Sending out another Chinese lantern here, up into the night sky, to watch it float away, off into the distance, buffeted on the cool night time breeze; only to grow dimmer and smaller, and burn up under its own flame.
Got to say I’m finding blogging a different experience to what I anticipated.
My idea of it was independent people churning out their own kind of personal newspaper on a casual ad hoc basis, expressing themselves in a rock n roll way that just wouldn’t fly in normal journalism. I thought people on the WWW would then stumble across said articles and some would inevitably read and comment.
What I’m finding instead is that it’s more of a closed loop, a bubble, social media by any other name. The only people who stumble on your blog are fellow bloggers and then (all lovely people and best intentions aside etc) it becomes a bit of a you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours affair. And maybe this is as natural an evolution for a given human system as, say, towing the guy’s car who towed you home last week. Maybe it’s fair game and how it always has been and how it ought to be. I dunno.
Moreover, maybe it’s symptomatic of using a platform like WordPress. Maybe in exchange for easy free access there’s a level of quarantine going on that you’ll never understand nor be able to meddle with. Maybe using a truly independent blog would pan out differently.
Or maybe the blogosphere is just so saturated now that no-one really goes looking for blogs to read any more as they’re utterly blogged out. So unless you employ trickery to promote your blog, it’s just not gonna get seen outside this bubble. I know this is the case in self-publishing so it would make sense if it applied to blogging.
I think the fact is that blogging was probably a fairly radical high-return wave to ride the crest of about 10 years or so ago. But now it’s become so inundated with surfers, it’s flattened out under its own weight. It’s become streamlined into viable patterns that you can follow if you want to be noticed. Otherwise, chances are, you’re just gonna end up talking to yourself.
I’m glad I tried it. It was an impulsive one-off experiment that got out of hand. It’s been good to try out some different forms of writing and a convenient place to stash some poems. But it’s definitely not what I thought it would be.
It’s a bit like thinking you’re about to perform in a big Broadway play, and rehearsing and then going on twice a day, putting on your best performance; then wondering why no-one’s clapping. So one night you sneak off stage at the end and dim the lights, only to see that there’s no audience. Just old Fred at the back sweeping the floor while drawing on a fat cigar, and Daphne stocking up the confectionary counter in an offhand manner. And they give you a little sympathy clap and cheer to protect you from your own disappointment! But it’s not the same.
Being clinically insane, and somewhat addicted to writing, I can’t see myself stopping writing this blog any time soon, so it will be interesting to see how it goes, but my guess is that unless fuckery is employed, it would pretty much stay at the level of a stealth waft. Time will tell. And to those of you who have been kind enough to read some of my lunacy, thank you very much Fred and Daphne. Keep up the good work!