The Unbearable Lightness of Blog
It really is quite astounding how quickly and ubiquitously the blog has spread across the internet. The concept of blogs has a timelessness to it the way that microwaves, winter, and cellphones do. We simply can't seem to remember when they didn't exist now that they're here. (In the case of winter, we are also ever surprised when it shows up again after 3 seasons of absence - "What is this white substance that falls from the sky? It is evil! It has never been this cold! It is the end of days! We shall perish! Quick - wrap your extremities in much goose down and whine a lot! It is our only hope!") It's only been a large handful of years that blogs began to pop up like zits on a pubescent boy's face. They have spread from one corner of the web to the other the way we all expected porn to do, yet there are virtually no nekked people anywhere.
come hither - back off
It's obvious to all of us now that no one really wanted that lock on their diary. Blogs are simply another clear indication, the way that The Bachelor and Survivor are, that we are all yearning to be loved and admired by millions of complete strangers - as long as they don't show up at our door in their underpants with a bouquet and a letter bomb. You can't live without explicit details of my feminine hygiene problems? Read my blog! Care for a touch of vicarious depression? My blog! Want to know all about my uncle's stuffed aardvark collection? Blog! Give me attention, money, faaaaaame!
(But notoriety will do.)
The incredible popularity of blogging also reveals that we all think we're the next Pulitzer Prize winner. Study writing? Bah! I'll just start a blog and they shall see my brilliance! They will shower me with accolades and affection and beg me to write my memoirs, a movie, the Greatest Novel Of The 21st Century!
The problem with all these millions of blogs is that the vast majority of them are complete and utter dreck.
Yes, there are some fantastic writers out there, sharing their work with us free of charge, and that truly rocks out. Thing is, we have to wade through endless pools of sewage to try and find the diamond ring that was flushed down this humungous toilet. It's at times like these when democracy starts to burn my ass. I don't want everyone to have the freedom to create a blog. I want blog autocracy, ruled fanatically by a blog despot who makes millions of potential bloggers cry. If you are a teenager wanting to blog the way you talk on the phone after school, if you are someone able and endlessly willing to write 1,000 words about absolutely nothing of any interest except to you, if you use exclamation marks the way people with Tourette's Syndrome use profanity, if you are incapable of typing a three-letter word like "you" without abbreviating it to "u" - no blog for you!
OK, all right, freedom for all bloggers and the right to speak out blah blah hey now and the kitchen sink. Still, shouldn't at least functional literacy be a prerequisite?
Thankfully, a good number of those wee diamond rings floating in a wasteland of muck carry their own tiny flotation devices with them. They are buoyant and light, rising out of the garbage all sparkly-like. Ooh, pretty. Word of mouth keeps them bobbing on the surface. It only takes one very gabby, hyperactive visitor to fill those bloggie balloons full of hot air. Secretly, all bloggers dream of the day Richard Simmons comes to visit.
Even so, to reach true blogging greatness, you not only have to be an extremely talented writer or spraying-Coke-out-your-nose hilarious, you also have to be an attention whore. Instead of writing, bloggers breaststroking their way to the top of the nine levels of blog hell must devote a great deal of time networking their way to popularity. This usually means that not only are the most popular bloggers savvy with da word, they are also serious Type A personalities. They'll put their grandmother up for auction on eBay if it means a few extra thousand hits. Oh sure, no one wants to come across as crass or cheap, but face it - we all are. Except, of course, me.
I'll start the bidding for Grandma Gibson at $250.00 Canadian. Pleasant conversationalist, great cook, and only slightly dead.
I feel no shame in saying I want a bigger piece of real estate in Blogsville. I'm a writer; it's what I do (when parts of my body aren't falling off, that is). Unfortunately, I am a miserable salesperson. My advertising slogan would probably be, "Read Smoog or Fuck Off Because I Really Don't Care Anyway!" Or "The Best Blog Ever - Except When It Isn't!" "The Ultimate Showdown: Eye of Smoog Or Piece of Pie? Mmmm, Pie." Needless to say, my marketing campaign hasn't really gotten off the ground.
In spite of my barely latent passive aggression, here I am with a relatively large and occasionally loyal group of readers. (Except over these Christmas holidays, that is. Nobody wants a heathen over for Christmas dinner, man. It's been so quiet I can hear my neurons imploding.) I'm endlessly surprised at just how many people do read Eye of Smoog, however quietly, without much intervention on my part. Oh sure, by "many" I mean possibly 2 or 3 hundred who come around semi-sort-of-kinda regularly, but considering I am the kind of person who will barricade herself into a basement with a bulk-size bag of Cheetos and a shotgun, that's saying something. I have no idea how that happened. I suspect Richard Simmons did a Google search for his name, found this, and it just snowballed from there.
In a halfhearted effort to git down blog style, I will say this: the 2006 Bloggie Awards are accepting nominations for best blogs of various sundry sorts. If there are blogs you think haven't managed to get enough hot bloggin' action, now's your chance to tell all your friends to make a difference in the world, skip the Canadian federal elections, and surf the web instead. Vote now! Vote often! Vote for me! Unless you don't want to!
Am I not the most fabulous marketer ever?
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