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The practice of blogging

It took well over a thousand posts to get there, but I still like the concept of blogging expressed in an entry near the end of the run at my old blog. The post starts with “Blogging is not a genre” and ends with:

The mistake here is not just thinking that there are only one or two approaches [to blogging], but also in thinking that the written posts are the genre. They are not, or not entirely. The posts are the places where the genre puts its feet down for a moment as it walks along. The genre is, rather, the motion of writer through experience of self, events, text, and audience. It’s a self-observation, a self-recording, and an engagement with experience and with others, all tracked and promoted and provoked further along its way with texts that are the traces. Blogging is a reflective practice that casts off texts as it goes.

Read the rest.

  1. June 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    That’s a great point. B

    Blogging, I would say, is less of a genre and more of a medium. I’ve seen writers write through calligraphy, typewriters, computers, various software, by hand, by dictation to stenographers (a la Chesterton), and now blogging via the “quick press.”

    In turn, the majority of editing now shifts to the reader in the blogsphere where they can skip posts, search through archives, and jump from related tag to tag until they find exactly what they’re looking for. I, as the reader, care less about what Jack Turner did with his kids and more about his insights into the writing life. I skip over the sappy stuff sometimes. We all do. Editing in this way becomes preferential rather than authoritative. Neither bad nor good, this sort of medium allows for different paces of information, and, as with all art forms, every medium is needed to get the full spectrum.

    Good post.

  2. Ken Smith
    June 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Lance, I really like that distinction you make: “Editing in this way becomes preferential rather than authoritative.” That is yet another way of understanding how the authority shifts to the individual in blogging.

  3. Ken Smith
    June 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    And in Rebooting the News #56 Dave Winer, Jay Rosen, and guest offer a mini-seminar on the habits and practices that make up blogging, beginning especially at 10:10 of the audio.

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