November 10, 2001

All of the talk of memes, no memes, good memes, bad memes--I've got a migraine already. Are we blogging to propogate? To irritate? To titilate? To constipate? Yes -- all of the above. And, not to mention, because we have to, and because it's really fun.

The blog is the ultimate bottom-up mouthpiece for lots of reasons--not the least of which is because thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people blog while chained to their ergonomically-designed, uncomfortable-as-hell cubicle chairs during the 9-5 corporate dance. As the corporation shouts in one ear and dulls human senses with uninspired tasks, the brain presses mute, and out the other side comes the blog (with a little help from ten fingers).

The corporation doesn't know what we're doing. I've done my own unofficial poll. A chief digital strategy executive and a publication manager at one of the world's largest consulting companies had the same reaction to my new obsession: "What's a blog?"

And if the corporation knew what we were doing, what would they say? "Wow, what an amazing forum--who are you talking with? what matters to them? what the hell is going on out there?" No, I'm pretty sure that's not what's going to happen. Like blocking napster access (back in the day), I'm pretty darn sure the corporate eyebrow would raise not-so-slightly, with the ageold warning: "Don't let this affect your productivity." I'm willing to wager we'll start to hear non-gonzo proclamations of 'no blogging at work,' or worse yet, "Hey, set one of those blogs up for the marketing department, will ya? we can talk about our new product launch." egads.

But in the end, the blog will prevail. It is, as Locke says, the pure addictive joy of this blogging that keeps us at it. And we can all use a little more joy these days.

It worked! How cool is this--instant thought capture on your desktop--obscured from the view of nosey cube mates and bottom-line-obsessed bosses. This blog buddy is just the coolist little nifty thing. Talk about push button publishing. I'm so excited! Now blogging can completely take over my life, as I rush to capture every significant (and stupid) thought!

I'm testing blog buddy--can this thing possibly work? See--it's just what I'm saying about new applications that will put blogging into overdrive.

November 09, 2001

new reasons for the french to hate us

Uh, newsflash to the French: we already are.

Get your extremism on.

November 08, 2001

don't slap my goat too

Now, onto the one true voice thing (that other subject we were debating over on our sister blog). Look, I took some flack for that. The boys say I'm overusing the notion of passion. That people don't have one voice--at the core--that is THE voice.

To that end, they cite the very real example of people pretending to be who they are not, manipulating voice to masquerade false personnas. Who ever heard of such crap? Nonesense--such trickery is reserved for only the most renegade marketing hacks...

(two... three... four)

Okay. I get their point. Maybe you have to be a half-Czec, half-Sicilian upstate new yorker whose very core was fused from collected experiences that might scare you if I blogged them here. Maybe that's why you don't get it. WHAT'S WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

You can do whatever you want with this voice I'm talking about. Dress it up in a foreign tongue, twist it into an outrageous redneck drawl, take on personnas that have polar-opposite views. That's great. That's called playing. That's called improv. It doesn't mean that somewhere, deep in your gut, spleen, or pancreas, YOUR voice isn't waiting--when you come home again after you've had your fun (or been stuck in the corporate grind for a decade or two).

YES YOU DO have A voice, THE voice, YOUR voice. When I say voice, I don't mean having an "opinion." I mean that primal rumbling that takes form and speaks to you inside your own head--don't tell me it's not in your head (please don't tell me that)--talks to you, and you talk back, and when you feel anything intense--from joy to pain, or just plain boredom-- it's there just WAITING to shout out.

So there you have it. The zen of voice. I don't have it figured out yet, but I know that two months ago I met an old friend, one who'd been quiet for a really long time, and I was so happy to see her again.

nightall............ (leave my goat alone.)

November 07, 2001

don't slap my goat

I've been hearing some conflicting opinions on my little theories about blogging being a self-sustaining model, and about the 'one true voice' thing we've been discussing in parallel monologues on that party-blog, Gonzo Engaged.

First, why blogs will continue to flourish through this self-propogating (het hem) model:

Okay, so blogs can get tiresome--I'll give you that. But that's because this blogging thing is part of an evolution. It's not the answer. The destination. It's not anything really except another platform for voice--a really no-cost-entry easy-to-use platform for anyone who knows how to open a browser.

Does that mean the rifraf can get in? Oh yeh. There goes the neighborhood. Good.

What we're going to see--count on it--is the emergence of self-publishing tools and platforms that take blogs to the next level. It's already happening. The first-level blogs are pretty much diaries. One guy or gal's take on the world. Second-level blogs welcome other voices into the blog. Some blogs do this by linking each post to a discussion area. Blogger.com has a "Team" feature where you can invite any dufus with an email address onto your blog to give their parallel or perpendicular view of the world, or on the topic of the moment.

So what's next? Maybe blogs that let you host interactive chats in a separate window--so you can talk real-time about the post of the day. Sure, you can do this now--I'm no wizard, but I use instant messaging--no reason you couldn't get the team together to chat about today's post. But who's willing to go that extra step? What, I'm gonna say, Hey RageBoy, can I have your Yahoo screen name so I can bother you all day long? No, go away, he's likely to reply in his quick-witted style. But if our little team could chat amongst our blog, that would be fun.

We want it fast, good, and cheap, so give it to me--IN my blog.

What else? When I was reading Gonzo Marketing, I wanted desperately a pop-up window, where I could read on one side of the screen, and write on another. Oh sure, I could open a couple of different browser windows and arrange them in some semi-random fashion on my screen, but you know that doesn't work for long. One gets on top of the other, then the windows start that inevitable flip-flopping behind and in front of one another--thereby defeating the pure simple elegance of what it means to blog.

These are just a couple of ideas--and not great ones. For all I know, we can do these things now. In my month of blogging, I don't claim to be an expert. Besides that, I've been working all day. So that's all I've got in me. the end.

November 06, 2001

why blog?

Not exactly an age-old question. But I've been thinking about it a lot lately, as blogging slowly but surely takes over my life. No tolerance for interruptions to this sacred task. My house, a pig-stye; my bills piled high--how many months behind am I? My kid--I'm not sure where.

If obsessive microjournalism is a crime, then let me be guilty.

I blog because I can. I blog because I have to. In my blog, I am a present, unwrapped. Presented to the universe--or a couple of people with nothing else to do--for the pure thrill of it.

It's really not a good thing, this addiction. Anyone have a 12-step program for bloggers? Higher power where are you? I can't find your link. If I could, I'd put it in my link list. Really I would.

Blog, sweet blog, take me over, release me. Sound off--1.2.

gotta go. creditor's on the phone.

Nine out of ten pediatricians agree, do not get the kids this fad gift for the holidays.


November 05, 2001

Dictionary.com's Word of the Day for Monday November 5, 2001:

gamine \gam-EEN; GAM-een\, noun:
1. A girl who wanders about the streets; an urchin.
2. A playfully mischievous girl or young woman.

And the whole world is whacked out with fear of nuclear doom, except for Claire, a French gamine who is "living her own nightmare" and waking up in lots of strange places.
--Joe Brown, Washington Post, January 17, 1992

Gamine. Really a beautiful word. Had I never come upon this dictionary.com definition, I might have even named my child Gamine, as it has the ring of a fine name, and rhymes nicely with my own. Ah, but I have met Claire now, the French gamine, and thanks to the net, won't make that horrific mistake, which would leave me puzzled, Guy and Marguerite leaning slightly forward in their chairs at that quaint Parisian cafe, giggling, as I wonder aloud where Gamine has gotten to.