Tuesday, March 10, 2009

25 Random Things: elenabella

I've been blogging now since late September (with 2 screensaver gaps in late December and February) and thinking about what a blog is or could be. For me it has been a daily dialogue/bio-log, a place for random or meditative reflections and connections with others, sometimes invisible (ideal/ized) readers. It's a practice. The question becomes: how to manage the time it takes to produce the posts? Where is it going? Where does it come from? And (of course) who cares? I read somewhere that "no one cares about a blog except the writer and, possibly, their mother" – my mother is a reader, and that's good enough for me. (But I so appreciate all of you other readers, too: thanks for visiting, and come around often – or better yet, subscribe!)

I won't go on too long in this vein, except to indicate that these are questions you begin to ask if you start throwing words or images or ideas or videos around on the web. The crafting of a webspot turns out to be a somewhat random thing: one kind of aesthetic practice among many possibilities. Any practice involves the full spectrum of emotional engagement: it is a joy, a life-saver, a pleasure, a burden, a conundrum, a gift – an experiment with memory, observation, revelation, and the great unknown. It begins with one reckless and quasi-calculated act of risk-taking, and then becomes a question of trying to do something interesting every day.

It does seem like a strange sort of miracle that we can now create on-line journals, complete with video, sound bites and photos, and immediately disseminate them around the globe. Sometimes I click on that button at the top of my screen that simply says "next blog" and then travel wherever it goes.


Nor said...

Curious... I have no idea what it means "to subscribe".. when I click on that area in your margin it comes up with various things (like Google & Yahoo) that I don't relate to.... Does subscribing mean your blogs would come up on my AOL mail? How does it help the blogger?

Joyce said...

I echo Nor's query ~ I. too, have had the same things come up when I click on the subscribe area in the margin. Help for your faithful reader (Mom), please!

elena said...

This is a bit complex, so bear with me – and thanks for asking!

You can use a RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed to aggregate (pull together) content from news sites and blogs, so they are located in one handy place of your choosing, such as your Google Reader page.

[There is good information at About.com about Web Logs, explaining this more fully (look for a piece by Susan Gunelius called "Lessons in RSS"and another by Heinz Tschabitscher on "How to Subscribe to a RSS feed".]

If you add a blog to Google (click on subscribe, then on the Google icon), you are then asked to choose between the Google homepage or your Google Reader. If you choose Google Reader, you'll see all the blogs and news feeds you follow each day, pulled into that location. You can click back and forth among them, reading "your" blogs there or back at their homes.

While I do this (through Google), it's not really my favorite way to read blogs, as the pages don't appear quite the way they do when you just bookmark a page and visit regularly. It is fun for a blogger to see that others are subscribing, though, as a sign of life out there in the "sphere"!

hoping for better things said...

Elenabelena, I am so glad for your blog, and thank you for your blogging thoughts too. Have you read the Huffington Post Guide to Blogging? I got it for myself (after it didn't seem to be among the Christmas gifts others had thoughtfully gotten for me) and read it all the way through - not, I think, hardly relevant at all to me and my blog, nor much to you and yours though possibly certainly more so.

I think it would be very nice if there were something, a book maybe that you and I write, about more personal blogging. Just a thought.

Thanks too for the subscription info - I have suggested to our friend Alex that she might subscribe so she doesn't have to guess whether I've updated my blog but that made her a little nervous - I think I have one subscriber and two followers - do you want to tackle what *that* difference is? (hubby subscribes; you and my niece follow // you two show up on my blog, he doesn't)

All right, this is getting longer than your original post. It was great to see you in B'town!

mine own self

elena said...

Thanks, HFBT...Your post makes me realize how little I really do know about the technical dimensions of following, subscribing, and so on. Everything changes so rapidly: that I do know. (We have changes to our facebook pages now that I find annoying – at this point.)

I sometimes feel like I was "born to blog," as I like the opportunity to follow the trace of fascinations...with more readers than you have if you keep a private journal. I went from scorn for the form to a vital interest in it.

A book about personal blogging: now there's an idea. I am so attached to books, still (and always) and keep thinking about the differences among various modes of written communication, especially when trying to give form to the "personal." It would be fun to teach a class or workshop about blogging: I could really get excited about that.