Blogging – a new persona

I think a lot of people, particularly those I come into contact with through work (the student movement being composed of 80% narcissists, 19% imbeciles and 1% brilliance – no comment on which bracket I belong in…) are very interested in themselves.

Now I have no problem with that, I am a great believer in being ‘the star of my own show’ and ‘looking out for number 1’ etc etc and due to my upbringing I have always felt that selfishness was a trait that was good in moderation.

Let me elaborate. *cough*

I just think that these sorts of people are… destined to blog.

In my mind I group together jobs in: performing arts, politics (us included) and sales into one taxa of human kind. The group in which lying (ok that’s harsh, let’s call it streamlining the facts) is a part of the job.

The idea of breaking free from the real world and it’s battery of ‘when-it’s appropriate-to-talk-about-yourself’ rules and customs strikes me as something those people would be very interested in. What would please a politician more rapt attention and rapturous agreement in their ideas? They can always delete the comments that disagree with them or go in under a pseudonym and post adoration on their own blog.

It’s like a one way ticket to reinventing yourself and being whoever you want to be, or whoever you want people to see you as. Perfect for those who want to streamline some of the unfortunate truths that surround them. I may be doing those sorts of people an unjustice. Actors may just want to entertain, politicians to make the world a better place and sales people to kit the world out in Abercrombie and Bitch. Maybe they should release that tension through blogging and go and be a doctor or something.

Anyway, as you may come to know and love, I like the preface discussions with where I got the idea from… despite being relatively unrelated.

I’ve been toying with the idea of an anonymous blog. I think it’s a very sexy idea, like being a superhero wearing a mask. Think of all the films or books based upon someone living out their closeted desires behind a pseudonym or costume. Can a blog be different? I imagine the inner narcissist in those who are prone to blog (see above) would, if said anonymous blog were to be successful, feel the need to expose themselves so they could personally take credit for it. A sort of coming out ceremony. You could see something interesting there, more than one person taking credit for a particularly good piece of online literature. It’s like when al-Qaeda take responsibility for things they quite clearly didn’t do. I’m pretty sure they’ve taken responsibility for killing the last Pope.

Or you could blog about someone. Now before you start dreaming up images of me hidden in a tree outside someone’s window with an iPad…. think more like, an anonymous blog about someone, by someone who was very close to them. It’s a bit like a fly on the wall scenario, imagine if the private secretary to the Queen kept a secret log detailing her every move? I imagine it would be obvious though who was writing it though. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t read that.

9am – Queen wakes up, demands toothpaste be gently massaged into her gums by Royal trained monkey.

9.10am  – Queen puts on M&S pants in an effort to understand the recession.

9.11am – Queen takes of pants and decides she’s rather go commando.

I would read that. For sure.

Blogs have this dual nature, either to be used to conceal your identity… or to make you more open and transparent. I suppose that only counts for the ones that aren’t about cooking or something, even though I do like those! I can’t think of another medium that makes this possibility so real. Instant mass communication from the comfort of your own home, or tree outside the Queen’s window.

So, in my usual way, some questions… what do you think the future of blogging is? Is it destined to collapse under it’s own weight? Everyone blogging all the time so no one reads anyone’s because they’re either all the same or too busy writing their own blog. I suppose I have to admit some hypocrisy here, having just started blogging myself. Or perhaps it’s about critical mass, maybe one day enough blogs and bloggers will exist for them to sustain each other, with no one stopping or starting, endlessly feeding off each other as sources.

George Siemens wrote:

“The heart of blogging is linking…linking and commenting. Connecting and communicating –  the purpose of the Internet”

But put on your gum shields people, Daniel B. Beaulieu writes:

“The casual conversational tone of a blog is what makes it particularly dangerous”

Given that I wrote above about the Queen going commando, I think that’s the one I’m going to go with.

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6 thoughts on “Blogging – a new persona”

  1. Great post Will. I have just begun blogging again after a two year hiatus and everything you are saying is ringing alarm bells for me, a warning I must heed.

    I think there is an element of self adulation in all forms of social media. The same reason why people Twitter, Facebook and Blog, must boil down to ensuring a sense of social attention and acceptance in a time when everyone is competing for that 5 mins of fame?

    As a journalist I want to write about things that will interest people and maybe spark a discussion and further comment. I would certainly be lying if I said it wouldn’t give me a sense of ‘job well done’ if someone engaged in that discussion publicly as a result of my blog.

    However at the same time, my blog/twitter/facebook is something of a social catharsis. After a day in the office or in my free time, there is something quite relaxing about sitting down at the computer to write a blog. Just appease the active mind hit publish and go to sleep content. Whilst it’s certainly nice to know people may or may not read my blog it certainly isn’t the sole reason for me writing it.

    I know at present I am rusty and much like a child learning to swim, I’m paddling in the shallow end of creativity until I get more comfortable writing again, but for now simple thoughts on simple topics if for me….well simple!

    Keep up the good work with this blog and the far more indulgent and captive writing ability that for me is as of yet still at the deeper end of the pool!

  2. Hi Leigh,
    It seems you and I even started blogging on the same day! Were you on a train too?
    I guess we’re doing it for similar reasons, filling a big Sabb shaped hole in your life?

    I absolutely agree about paddling, I’m dipping my toe. My mind works a bit like rain on a window. A drop starts rolling down at the top and it smashes into other drops and it gains speed and size and then it crashes gloriously into the bottom of the pane. Which tends to be my mouth. I think the blog is a very good outlet but I feel my posts aren’t well structured.

    I’m working on it, keep up your good work too! I like the pictures!

    1. I have been meaning to blog for ages and ages. I read so many blogs and am always so impressed by them, they inspire me to write my own. Although putting that inspiration into practice is taking time…. I don’t think any two blogs are the same. Not good blogs anyway. I think some people try too hard, particularly the sex blogs. I can see those kind of blogs dying out because as much as people hate to admit it, it really is hard to make that kind of blog that original. I am going to blog 1) Because I love my job as a journalist and everything about the media and I want to share my thoughts on that topic and 2)Because I have lots of other thoughts/opinions/things that happen to me that people might find interesting/amusing/entertaining. And another (small) reason why I’m going to blog is because I like attention and I (secretly) want to be famous-ish.

      1. You need to copy paste this and have it as your principles section! It made me laugh.
        Very journo though. I have no plans to be a journalist. I just like writing.

  3. I’ve done an extended version which probably makes me sound like THE weirdest person in the world, but who cares! I know I said don’t blog every day cos you won’t keep it up but I actually feel like blogging every day now I’ve got going! Perhaps a national paper will stumble across it and employ me as a columnist, preferably to replace Caitlin Moran.

    1. Do it shorter, then people will read it. Break it down into bullet points! You can always do a longer version, a bit like my ‘will who?’ section.

      I defo won’t blog every day, but I will blog a couple of times a day soemtimes then space them out.

      I like Caitlin Moran, maybe I can appoint her to edit my blog when you take her job. She’d like that I’m sure.

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