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June 05, 2005

More blog pointers

One of the downsides of the structure of blogs as many people currently imagine them is that links between blogs - aside from those in the dreaded blogroll - are usually generated by individual posts. Write something very funny, or provocative, or weird, and people will link to it.

This is not a bad thing, necessarily, but it does have its side effects. Take this here blog, f'rinstance. That Stephen Peter Morin post I wrote was by no stretch of the imagination the best thing I've written here. It's still getting tons of hits, most of them by people who click in, spend less than two minutes reading, then leave. The story has brought me a few new regular readers, and I can't exactly say I wish I hadn't published it. Still, I wonder what impression of my writing people are taking away from reading just that one piece, which I wrote in about 15 minutes and published without re-drafting.

It works the other way, too. There are sites where I haven't run across an individual post that made me think "Oh, my god, I have to link to this right away!" but where the writing, or the photography, or the sensibility and outlook is uniformly uplifting; where the whole is much more than the sum of the posts. Such blogs aren't about the individual posts, any more than a jigsaw puzzle is about an individual piece. It's about the cumulative effect of the posts, the palimpsest of image on image.

Anne-Mieke is one such blogger. Her writing is uniformly both taut and evocative. How does she do that? No idea. All I know is that I wish I could write the way she does, and English is a second language for her to boot. Her site design works the same way: minimal but opulent. Languid photography, including that rarest of things: inclusion of photographic self-portraits in a way that - unlike many other bloggers who post photos of themselves - does not seem self-indulgent.

Termagaunt is another. (She hasn't written anything in June, so you might need to start with her recent archives.) This is writing like none I have ever read. I suppose she might be an acquired taste, because it takes some work to get through an average paragraph. Whatever effort it takes is well repaid. There are so many images, so many ideas here, as if Tolstoy were writing SOS messages to be bottled and tossed into the ocean. Which may not be a bad description of blogging, come to think of it.

Posted by Chris Clarke at June 5, 2005 12:10 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/1098

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Comments

I think RSS gives back what the post structure takes away. I originally came to this blog via a link to that post -- but since I read in an aggregator, when I come to a site that my aggregator doesn't know about, all I have to do is click a button on the taskbar to add it to my list of subscriptions. I've been here ever since.

Posted by: Lisa Williams at June 5, 2005 05:39 PM
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>>I wonder what impression of my writing people are taking away from reading just that one piece, which I wrote in about 15 minutes and published without re-drafting.

That both styles work for you. I get the sense that your "historical" tales are off the top of your head and written as a just-recalled narrative, whereas your "environmental" pieces are more massaged and crafted over a longer period. I could be wrong; I don't know your process.

Both styles are good. But, like subject matter, different strokes.... I read them both.

CP

Posted by: carpundit at June 6, 2005 05:52 AM
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"unlike many other bloggers who post photos of themselves - does not seem self-indulgent."

You might have to be a hetero woman to say for sure. Unless you hew to the reasonable view that self-portraits of good looking people are never wholly self-indulgent.

Posted by: murky at June 7, 2005 05:22 AM
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actually I mean "woman"
"hetero" is unnecessary, since dykes can be floosies too.

Posted by: murky at June 7, 2005 05:24 AM
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