April 06, 2008

Toward 5,000 Posts - A Penny for My Thought

I haven't made the $10-per-post day-laborer blogging wage cited in the 'blogging and death' article that is making the rounds today, or I'd be celebrating $50K pretty soon. Now, have I made $50K through connections I've made at least partly through blogging? A case could be made that I have, over the last seven years, in fact benefited thusly. And that is something, isn't it?

But that's not the point of the article.

The point of the article, I guess, is to tell the world what stress the men of blogging are under as they seek to scoop one another in running the latest breaking news story on technology, the web, and sometimes even actual news.

Our fallen brethren are mentioned by name in the article - one that would probably have made their skin crawl in its light handling of a deep subject of life intertwined with Internet culture, and which one wins in the end.

It can be argued, can't it, on the day of Mr. Heston's death that blogs don't kill people; people kill people.

And mostly, bit by bit, we kill ourselves.

As I say goodbye yet again to Shelley, who it seems has posted a goodbye to weblogging -- something Shelley has done before and yet returned again to blog another day -- I wonder if this time she's gone from blogging for good.

I wouldn't blame her. I haven't even emailed her to ask. Because I think I already know her response.

I haven't been frequenting this place myself much these days, you see. For none of the reasons mentioned by the big boys of blogging in the NYT story, the blogscape doesn't appeal to me much anymore.

The blogosphere I once loved has become the Walmart of the net, always open, stocking shelves 24x7 with every non-original, mass-produced commodity anyone might think that they might want, everything known to man that he might, with half a brain and half-witted-attention, stumble upon and consume--quickly.

In other words - it's gotten pretty stupid around here.

We were once an agora of idea merchants, crafters of thought, offering tapestries of original wit, clay pots of humor. We came together here to barter, to banter, and to exercise our voice in the town square.

We came to rile one another up, not to scoop one another.

We came to make stories, not to report news.

And when all else failed, which it did often, we came to squeeze each others' melons.

I'm not here to wax anything, although I could go on. There are plenty of blog posts from elder bloggers telling the new headliners how it used to be.

Shelley and I aren't the only ones feeling like misfits. The news makers have been supplanted by the new stenographers. The story tellers have been run over by the reporters. The pros have taken the helm. Death of the amateur be not proud.

And that's ok.

Except that it's not.

But like everything else, the net is cyclical. So I'll wait. Round and round we go. One by one they'll go. And some of us will make it through to the other side.

Meet me at the melons.