Monday, July 22, 2002

Sasha Throws Herself Into Weblogging/Guardian Debate

No sooner do you leave your broadband connection, and be in some mobile-phone blackspot dial-up hell, than debate rages. Rages, I tell ya.

So there's a Guardian Weblog competition. I think I vaguely knew about that before I left. Then there's debate and consternation among bloggers.

Yesterday, Neil McIntosh attempts to answer some of these points on OnlineBlog.

Here's my twopennorth.

I'm sure that the Guardian does not have particularly malicious intentions, but at the same time, although they "get" blog, they don't get it entirely. So it's only blogger that gets mentioned, rather than Moveable Type or Greymatter, or - Godforbid, Livejournal - any other software. Blah blah blah.. it's all been said, really. Interesting aside: as I was writing that, a little thought came into my head: if I want to enter, can I still say the Guardian is imperfect? Does that hamper my candidacy? See, it's happening already. Except that I don't care, I'm still writing.

I dont think weblogging should be competitive...except that it already is. There's already an understanding both globally and in the UK about who the Big Bloggers are. And that's not physically big. And Tom already won the bloggies thingy - it's effectively a competition. Blogdex is useful for knowing the six degrees who-links-to-whom stuff, but is essentially competitive... who has the most links. So i think many of last week's arguments are spurious.

There's this obvious fact; I don't think you can blog in isolation. For me, anyhow, blogging is just as much about linking to people who showed me things, as getting linked by people who like what I say. Not in a whos-got-the-most way, just in a community-of-like-minded people. And - like pretty much everyone, whether they admit it or not - I like the fact that people read me. D said I should make a chart of my site-stats and label it "self esteem". I don't think it's that bad, but if I'm honest, I like the fact that people read me, I love the fact that they come back, and I still get terribly excited when people comment. Especially when I don't know them.

In the end, I'll make my decision based on what suits me. That's why I started blogging - no editors, no control, just me - and that's why I carry on. So my motivation for starting a weblog was writing. Oh, and having somewhere to dump all the links I like. And somewhere to empty my head. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about anything else. Of course I care; I'm not taking 96-sheet posters in the underground advertising my wares to other Jubilee line travellers, but if I can find an easy no-hassle way of other people reading me, then why not?

Of course, I'll have to tidy up first. Fix my archives. Improve my buttons. Put my recipes up (recipes? I hear you enquire.) Clean up some of the columns. But, hey, it's like moving house...

So, I don't know, but I don't really care. I don't really get why some people have gotten so het up about it. Any allegedly countercultural activity eventually comes full circle and the early adopters say "it's not how it used to be." Maybe it's not, but I still like it.

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