When a blogger adds new material, it's called a post. And good blogging demands frequent posting. Biz Stone, 30, Blogger senior specialist at Google (www.bizstone.com), recommends you "post at least as much as you eat." That's "three times a day [with] some snacks," he says. But that requires a lot of time. So perhaps more important is to make your posts worth people's while. Jason Novak, 33, who's hosted the Washington entertainment guide LifeInTheDistrict.com since 2001, says that "what brings [readers] back is that every time . . . there's something good." And "good" extends beyond volume, which means you'll want to avoid the dreaded "blogorrhea" -- aka incessant prattle about your jerk boss or second-rate love life.
Mike Peed, How to Start a Winning Blog, Washington Post (Dec. 12, 2004).
There is a tendency in the blogging world toward
solipsism. Self-referential blogging –
the act of writing about the act of writing[i] –
is the most painfully patronizing act I can consider, outside of the act of
producing reality television shows.
Still, indulge me this act of solipsism as I take on Peed's piece about blogging. Peed quotes Biz Stone, a blogger for Google, who advises bloggers to write at least three times a day, with "snacks" to break up those monotonous … hour-long stretches that lack new content.
This begs a question: do you people have jobs?
Nevertheless, I am advised to follow the rules. Post three times a day. Avoid bloggorrhea. Be fitter. Happier. More productive. A pig in a cage on antibiotics.[ii]
Last year, at this time, I was writing frequently. About once a week, I posted a long fiction piece, and I usually threw in a few short essays and quotes. I got tired of that in April. I deleted a lot of my old stuff. It was painfully solipsistic. It was more than that. It was vanity that made me write like that. These sites – blogs – are not intended to be anything more than electronic paper. A convenient, useful way to write or keep track of information or display photos. Imposing these utterly asinine rules to the process is silly. As far as I can tell, there's only two rules for blogging:
1. Don't blog at work.
2. Don't blog about work.
Other than that, it's pandemonium.
There are good qualities, mind you, to some of this solipsistic blogging. Recently, Hon. Richard A. Posner, U.S.C.J. (7th Cir.), the noted Law and Economics scholar, began a blog with Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker. Posner wrote about blogging in a fashion that may have given the medium the imprimatur it needs to be respected for academic writing.
Blogging is a major new social, political, and economic phenomenon. It is a fresh and striking exemplification of Friedrich Hayek’s thesis that knowledge is widely distributed among people and that the challenge to society is to create mechanisms for pooling that knowledge. The powerful mechanism that was the focus of Hayek’s work, as as of economists generally, is the price system (the market). The newest mechanism is the “blogosphere.” There are 4 million blogs. The internet enables the instantaneous pooling (and hence correction, refinement, and amplification) of the ideas and opinions, facts and images, reportage and scholarship, generated by bloggers.
Hon. Richard A. Posner, Introduction to the Becker-Posner Blog, The Becker-Posner Blog (Dec. 5, 2004).