Sunday, November 29, 2009

Next blog, please

I'm not sure why this is happening just now, but a portion of the visitors of this blog are visiting a link called /?expref=next-blog. My guess is that, rather than searching for this particular next blog link, these folks got here by starting someplace else and clicking on next blog until they saw something they liked or got bored and went off to do something else. Blog surfing, basically. So I thought I'd do the same and see what else was out there. [The Next Blog button disappeared a while ago, at least from this blog's style sheets --D.H. Dec 2015]

I didn't keep a close count, but the breakdown was roughly:
  • A few family blogs, as in "here's what my family is up to", including one in Swedish. Sort of a year-round online version of the annual holiday letter to one's far-flung friends and relations.
  • A few photo blogs, one linked to flickr and offering to sell prints and send e-cards using the images.
  • A craft blog or two, one in Norwegian and English.
  • Several poetry blogs
  • Nothing technical, whether figuring out the web or anything else.
I have no idea if this is a representative sample, or if not, just how it is selected, or in any case, why the tilt towards Scandinavia. The lack of technical content has an easy and -- to my mind -- encouraging explanation: The web really is accessible to a broad range of people, only a few of whom are interested in its technical workings.

From a purely formal point of view, almost all the blogs hew pretty closely to the prototypical one or several contributors posting sporadically about whatever. That makes perfect sense given that the blog is a form, not a genre, but I was still a bit taken by just how much blogs look and smell like blogs.

One formal experiment that I ran across was Quoted Images, Imaged Quotes, in which a photographer and partner are collaborating to produce a captioned image every day for a year. Rather than writing a caption, the captioner chooses a quote to fit the image (or perhaps vice versa, or both). Even this experiment is not without precedent. Thing a week comes to mind.

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