Sunday, February 27, 2005

Impulsive bloggers

Bloggers work alone. Oh, I know, there are group blogs. And probably there are some bloggers who show their posts to spouses or friends before clicking on "publish." But my guess is that most spouses get worn out with that pretty soon, and most bloggers end up writing alone, and they make their posting decisions alone, too.

Bloggers have to produce at a steady clip. With the exception of someone like Bill Whittle, who takes his sweet time to churn out a lengthy masterpiece every so often , the rest have to keep it coming on a daily basis in order to have any hope of keeping those readers visiting. And you know the old saying: haste makes waste.

Other writers--even those who churn it out under time pressure for newspapers and magazines--have editors and colleagues to bat around ideas with, to get opinions from (yeah, I know, I know, ending my sentences with a preposition--well, I don't have an editor, do I?). In writing a book, an inherently lonely activity, the author has the luxury of lots of time to get feedback and help from others. But bloggers have to move it, and quickly. And they ordinarily do that alone, in front of that nonresponsive computer screen.

In blogging, there's also a lot of pressure to get attention; and one of the ways to do it is to take risks, to be shocking, to pack a lot of punch into the writing. So an idea that looked really really good at 2 AM (or any other hour when the blogger is all alone), a phrase or a statement that'll really wow 'em, can seem way over-the-top when viewed in the cold light of day and/or reflection.

I think that's what happens sometimes with those bloggers who pride themselves on never pulling their punches, who specialize in going for the jugular. I won't dignify the worst of these comments with links to them and further discussion of them. Most of them have already been chewed over in the blogosphere ad nauseum, and those of you who follow blogs probably can think of plenty of examples yourselves.

The computer is a technology that works so quickly it fosters and rewards implusive behavior, at least of the verbal kind. Blogging is no exception. And, people being what they are, it will continue to happen.

Since I like to coin words, I'd like to suggest one for that sort of post, the kind that bloggers regret having put up there in a moment of solitary impulse, although they may never admit it. How about blart (as in: blog fart)?

Used in a sentence: Hope this whole post doesn't end up being a blart.

ADDENDUM: Then there's a blurp (as in: blog burp). Similar to, but somewhat less intense than, a blart.


At 8:56 AM, February 28, 2005, Blogger Alex said...

My friend Seth recently made up a term that makes a nice complement to this one: blogover. As in, the feeling of deep regret the morning after posting something truly ill-advised on your blog.


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