After reading the chapter “the nihilist impulse” from Geert Lovink’s book, I feel prepared to trek the terrain that defines the landscape of blogging. To Lovink’s readers, this means quite a few things, from “user culture blended with a cultural critique of of contemporary web applications” (Lovink 1)
According to Lovink, “blogs record our lives and prove to what extent people are formed by the media events into which they are drawn” (Lovink 2). In the context of politics, it would be very difficult for someone recording their own personal account of events to be neutral, especially when the platform is given so that they are encouraged to ruffle feathers or neatly distribute their philosophy in a series. As a result, blogs become little nests in pockets of the internet for people who already most likely agree to come together and discuss the nuances of their stances or nod heads to each other regarding the absurdity of the opposition.
He makes an excellent point that, when we consider how to assess the success of a blog, we cannot go merely by popularity, as popularity is not always supported by good content. It is not news that terrible content can attract a mass of viewers. So how then do we assert whose blog is “successful” or even “good?” I’d like to propose that blogs can be considered good in much the same way that literature or movies are considered good; that is by having good content, fulfilled and clean execution, and a message underneath: a point, preferably one that does not pander to a low form of entertainment or something equivalent to chick-flicks and rom coms.
If they are inherently personal, then perhaps they are closer to manifestos than bloggers would like to admit, but I’m hesitant to enclose them in a category since they exist in many varieties. Lovink mentions Glenn Reynolds and Robert Scoble in reference to what makes a blog good, but the list given does not address content aside from a personal voice that is consistent, only what constitutes a blog that is well kept and easily accessible in terms of public-relations like skills.
What about the content? Is it like keeping a diary or a stream of commentary as a secondary news source? The more I see an attempt to categorize the practice, the less I agree it is broad enough to cover it.
I have finally decided over deliberation between me, myself and I, a practice i call “overthinking,” that this is going to be literally whatever I want it to be and to judge it for myself before it exists is pointless. Enjoy.