Although there are probably as many different ideas on what a blog is, and should be, as there are blogs, Dorothea and Jonathon seem to have two very different ideas about what the nature of the kind of blog I write should be. In other words, Im not talking about linking-blogs, per se, or even private journals that appear to be meant for private consumption by a close-knit group of friends.
I think Dorothea accepts the more traditional (if you can have a tradition for something so new that it doesnt even appear in a dictionary yet) concept of what a blog should be. In other words, she wants it to be a place where bloggers can honestly discuss important ideas of the day. Although these blogs may often start with the bloggers technological expertise, they generally move out from this center to broader topics. Recently, these blogs have turned to political discussion, but by nature they seem more devoted to a discussion of life in general, oftentimes to a search for meaning in life. These blogs center on one or two bloggers with a peripheral group that recognizes but may not always link to other members of the same community. One of the strengths of this kind of community is a shared wisdom based on the individual strengths of various members. In order for these communities to function well, though, there has to be a shared trust.
That shared trust is based not only familiarity with other bloggers, but on the honesty of each of the members. After all, members often argue vigorously over topics of discussion and need to be able to trust that other members are honestly debating the issues, not using hidden agendas to promote other issues.
Jonathon, however, seems to be pushing for a new kind of blog, one that Shelley has recently alluded to with her shift from a technological focus to a literary focus. Since Im unfamiliar with the Japanese literary tradition Jonathon refers to, I can only guess what kind of tradition he is aiming for. I suspect that whatever format he is trying to evolve will bear some resemblance to Kunderas writing style in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, with its unique mixture of personal experience, philosophical exploration, and story telling, though this is, of course, merely speculation on my part.
Im not sure that Jonathons kind of blog is entirely compatible with the earlier vision discussed, though it certainly shares a lot in common with blogs like Eeksy Peeksy, High Water, and You Live Your Life as if Its Real. Clearly, though, its one thing to read Kunderas novels, and something quite different to read an individuals daily blog. Most importantly, its more difficult to trust what the author is saying when you know hes making up much of what he writes about.
Perhaps, though, its not too different from what Ive been trying to do here, using literature to understand who I am and what I believe. While Ive always tried to stay within the boundaries of personal (t)ruth (Yes, Shelley, there really is a Gavinator), Ive tried to relate my appreciation of literature to my personal philosophy and to my outlook on the political world. Truly, this is NOT a poetry blog, despite my earlier admission and others attempts to put me in that classification. Im not teaching literature any more; Im getting ready to die (NO, Dawn, Leslie, etc., not in the next few days, months, or, hopefully years) but I am merely trying to make sense of this life before shifting planes.
Unlike Dorothea, if I read her correctly, Im looking forward to seeing how Jonathons blog proceeds, though I doubt I will ever be able to read it in quite the same way that I used to read it. Im curious if Jonathon can successfully stretch the limits of blogging by intermixing fiction and fact.
That said, Im getting off this soapbox and moving back into the shadows of my poetry blog again. If you want to read some excellent commentary on the limits of blogging see: