Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Global Bloggage

There's something about a blog that makes a person want, no, need, no, desperately need, some sort of response. It's a big shout into the universe for attention. A yearning yelp into an echoey tunnel as in: Hello, is anyone there? Does anyone want to play? Is anybody listening? Hello? Hello? Hellooooooooooooooo?

Pathetic, eh?

Actually it's god damn embarrassing. And yet, why write a blog unless someone is going to read it? Isn't that the whole point of the exercise. And it's not just Smartmomou there blogging -- though her blog is, by all reports, wildly original and fun. There are tens of thousands of blogs at Blogspot alone. Haven't you ever wondered what that small button on the masthead that says "next blog" means? Try it someday and you'll see. There's a whole world of blogs out there, people from all over the world desperate to communicate. When she is supposed to be doing other things, Smartmom has read blogs from Adelaide, Australia; Florence, Italy; Stutgart, Germany; Singapore, Thailand, Lebanon, even New Jersey.

Kind of gets you thinking, doesn't it. Is all this blogging a cry for help or the proverbial note in the bottle thrown out to the proverbial sea?

Yes, indeed. Blogging has has become one gigando phenomenon. And Blogspot is probably just one of hundreds of blog-generating sites for those desperate to be heard. In a sense, Blogspot is a global village for the graphomaniacs of the world. Marshall McCluhan could never have imagined such a thing. And he thought television was going to be the big global municipality. Hate to say it, but that is so 20th century, man. Fact is, there are probably millions of blogs out there worldwide. Imagine: a small virtual universe of people striving for connection.

Now that's really profound, isn't it? It's friggin existential. Contemplating it now, Smartmom feels like a tiny, tiny speck in the blog universe. So very small and insignificant. Very, very teeny tiny.

So the question arises: Is anyone reading these blogs? Smartmom thinks the answer is a resounding "yes." Because while there are clearly hundreds of thousands (alright, millions) of people with the voracious need to tell-all about the minutae of their daily lives, there are also hundreds of thousands who are hopelessly voyeuristic, dying to read the dirty and the well pressed laundry of others. Hey, you just know it's true. Smartmom and the bloggers of the world are banking on it. Btw, is there any money in blogging? Answer: Nope.

Which isn't to say that there isn't a value to writing a blog that no-one reads. Surely blogging, like writing in a journal, has many purposes. For one thing, it a great way to get in touch with your inner Erma Bombeck, your inner Sylvia Plath, and your inner Maureen Dowd. All at once. Really, truly, it is immeasurably pleasurable to write just to write.

But there are limits.

Writing for writing sake is something that writer's do. But come on, isn't writing all about communication? And communication requires a communicator and a receiver, don't it ? Come on. Does the word interactivity mean anything to you? Hence, the "comment" link on the bottom of each and every one of Smartmom's posts.

Maybe the real reason Smartmom created this blog is because she leads the lonely life of a freelance writer, alone day in and day out in her basement lair. Her officemate, Real Fruit Jelly, isn't around much anymore. Smartmom and Real Fruit Jelly, like many good friends and office mates, used to spend an awful lot of time analyzing their lives. That's what they love to do. And it was like free therapy around here.

Now, Smartmom's only companion is a rather spiffy laptop computer. In a sense, she's had to create an imaginary friend who will listen to her rant about rave.

But stop your crying. Smartmom is exceedingly pleased to report that people are responding to her. They've heard her big shout out to the world. And for that she is one big grateful girl. Fact is, Smartmom has actually gotten quite a few e-mails from her very dear readers. And would you believe, she has the audacity to reproduce them here -- annonymously, of course. She does, however, feel a tad braggadocious presenting such glowing words from the throng. But a girls gotta kvell from time to time. It's only human.

"Wow - very cool! I can tell you are a real writer. Cute, the way you are turning everyone in your life into fictional (and charming)
characters. Quite entertaining."

"Your life sounds way better than mine - nothing about the house being a
mess, finding the time to fold & put away 6 loads of laundry per week,
stop the kids from fighting, and juggle the needs of my family and my
(very needy) clients."

"Just added The Blog to "my favorites". What a great website."

"In your spare time?! Or is this how you plan to keep up with all yr girlfriends - thus eliminating costly hours on the phone and email..?"

"I'm so flattered that you invited me to read your blog. And it's
terrific! I inhaled it. Very fun and I'm right there at Mojo's, Belleville,
Pandamonium, Yamoto... with you. My only question: how could you
possibly let Groovy Aunt give up Savage Beauty-and before she'd finished?"

"I'm completely inspired. Thanks for all your energy."

"Oldest – as in ‘oldest’ friend or the friend you have who is older than your other friends ....(notice, I accept “best” without any explanations at all – both best friend, or the best person who is your friend, would each be fabulous compliments!)
I read a few and find this format very intriguing – (The ones I read are wonderfully written, very crisp and also rhythmic – the “pulse” of the neighborhood – is that what you are thinking too? People’s names are GREAT too miss smartmom) but I never read a blog before, is this an accepted format – or did you reinvent it?"

"Your site is nothing short of brilliant. I haven't read it all but was
soaking up what I have (so far) and also laughing and loving it. Really
impressed me and I am proud of you."

Hello? Is anybody there? Is anybody really listening? Helloooooooooooooooooooooooo...



At 10:23 AM, Blogger brooklynfox said...

Who said the therapy was free? We owe each other tons of money for all the hours of analysis that's gone on in that office. But maybe it's a wash. SM, your thoughts on blogging are absolutely true. It's all a need to be heard and a need for response. I wasn't getting responses on my blog and started to think everyone thought I was a dope. Now they are back and I'm pleased as punch. Keep on bloggin'. Hey, maybe we should make that into a t-shirt. RFJ

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Udge said...

Hey Smartmom, just wanted to say a quick "hello, yes, there is somebody out here" and we are listening. I like your writing, especially your knack for picking good anonyms. You could offer that as a service!

And yes, I know and love "next blog" I spend far too much time in the blogger universe.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger mrs.kravitz said...

I am reading and enjoying all Smartmom-flavored bloggage, albeit days after you've written. Yes I've got blog lag. I usually devour several days at once and go to bed satisfied but with the knowlege that my next foray might be days away. All blog entries have been tasty and fun. AOME (apple of my eye) misses OSFO!


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