Monday, January 28, 2008

The Author of an Impending Blog Anthology
Considers a Stack of Books About the Medium

My beloved New York Review of Books is one of the more print-centric publications you'll find anywhere. Founded in the early 1960s to fill a void in book chatter during a newspaper strike, it's remained one of the most literate and consistently excellent reads found anywhere. Happily, in recent years it's also put most of its articles online, where an even larger audience can enjoy them. In the current issue, Sarah Boxer, author of an anthology due out this month, Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web, tries her best to get her arms around a medium that resists generalization. She writes that "bloggers assume that if you're reading them, you're one of their friends, or at least in on the gossip, the joke, or the names they drop. They often begin their posts mid-thought or mid-rant—in medias craze. They don't care if they leave you in the dust. They're not responsible for your education." That does ring true for many blogs, of course, but certainly not for all. I think that passage stuck out for me in part because I've always gone out of my way here not to assume much inside information about anything, but to provide enough context for someone to make sense of things even if they're joining us in progress for the first time.

And then there's that thing about length. I've been called a "narrative blogger," which for some is a nice way of saying I write long, certainly longer than most blogs you'll find. Ms. Boxer zeroes in on that point with the following observation: 'Many bloggers really don't write much at all. They are more like impresarios, curators, or editors, picking and choosing things they find on line, occasionally slapping on a funny headline or adding a snarky (read: snotty and catty) comment. Some days, the only original writing you see on a blog is the equivalent of "Read this.... Take a look.... But, seriously, this is lame.... Can you believe this?' Anyway, I recommend the piece. I think you'll find it interesting.


At 11:57 AM, Blogger Cleveland Carole Cohen 3C said...

Thanks for the recommendation and Feb 12th's release date is almost here. It should be a good read! I've been reading David Byrne's blog - he doesn't even allow comments, but he writes so well I can't help myself. I guess that means it's a good blog, at least to me?

At 12:01 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Carole. If you do read it, please let us know if it passes the Carole Cohen thumbs-up test.


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