Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I just hope this shit works

According to conservative estimates I enjoy making up, there are an estimated 133,000,000 blogs currently online. Out of those 133,000,000 how many are updated regularly? Blog inactivity stands at about 66% (or did, according to some slightly older figures). Which means more than a significant few of those millions are languishing in blog hell, stranded in 2002, never updating, still displaying observations about how the upcoming invasion of Iraq is, "like, so totally bullshit."

I speak from experience about this, as I spent my college years abortively starting and subsequently abandoning art blogs. It's an easy problem to fall into. You start off well enough, everyday uploading a new photograph of a different Japanese tea set, or a painting of a banana, or if you went to art school, the words "banana" or "tea set" hand drawn on heavy wove cream paper in an approximation of Helvetica. But soon you miss a day, or two, or three, or you wake up one day and realize that somewhere out there still exists a blog you started six months ago and haven't updated in five. And at that point your tour of blog hell begins. You can't bring yourself to go back to contributing, ignoring the conspicuous near half a year gap in your posts, but you also can't bring yourself to put the poor animal out of its misery, shivering doe eyed thing that it is.
Telling yourself that you owe it to yourself and, and damnit, you owe it to the blog, you weakly carry on with a few self deprecating posts about your lateness, convinced that the dedicated few pulling for Bobspot.blogspot to get back on track watch with baited breath. Of course unless your weblog specializes in niche pornography this hope is almost certainly in vain. And so, one day, ashamed, bitter, tired, old, your dreams turned to sludge like a clich├ęd metaphor in a Mickey Spillane novel, hunched over a computer you once shared so many hopes and dreams with, you sever your online connection with the world of men, and retire to a small town where you get a job as a line chef and think wistfully on what might have been.

The truth is it is hard to maintain faith in an endeavor like that if you don't think anyone's watching, which is probably a rapidly aging concept in the internet age. That we are increasingly a world of digital hobbyists means our web personas are becoming the more effective way not just to communicate but to contribute to culture in meaningful ways. In five years (less probably, I just don't want to undershoot) the idea of abandoning a twitter feed or tumblr page will be akin to packing up everything and moving to Alberta without telling anyone, in that it'll be considered rude and only assholes trying to make statements will do it. So in a way, we are living in the last foreseeable golden age of avatar irresponsibility. It is still possible to ignore your social media obligations, because for all the bullshit about social media and p2p marketing in the internet age, these things are not social media obligations, not quite yet.

And so, in the likely case that this effort goes the way of the 66%, or that I find I can't stick with preaching to an audience that occasionally reaches skyward towards the single digits, I would like you (the internet) to know, that if it ever comes to it, an' my blog's real sick, then I'll be the one to take 'em out behind the barn, on accountin' I can't stand to see it suffer.

Why is this the introduction to a blog where I plan on posting cartoons of people I see on the bus picking their noses? Well, I do occasionally find nerd theory interesting, and besides, I think that personality on the web should be fun to work with, and acknowledging the type of relationship you expect (or hope) to have with a medium should really be your first step in exploring it. Also, I suppose I realized I was going to need to square my relationship with my digital past before trying blogs again.

And this seemed a better option than burying my last blog in the ol' pet cemetery over yonder.

Because sometimes dead is better.


Post a Comment