Man Without Qualities

Saturday, June 08, 2002

This Here Blogosphere

I agree with the Sarge that the process of creating "criteria for what a blog should be doing" is underway and that it is not a good thing.

But I think the process is more general than that. The process of creating criteria for what the blogosphere is and is doing, and what it should be and should be doing, is also underway - and that it is an even worse thing. There are many signs. Some are silly and fun, but at least half in earnest: time spent on describing the blogosphere "food chain," creating and posting various blogoshere "hierarchies." Some are more pernicious.

But most of the signs seem to have the underlying purpose of pegging blogs and bloggers within some constricting framework. To what good purpose? Of course, people are entitled to write whatever they want.

I'm not referring to general, philosophical meditations that consider questions like: "What does the blogosphere do compared to what mainstream meadi does?" or "does the blogoshere affect the world?" And I'm not referring to bloggers noting or commenting on what other bloggers are doing. I'm refering to the increasingly common practice of some bloggers attempting to impose normative and positve structures on the blogosphere itself.

The Sarge points out that "It's not long until you get from 'this is what a blog is' to 'this is what a blog ought to be.'" And he's right.

It's also true that it's not long until you get from "this is what the blogosphere is" to "this is what the blogoshere ought to be." That is, internal politics of the blogoshere. That's likely going to get really boring and nasty, really fast.

By the way: Just how does the Sarge manage to sound so military while maintaining a tone of underlying thoughtfulness, sweetness and vulnerability? Maybe he's just a thoughtful, sweet, vulnerabile guy? Can't say. Don't know him, myself.

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