Where blogs go to die

When a blog falls in the woods, and nobody reads it, is it still a blog?

While writing my MA project, I keep returning to the idea of the blog as a writing process, or as an extrusion of a thought process. The temporality of writing is at the forefront. Blogging has emergent properties, growing out of simple, single-topic lexias, into complex structures that depict the direction, thoughts, ideas and interests of a writer (or several writers).

As a sidedish to this thought, I've been thinking about what happens to blogs when they die. And I'm starting to think that blogs lose their inherent blogness when they are no longer being posted to. If I were to cut the thread, disable comments, and let this thing wither on the stalk, it's just a biggish collection of hypertextual short prose of considerable genre impurity. But it's not a blog. Hyphenating things up a bit: blogs are defined by their coming-into-being, their being-in-time. By the fact that they never close the doors and lock up, becoming unified "works." They refuse to be completely empirical objects of study, not unlike their writers, and when they lose their forward momentum, I would argue that they no longer quite fit the description of what I've come to think of as blogs.

That's why I don't think its a coincidence that the word "blog" is both the noun and the verb.

Or, as Woody Allen put it: "blogs, I think, are like a shark. They have to keep moving, or they die. And I think that what we got on our hands here is a dead shark."


Anonymous the captain said...

... We sailed for parts unknown to man, where blogs come home to die
No lofty peak, nor fortress bold, could match our captain’s eye ...

March 01, 2006 7:44 am  
Blogger will said...

I like your idea but rather than forward-moving narratives, blogs always seem to me relate time and to space. Rather than moving through it as writing-in-time, they strike me as also a space in themselves, something akin to Eco's theory of the open text. Connections and contributions are built up but rather than forming a linear progression, they form something more like (to use a clumsy analogy) a huge, 3D sheet of paper where ideas are connected not in linear time but in space. So expansion is possible, but the beauty of the blog is that no direction is either proscribed or prescribed.

So what happens when they die? They stop in time and in space; they stop moving. After that are they a merely a trace of their former selves or is there a fundamental disconnection between reader and writer(s) that makes it possible to read them without needing to make a contribution? After all, it’s what we all used to do: read something and take it in and only then respond in a separate place and time. Now response is almost immediate are we creating a living text? Possibly, but what is certain, once they are dead, they belong to the past – both literally and in the sense that they become the kinds of texts we once knew, closed, finished, dead at the point of consumption. So is the contribution that blogs have made to keep Barthes’s author alive for just that little bit longer, multiplying him, killing him and leaving the corpse for all to see?

March 01, 2006 6:33 pm  
Blogger MGL said...

Just so you all know, I want comments like Will's. Ok?

I'll get back to this when I am no longer so tired as to be unable to think.

March 01, 2006 7:39 pm  
Blogger surly fag said...

that's from annie hall right?
relationships are sharks. relationships.

p.s. i think we should think about loving each other

March 03, 2006 5:29 am  
Blogger MGL said...

You're totally right. It is from Annie Hall. Greatest break-up line ever.

Also: what? Loving each other? Nail her to a cross!

Just kidding. We should all totally love each other.

March 03, 2006 8:42 am  
Blogger surly fag said...

it's one of my favourite films. i love woody allen so much my eyes water with glee watching his films.

March 04, 2006 4:36 am  

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