Blogosphere says huh?*

May 31, 2007 § 7 Comments

Yes, it’s the talk of the Atlanta blogging community. Andisheh Nouraee’s cover story for this week’s Creative Loafing featured five local bloggers who stand out from the crowd. And I applaud that, I really do, but I guess I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around his disdain for personal blogs. It’s such a huge part of the blogosphere to discount. I remember the first time I read a personal blog. I found it so comforting to read about someone who had similar life experiences as me, who found the same things funny as I did, who had the balls to write exactly what he or she felt and not give a damn. Of course there are the the petty blog fights or gossip-rag blogs that don’t exactly achieve this, but I guess I kept thinking about it and finally responded today:

Andy, I think most of your “disappointment” (as profound as you profess it to be) with personal blogs is that they are just that – personal. The different genres of blogging are not all strictly intended to be an alternative to the “traditional news-media platform.” Blogging gained most its notoriety through the medium of personal diaries, going back to 1998 with Open Diary, followed by Live Journal and Blogger soon after. Personal blogs are what have spawned tools such as MySpace, Twitter, and other successful social networks. Atlanta has it’s fair share of diverse, personal blogs, reaching the gay community, the art and design community, a hugely successful podcasting community site, even mothers with “mommy blogs,” as well as local views with our own branch of the Metroblogging* network.

While mundane details of one’s everyday life doesn’t inspire everyone, they reach an audience just as valid as those who read political, news, and technical blogs. There are so many bloggers in Atlanta, and to not address the different flavors (instead of condemning them) really does not legitimize the purpose of your article.

I’m not even sure what my point exactly is that I’m trying to get across, except that there is an undeniable “thing” that the blogging community would be missing if those blogs were discounted. For disclosure, I did sign it as a founding member of atlbloggers.net, as well as disclosed that I’m a (sucky) contributer to Metroblogging.

Personal rambling over.

* title lifted and slightly adjusted from a hilarious series found on ATL Malcontent.

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§ 7 Responses to Blogosphere says huh?*

  • Thank you for commenting (here and on CL).

    I’m not opposed to personal blogging.

    Before I expressed my frustration with the Atlanta blogosphere’s crap-to-diamond ratio, I wrote this:

    “At its best, self-expressive blogging connects friends and family members who are either too busy, or too distant, to see each other as often as they’d like. Personal blogging brings strangers together in unexpected ways.”

  • mingaling says:

    You’re right – I didn’t mean to imply that you were against their existence. I didn’t phrase it correctly. And I do understand how intensely crappy some personal blogs are (equating them to gossip rags, etc.). The five bloggers you mentioned absolutely deserved the attention of the community, but I just felt that it was a sorely missed opportunity to highlight personal blogs as something so huge in the blogosphere.

    Am I making any sense? Probably not. Meh.

  • Seth says:

    You’re making sense, Lori.

    The blogosphere is a big place, even when you focus purely on Atlanta.

    If you view the article just as a Top 5/Favorites and not as a dissertation on the state of the Atlanta blogosphere, it does well.

    I think the broader impact of social media/blogging/podcasting is far more interesting than a profile piece, but that’s me playing CL editor, and I don’t know their demos, just my own taste.

    That said, good comment and good post.

  • Susan says:

    I think you make sense. I also felt that Andy was a tad dismissive of personal blogging. Some of the CL’s recommended blogs were great discoveries for me, and others were not my thing. I didn’t really take offense with the general shrug towards personal blogging. It seems that people who are writers or strive to write for a living (and I say that with respect because I love to read) don’t really ‘get’ personal blogging. It all depends on your interests I guess.

    I got involved with blogging about the same time I started training for my first marathon and found the community of running bloggers a great source of support. I know my blog’s not great (I’ve hit a dull patch lately), but I read blogs so constantly and get so much from them that it inspires me to participate, poor as my participation is. It would feel wierd to comment on blogs when I don’t have my own out there to share, you know?

  • I agree with you Lori. It almost seemed like two parts of different articles: one about the state of personal blogs – the other, a profile piece.

    I dunno. At the end of the day, my logical self assures me that it doesn’t matter. And yet, somehow I feel it does.

  • Hannah says:

    And yet there are numerous instances of personal bloggers who’ve gone out to become thousandaires and published authors, all because of their personal online journals. (Pamie.com and ejshea.com are just two that I know personally. Those women would certainly consider themselves writers by trade and talent and they not only “get” personal blogging, they’ve helped define it.)

  • duane says:

    I think what Andy missed (per my comment exchange with him at j.brotherlove’s site), is that he doesn’t realize how his disdain for personal blogs greatly overshadows the good he sought to bring by praising these stand out bloggers.

    What he did, was reduce personal blogs to what he equated with “drivel”, and as such, veered so far off of his point, that it was difficult to focus on the fact that he was praising someone else. Goes to show, that when you try to make something seem good by pointing out how bad something else is, you may have the person focusing on the bad, even though that wasn’t your point (or so I hope it wasn’t his point). Either way, it was a little “high and mighty” for my taste, but already knew that Andy didn’t like my blog to begin with, so it doesn’t matter to me in the least that he still doesn’t like it; I don’t write it for him.

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