bothered about blogging etc 12.17.2007, 6:16 AM
posted by chris meade
I've never liked seeing movies in groups. After two hours immersed in a fictional world I dread that moment when you emerge blinking into the light and instantly have to give your verdict.
Personally I want time to mull, and for me a pleasure of private reading is not needing to share my opinion - or know what it is - until I'm good and ready.
I have similar problems with blogging. With such brilliant and articulate colleagues knocking out posts for if:book on a regular basis, I must admit I get nervous about adding speedy contributions. And when I do write words I think might be worth sharing, I wonder if I really want to cast them adrift in such fast flowing waters.
bloggers together - ben vershbow of if:book and cory doctorow of boing boing
I bring this up because the networked book involves active readers happily sharing their thoughts online with others happy to read them.
I dread finding the margins of my e-reader crammed with the scrawlings of cleverclogs, even if I'm free to jump in on their arguments. Having said that, I'm convinced there's immense potential in building communities of debate around interesting texts. There's plenty of intelligence and generosity of spirit on the web to counteract the bilge and the bile.
Doris Lessing asks in her Novel prize acceptance speech,
"How will our lives, our way of thinking, be changed by the internet, which has seduced a whole generation with its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that, once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging etc?"
Lessing's dismay at addiction to the screen amongst the even quite reasonable is a reminder of the importance of working to heal the cultural divide between bookworms and book geeks. This will involve patience on either side as familiar arguments are replayed to wider audiences. We need to talk in plain English about issues that are so much more interesting and culturally fruitful than many even quite reasonable lovers of literature seem to think they are.
Scott on December 17, 2007 9:40 AM:
Thank you for voicing some of my own concerns about blogging. I have tried it in the past only to give it up. I prefer to send email updates, views, and opinions to friends who will thoughtfully consider what I wrote rather than throw something I have worked hard on the wall hoping it sticks.