25 February, 2009

The Phenomenon of Blogging

Don't expect an internet-wide report on blogging standards and heavyweights here, I only want to mention a *personal* revelation I discovered recently. It came to mind while searching for backup info for my previous blog entry (the one just before this one), when I happened upon a discussion on my currently defunct personal message board that was similar in topic to that entry. The difference between that discussion and the blog entry is just that - there was an actual exchange of opinions between two people.

And then I realized the difference between posting on a message board and blogging. (And lest you fault me for making such obvious discoveries, there's something to be said for coming to a full and active realization of something that you've been taking for granted). On a message board, discussions occur freely, while on a blog, it's not so easy. Although items can indeed be discussed in comments and taken up in other people's blogs to present their own opinions, the medium doesn't seem optimized for that kind of equal back and forth discourse. When you blog, you're making a bold personal statement, to which you can expect people to agree or disagree in varying quantities, but you don't really expect it to be the catalyst to a great discussion - it's more or less the final say on the topic, or at least that particular spin of the topic - even when it's also the first say.

I used to have philosophical discussions and discussions about life on various message board forums, but recently I've shrunk away from that, my thoughts finding their place unopposed on the pages of a one way blog. Part of that movement is obviously due to my discovery/acceptance of blogging. Though even before I had a 'real' blog, I had been using a page on my website to put thoughts - thoughts that I wanted to share, but didn't particularly care to have feedback about.

However, there's also my declining faith in the power of debate. What's the point of arguing with people? You have an opinion, they have an opinion, and no amount of verbal torture is gonna force those two opinions to be the same. And why should they be? Blame for my disillusion can also rightfully be placed on the fact that most people are idiots when it comes to intelligent discourse, forgetting the not so subtle differences between friendly discussion and heated bitchfest.

But on the other hand, tossing ideas and beliefs and theories off of people can be a very fruitful endeavor, and when handled maturely, can also be quite enjoyable. So I wonder if maybe I'm selling my ideas a little short by just stating them and not expecting any interaction or reformulation.

Only problem is, I'm not about to walk up to a message board, and go, hey guys, what do you think about this and this philosophical quandary? There was a time when I could, but I've lost that ability. I can't even remember the last time I started my own topic. Maybe I should find a philosophy board or something. I dunno, the internet is so vast, and there's so much out there, that you can never find that one specific community you're looking for, or when you do, it's either inactive or populated by the wrong type of people.

No comments:

Post a Comment