Monday, November 13, 2006

My Second Blogiversary

Two years ago today I fell down the rabbit hole and became a blogger. Registering to post a comment at Caltechgirl's blog, I somehow mysteriously ended up with a blog of my own. So I decided to go with it. And two years later, here I am.

In my very first blog post, I gave a list of reservations I had about becoming a blogger:
  1. I'm too busy, I don't have the time.

  2. I detest the angry, vindictive mud wrestling I see on some blogs.

  3. I dread becoming a slave to regular posting, so as to hang on to my audience.

  4. I don't have the time.

  5. I have no desire to become a magnet for the various wackos, psychos, and emotionally needy sad sacks I see on some blogs.

  6. I've always commented under my own name, and made no secret of who I am, where I live, or what my line of work is. I've sometimes wondered if this will one day come back to haunt me, and see no need to aggravate the situation via my own blog.

  7. I have a number of very colorful interests, but once we get past those (give it three or four months) either I run dry, or else I start repeating myself: either way, no thanks!

  8. My personal website gets a modest but fair amount of traffic, and it's nicely situated in Google (hey, I'm #1 in Google for a search on yellowstripes). I see no good reason to divide my energies.

  9. I've met a lot of great people and made some good friends in the blogosphere, but I don't know if I meet the entry requirements to be a blogger, since I fit in none of the following categories: (a) Libertarian; (b) Randian Objectivist; (c) vegetarian; (d) gay/lesbian; (e) Kevorkian right-to-die-er; (f) neo-pagan; (g) owner of automatic weapons; (h) genius-level high-school dropout; (i) person who has no TV set in the house; (j) atheist/agnostic; or (k) follower of the Atkins low-carb diet.

  10. Did I mention, I just don't have the time??!

Two years later, I find that most of those reservations still stand. Nevertheless, I find myself sticking with it, posting four or five times a week. Vaguely bemused by it all.

But I find I do enjoy blogging. Mostly as a hobby... you know, about on a par with stamp collecting or building model airplanes. As I put it once in an interview with a newspaper reporter, my blog is about "me, my interests, my own quirky take on things. My blog tends to be very subjective, the world as seen through my eyes."

And I've been very fortunate in the visitors and commenters my blog has drawn. I appreciate all of you... the commenters, the regular visitors, the occasional visitors, and the various lurkers who've become familiar to me from my stats. I've got one lurker who's been dropping by regularly ever since this blog began. I appreciate you folks, each and every one of you, I really do.

As for the blogosphere at large, well, I enjoy it, there are a number of blogs where I regularly visit and sometimes leave comments. But I must confess I take a mixed view of the blogosphere: "bemused" hardly covers my feelings about it. I've been a commenter in the blogosphere— a commenter, not a blogger— for four years now. I think the blogosphere has a certain undeniable public value, as witness Rathergate. But I continue to be put off, as I have been from the very beginning, by the sheer mudwrestling aspect of so much of it. There are a lot of wonderful people out there, blogging and commenting. But my informal observation is that the blogosphere draws far more than its share of nutcases, jerks, haters, the emotionally disturbed, the socially marginal, and outright sociopaths. Which I suspect drives a lot of good, decent, sane people away, precisely because they are good, decent, and sane (or at least it keeps them silently lurking). Sort of like an analog to Gresham's Law.

Still, here in my own little corner of the blogosphere, I've been very fortunate in the caliber of visitors I've drawn, and the caliber of the discussions we've had. And I think over these past two years I've gained a glimpse of what the real value of the blogosphere may be in the long run for many of us. I think of some of the people I've gotten to know here on my blog, or across the blogosphere. I think of how I've been brought together with folks of various outlooks and interests, or of outlooks and interests similar to my own.

Often in ways that never could have happened back in the old pre-online days. I think of the evening I got together for dinner with Caltechgirl and Grand Moff Trojan, who were passing through my part of the country. I think of how Lucy generously sent some crayons and magic markers for our Sunday schools here at Mt. Hope and St. John's. I think of how I wrote about the detailed language I created, and wrote a book in, in my teenage years, and how I learned that blogger Daniel Morris is also a language-creator like me. I think of the philosophy article from an out-of-print book that I was able to photocopy and send to the Tetrast. And I think of all the discussions and arguments I've had over the years, on my blog and on his blog and backchannel, with Dean Esmay, who is truly one of the greats.

The Internet in general tends to draw kindred hearts and minds together like this. But I think the blogosphere does this in an especially focused and personal and interactive manner. Back around 1970, a friend of mine once told me that the world was getting smaller and smaller, until by the year 2000 the world was going to contract to a mathematical point. Well, he was sort of joking, and pulling my leg, and seeing if he could hoodwink me into swallowing something he himself didn't really credit. But it's turned out that my friend was quite correct, in spite of himself. Through the Internet, through the blogosphere, the world has indeed in many ways collapsed to the dimensions of a mathematical point.

And I find myself rather bemused to be part of that. Still with certain reservations, see above! But bemused, and generally enjoying myself, and privileged to have met some wonderful people along the way. So I blog my way forward into my third year here at Let the Finder Beware.

9 Comments:

Blogger Richmond said...

Wonderful post, Paul! And we are all richer for getting a glimpse into you thoughts. Thanks for sharing them!

And happy blogiversary! This is a date that I won't forget! ;)

Monday, November 13, 2006 2:05:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Richmond, thanks! And once again, happy birthday! :)

Monday, November 13, 2006 2:26:00 PM  
Blogger Caltechgirl said...

congratulations, my friend.

Monday, November 13, 2006 2:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Re #2: What about exuberantly joyful mudwrestling?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 8:10:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Caltechgirl:

Well, thank you!!! :-)

Lucy:

Unfortunately there ain't much of that around in the blogosphere. Most of the blogospheric mudwrestling is more of the "bark, bark, snarl, whine, growl, SNAP!" rabid dog variety.

I will say this, the blogosphere provides an education in human psychology. Or is that, an education in the varieties of rabies?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 8:23:00 AM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

Congratulations, Paul.

Thanks again for pho'pying that passage for me. And whose posting here & therefore-ongoing contact with you motivated you to order some of them books in the first place? And to join the Peirce forum peirce-l? Your blog has brought you back to Peirce, even if via a fourist shaking his woody head at you and your fellow threepers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 5:29:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Thank you, sir. And don't forget: "One, two, three, but where is the fourth?" —Socrates, in Plato's Timaeus. ;-)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

Didn't Kenneth Dorter find where it was?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 9:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you and congratulations are in order ;-)



Janelle

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 9:33:00 PM  

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