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by Jay Fienberg

Blogging as (imaginary?) public correspondence

posted: Apr 25, 2004 3:24:37 PM

I've been reflecting on why / how I blog after reading this quote from danah boyd in the Linked Out: Blogging, Equality, and the Future article that I recently mentioned:

Which groups of people can take time out of the workday to read/write in blogs? Which groups have free time after the workday?

Yesterday, I managed to post to all three of my current blogs, and it was hard to not notice that it took a bunch of time to do so. Why am I spending my time blogging?

I've been thinking that blogging, at least for me, is a kind of act of writing correspondence, but with the relatively weird properties that I am not writing these posts to a specific person or group of people, and I am not strictly expecting corresponding posts in response. But, in terms of being an activity that takes up time, it feels similar to sitting down and writing letters.

I guess this is essentially similar to writing a diary or journal where one imagines an other to be the reader: Dear diary, today I . . . Except, one's blog does reach a "public", some of whom then correspond in response. And that seems to be an essential reason to post.

I basically see my blogging, into the future, getting more and more divided between multiple sites. I think the "blog", in the familiar and sometimes hyped format it appears in today, is probably more important as a stepping stone to something else than as an end in itself. And, at the moment, as one possibility, I am imagining what follows blogging as having some more of the qualities of correspondence (e.g., more personalized, more something that is kept, more something that is reciprocated).

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