal" person's life.  It's enlightening and entertaining.  I myself have a blog (the address of which will remain hidden from all the CAOS prying eyes).  I keep it not so much for other people to read, but more as a journal for me to look back on someday.  I've never been much for writing, but I can type with the best of them.

Another aspect that has come out lately with blogs is the ability of them to report uncensored news.  The blog operator can put up whatever he/she wants and not have to worry about corporate/political pressures or consequences (for the most part).

Do I think blogs will last?  For the hardcore--yes, but the fad will pass.  I had a blog before I even knew to call it that.  Now everyone and his gerbil has a livejournal, and people will say "You copied that idea from me!".  Blogs have been around since before livejournal.  They just jumped on the bandwagon at the right time.

Personally I would like to read Bill Gates's blog.  I've always wondered what someone with $40bil does on the average day.
Retired CAOS Officer/Overachiever
SIUE Alumni Class of 2005

Elizabeth Weber

I don't personally have a blog, though I'm not philosophically opposed.  I used to update my y! profile everyday, if not more often.  For the one or two people I knew who checked it, it was a way to share some stupid thing I read/saw/did they may not have warranted sending an email or making a phone call but I felt like sharing, or letting them know I was having a bad day so they could comfort me or stay away at their discretion.  I could see blogs being a great way to peak into the life of someone you were considering dating, get to know them better, screen the crazies.

I wouldn't read the blog of anyone I didn't know, but I do check the blogs of several friends daily, so I can comment on how they use them.

Some of them use it to keep family and friends updated on what's going on with life since they no longer live nearby and don't take the time to call/email them all individually.  With a blog, they can tell the story once and all those who care to  know what's going on, will.

Others use it as a means to get thoughts out of their own heads.  Putting it on "paper" helps to get it out and keep it from rattling around, causing distraction/distress.  I do the exact same thing, but I don't really understand why it has to be public.  It's definitely a cry for attention, and in my experience, usually of someone specific.  It's not enough just to be noticed/understood/appreciated.  They usually have a specific someone in mind, but someone that they find unapproachable for some reason or another.

The third kind usually do a combination of the two, mundane daily updates mixed with purely mental ramblings.  They often review music, books, movies and deign to be authors/editors of some sort.  For them, blogs are practice, and while they usually think their oppinions are better/more correct than most, they aren't so naive as to think that anyone truly important is reading their blog (though they probably hope they will).  I have a friend in this category who had her blog quoted in a St. Louis Post article, and she was disappointed that the entry they chose wasn't one of her pointed commentaries or prized poetic abstracts, but a brief complaint on the coming of winter and the hibernation of her sandals entitled "let my piggies go".

I imagine there are people out there who run around reading random blogs because they're bored and pass along the interesting finds as they would a particularly amusing forward, an absurd item on eBay, or any one of the out-there web pages all designed purely to throw a *new* brand of crazy on the 'net and be an individual just like everyone else.
~Elizabeth Weber

Jonathan Birch

That seems like an insightful analysis. It's enough to make me reexamine my own motives (I recently started keeping a blog).

I agree with the reasons you've laid out. I've seen a few of type #1, and a number of type #2. I'll accept type #3 on faith, as I've seen non-blog sites that cater to people like that.

Still, I think you've missed an important aspect of the phenomenon. Within a social network blogs can act as a means for creating a "group mind" of sorts. It's similar to a forum like this, but each person has their own view of it, defined by whose blogs they read most frequently.

This is observable in the direct interaction between some people's web logs. Sometimes this is trivial, as in the repetition of surveys. Other times it becomes more meaningful when people reflect on events and ideas from different perspectives. There's quite a bit of implied reference also. Eventually, many of the things written in these sorts of blogs become topics for conversation in the big R.

It's all a continuum though. I would say that most people's blogs are a combination of all of these: public announcement of events in one's personal life, cries for attention, and attempts to play a part in the creation of zeitgeist.


I do not believe that people want someone unapproachable to read their blogs.  I'm not how someone unapproachable would be attracted to read someone's blog that they don't even talk to in an world of endless blog choices.
Retired CAOS Officer/Overachiever
SIUE Alumni Class of 2005

Elizabeth Weber

QuoteI do not believe that people want someone unapproachable to read their blogs.

"Unapproachable" like, exboy|girlfriend or wannabe boy|girlfriend, or just someone that they are currently friends with but would like to be deeper friends but either don't feel comfortable talking about some things or want to "test the water" and gauge reactions.  It would be someone currently, previously, or peripherally in the person's life that may know the blog exists or maybe they just hope against hope that they'd find it.  Of course it's not rational; it's much more of a day-dreamy message-in-the-bottle type mentality and it probably stays firmly rooted in disbelief.

Like I said, I've only read the blogs of the 3-4 I know who have them, so I can only really accurately comment on how I've seen those people use them which thereby forms my concept of blogdom.
~Elizabeth Weber