Blogging… It Still Makes Me Cringe

It was from a .net site that used the WordPress.org interface for a number of years that the WP brand name stuck in my head.  With the .com site, anyone can register using their servers instead of requiring your own—it turned out to be a pretty visually appealing and informative place, given all of the efforts of getting out those “reflections on life.”

Now making even FireFox 11.0 obsolete, WordPress continues to advance its CSS, whereas certain other blog sites (not naming names) remain stuck in the past, having even cramped outer-frames despite the current 1024×768 web standard.

When I decided to come here —choosing, of course, the limited “free” version— I thought I could just dole out my thoughts and grievances, reviews and such, and attract an audience that will actually read it.  Add to that the cataloging aspect of “Tags” in modern weblogging, making searches easy, as well as automatic comment-pingback links whenever a post links to a different post (i.e., on some one else’s blog).

Ignorance in Options

But like all things left unchallenged in ease versus the overwhelming plethora of options, the willingness of the typical browser-then-blogger to retain factual knowledge… would be thrown out the window.  There are just so many misinformed people out there.  I would see first-hand just what’s true and what isn’t about “the blogger.”

I’ve felt like a fool, engaging with some of them —not naming names again.  I may not have much life experience personally, but facts are facts.  As with Katrina in 2005, numerous charity scams popped up for Sandy, and I’ve not heard once about that in the “blogosphere.”  Maybe I haven’t looked far enough, but I know greed was present.

The motto of journalism: first, be accurate.  Getting a load of details into an article isn’t helpful if those details are incorrect.  And you have to verify what’s coming from external sources, not to mention suspend or fire agenda-riddled so-called journalists.  But tell that to the New York Times, the “paper of recognition” that didn’t check Jason Blair’s literally-fantastical work until the damage was done.  And cases like that are the obvious ones.  With everyone in the closed ‘news’ circle all trusting each other, it would make one wonder, How much of the ‘news’ isn’t propaganda?

Opportunism exists in blogging as well, but most bloggers are too busy with actual lives to head down that irresponsible road.  That isn’t to say that other roads of irresponsibility wouldn’t be taken.  There would be a lot of rambling by people who don’t have much credibility beyond their own apartments— resigned to that ‘humor’ tag so much of the time, translating thoughts the best they can into absurdities.

WordPress may be one of the more “cleaner” destinations, where context is still regarded as something important, but like all others modernity catches up, and certian blogs would be geared toward audiences that either ‘get it’ or ‘go somewhere else.’  While WordPress is a 13+ site, not much, if anything is done to verify the ages of the readers/bloggers.

Agree-ability and Cost

It wouldn’t be so much the words taken at issue, it would be that ‘agreeability’ factor that I have problems with.  Everything just has to be readable, digestible, and ultimately, tolerable in the mainstream politically.  If what you’re looking at doesn’t fit implied standards on appearance, then expect no one to ‘Like’ it.  And if you don’t have people outside, such as ‘friends’ on FaceBook or twitter, you’re out of luck on gaining any feedback to improve your blog let alone a significant following.  It takes a while to ‘nurture’ your ‘followers,’ that actual effort would be put in to visibly appreciate things.

And I cringe at that term, follower.  It comes from the social media, but here it makes me think, lemming or something worse.  Reader would be more accurate, as your not following that other blogger into the bathroom— instead merely getting light of a direct audience in recent-to-new posts.  An international thing— bloggers and followers… strangers around the world not following you into the bathroom.

I should give out at least one name on that note.  It took a couple years for relatively-young Romanian writer Cristian Mihai to pass the 20,000 mark in ‘followers’ at the turn of November.  Congratulations, Cristian.  You have so many… that read but don’t respond, percentage-wise (typically only in the hundreds in ‘Likes’ out of that 20K— some 1 to 3%).  And, as usual in the ’sphere, a fraction of that in verbal feedback.  (And kudos for not letting the Satanic Verses-fatwa over Salman Rushdie’s head distract from the subject matter at hand.)

As no subscription costs are required anywhere here, the old phrase comes to mind: most people want things for free.  A lot of manual work is done for attaining an audience, however; you have to actually go out there and ‘Like’ the work of others.  Unless you’re “trending,” not many will find you via ‘friends’—and so often, physically distant ‘friends.’

It gives sense to that “persona,” the ‘art’ of relating through relative craft, where you can put up another blog or two for different tastes or sides of the authors.  Or as with ‘Le Clown,’ the dichotomy of a blog that made ‘fuck’ and ‘vagina’ mainstream, and a more serious one for mental health issues (sans ‘Clowning’).

But like those distant relationships, I would come to look at hundreds of posts and still don’t know these people.  And they most certainly don’t know me, and most don’t much bother to.  I wonder just how would I need to update my About page, etc. to get real feedback. But then again, most people just want things for free, also reflecting the attention span of the web by wanting you to respond within five minutes.

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