Why (not) to have a blog?

I have thought about a bunch of reasons why to create my own blog or why not to create it.


What speaks against it:

* So many people have blogs, the whole Internet is a flood of information and attention economy management, there is too much of it, nobody will ever notice single blogs.

* Blogging supports individualization tendencies in contemporary society, and individualization erodes collective identities that are needed for collective political struggles.

* Blogging is an ideology, it creates the impression that everyone can be heard and can become a citizen-journalist, although in reality big corporations rule the media landscape and as a result public opinion.

* Blogging (and Web 2.0 in general, especially also social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook) supports the tendency that too much private information becomes public, which erodes privacy cocnerns and supports a general positive attitude towards surveillance in society, which is problematic in a post-9/11 world.

* Blogging on popular platforms like blogger or blogspot supports profit-generation of large corporatons (Google) that tend to create economic monopolies and support captial-concentration. By joining in, you let yourself being exploited as an audience commodity in the sense given by Dallas Smythe.

* Blogging creates a strange relation of the personal and the professional, so that people whom you mainly know privately get too much involved in your professional life, and vice versa. It tends to blur spaces of your life that normally tend to keep separate.


What speaks in favour of it:

*Part of what I am doing and what is important for me is what you could term Internet Research and Internet Theory. A researcher in this field probably should use new technologies to the best extent.

* Blogging might easily supporty staying in touch with people whom you consider important.

* Blogging can generate interesting discussions and conversations.

* Blogging is not just an individualized personal expression, but does have a more collective, political dimension, as political blogs (as e.g. anti-war blogs) show.

* Blogging can build new social relations and maintain existing ones over time-space distances.

* Blogging can be an avantgarde experimental experience if you manage to do it wisely.


You could certainly add many other potential advantages and disadvantages, and I am interested in hearing about why you think one should create and use blogs or should not do so.


In the end, the reason for creating this blog is a completely different one. I have never written a diary, but sonehow I would like to document parts of my life in a self-relfexive way. Academic slike Margaret Archer and Anthony Giddens keep telling us that reflection is the central characteristic of contemporary society. I don’t think this is true because for me the central characteristic is that this is a capitalist society and there are many other important characteristics you can find. But self-reflection surely is a great quality in an age of fast social changes, in which we tend to forget to take a break from everyday life and everyday stress. I consider this blog as a self-reflexive tool that allows me to document parts of my life, to share these parts with some people, and to take moments that give me a break from everyday routines so that I can make sense of things on a meta-level. Given this moment of self-reflection, blogs are great tools, although I can think of a hundred reasons why not to use them. I also have the idea that in some decades, let’s say 50 years from now and I hope to reach the age of 81, I can look back on my blog-history and that it will allow me to reflect on my personal history. But then again, in 50 years from now technology will look completely different, and blogging might seem to my grandchildren as strange as for me the telegraph.


I invite you to return to this blog, to comment, to share your thoughts with me, and to subscribe.


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