Wunderchicken has a great, must-read, wild post about weblogs as punk rock – and reckons the problem with blogs now is that some of us have started sucking up to the record companies. (He finishes by saying that doesn’t matter – doesn’t mean the rest of us have to.) He notes attempts to define weblogs, lock them in (classification is for lizards, he writes, with a link to a post at Burningbird’s I rather like), and Dave Winer’s statement that weblogs are publications and should not be treated as parties, and instead wonderfully writes:

Weblogs are a party, damn it, and sometimes they’re publications too, or instead, and sometimes they’re diaries, sometimes they’re pieces of art, sometimes they’re tools for self-promotion, sometimes they’re money-maknig ventures, sometimes they’re monuments to ego, sometimes they’re massive wanks, sometimes they’re public services, sometimes they’re dedications of faith, sometimes they’re communities. Always, they are a public face, one chosen and crafted to varying degrees, of the people who write them. They are avatars, masks, or revelations of our deepest selves. They are political or philosophical, merrily inebriate or sententiously sober. Do not listen to those who would tell you what they are not.

I’m hoping now that my weblog definition was inclusive and enough about an aspect of weblogs (as narrative) that it won’t contribute to shutting down the parties, but heck, perhaps definitions are omelettes causing eggs broken but sometimes you need the omelette, right?

It’s that table set for 12 with no food or guests that Ian and I were discussing. Of course the way we choose to classify things will affect the results of our surveys – how many women tech bloggers there are depends on how you define tech blogs, obviously. There’s power in definitions.

I’ve entangled myself in enough defintions in my life to know that I, personally, would for the most part rather go straight to the heart of things, look at the specifics, read, closely, explore the nooks and crannnies. I like specificities.

Oh and look at this Dave Eggers quote he cites, at the end, where he says that really, it’s fine people sell out. Well-written rants are delightful:

What matters is not the perception, nor the fashion, not who’s up and who’s down, but what someone has done and if they meant it. What matters is that you want to see and make and do, on as grand a scale as you want, regardless of what the tiny voices of tiny people say. Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a fuckload of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes.

1 Comment

  1. Donut Age

    Is the bloom off the blogosphere?
    Everyone in the blogosphere seemed to have their hackles up yesterday. I got snippy with grandtextauto last night; there’s a firestorm at misbehaving.net over an apparently innocent suggestion to try to meet up at a conference; and there seems to be a …

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