Wednesday, August 03, 2005

On Blogging (oops! excuse me-weblogging)

I found another weblog,
I found another weblog,
I read another weblog and whaddaya think I saw?
I saw another weblog, etc.

I’m a relative newcomer to blogs and weblogging and I didn’t realize when I started that the network was so vast. It’s not only that there are blog sites on every conceivable subject, their categories and sub-categories, but the number of them on any specific topic is boggling. There were only 23 blogs in early 1999 but by September 2000, Rebecca Blood writes, there were thousands and she couldn’t keep track of them then. I don’t have any idea how many weblog sites and bloggers there are now and I suspect that my wildest estimate would fall far short.

So, seven years later, it was interesting to come across an exchange between A.C. Douglas and Forrest Covington on defining what a weblog is, and is not. The term itself is one of personal taste by Mr. Douglas, who eschews the term blog, preferring weblog. Both sides make a point so it can easily reduce itself to a verbal fray. I have a thin skin so I won’t enter into that except to cite that Web Hosting Glossary (WHG) defines a blog simply as “frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and web links.”

The reason I started weblogging is because, as a long-time subscriber to the New Yorker, going back to Winthrop Sargent days and a happy reader of Alex Ross’ columns, I was delighted to discover not long ago he had a blog site (I’m sometimes slow) with links that set me off on the journey of blog discovery. I’m not over it yet. Every few days I find another, and another, and another, and I wonder how can anyone read all this stuff? It’s a full-time, eye and brain - tiring effort.

Elimination may be a key. By eliminating webloggers who post stuff of no interest to me, and those that are poorly written, and those that become personal attacks between bloggers, and those who obviously don’t know what they are talking about, I’ve gotten it down to where I can almost handle it. The problem is that I’m still in a discovery mode and I find two for each one I toss.

I see weblogging as an opportunity to express myself on musical matters that concern me. I see blogging as a wonderful way to learn from one another. I see blogging as an avenue to writing - for me, a happy activity. I see blogging as opening doors into new rooms of knowledge and fancy. As I read more and more weblogs, I found more and more to interest me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this experience and it became apparent that my concerns would have to be limited to things that really interested me and avoid what I think is trivia. Maybe I should have avoided this one.

I had hoped that my take on things would encourage a positive exchange-even criticism can be positive, but I have experienced very little feedback, which leads me to believe that my interests are no one else’s. I note that there are conclaves of bloggers with specific interests who write and react only between themselves. Some require “membership” to join the group, perhaps a reaction against anonymity or the massive number of weblogs. I note that most bloggers do not permit comments or an exchange. And this brings me back around to the Douglas-Covington exchange that tries to nail down the nature of a weblog.

The only reason I found this is because ACD nicely corrected a statement I made that there is probably more written on Beethoven than any other composer. He pointed out that Beethoven comes in third after Wagner and Mozart. So, I looked up A.C. Douglas, and among many other posts by him found his exchange with Mr. Covington that explained quite ably his position, with which I respect but disagree. For the record I also disagree with Mr. Covington who is perhaps a long-time blogger and doesn’t care for change.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to handle even half of the music blogs out there. Maybe a solution is to only write, not read, them or v.v. - a sorry solution.


Blogger A.C. Douglas said...

Nice post, Paul.

Couple of things:

1: The link to my piece you wanted your readers to read is incorrect. You posted the Category link instead of the permalink of the individual piece which is:

2: Concerning the terms, blog, weblog, blogging, and blogger, and your comment on my take on that, I think you should read this later piece:

Enjoyed your post.



8:47 PM  

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