Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Are Blogs for?

Daniel Green at The Reading Experience responds to the recent announcement that the US Poetry Foundation's Harriet blog is to abandon the "discussion model" and replace it with "a daily news feed with links and excerpts from other outlets around the world." I thoroughly agree with his view:

Is more "information" what we really need? ...does it just reduce the discussion of poetry to the same relentless focus on trivia that characterizes the coverage of movies, of celebrity culture in general? What seems to me to be motivating the Harriet change of approach--what seems to be motivating the Twitterization of online discourse in general--is precisely the desire to see what is posted disseminated "far and wide through various status updates, wall postings, and links," not a concern for the substance of the post. The mere accumulation of friends, followers, and hits, evidence of "interaction," is the end-in-itself.

The digest form of weblog has existed from the beginnings of the blogosphere, is probably the original, most recognizable form of blog. Plenty of them still exist and provide useful "news." If Twitter now performs this function more efficiently, so be it, but that doesn't seem to be a good reason to transform all blogs into versions of Twitter. Both poetry and fiction need more "discursive blogs" examining the news that stays news, not fewer.


L'Aussie said...

Why turn blogs into daily news feeds. Let's keep the discussion going. If we are truly 'Twitterised' it will be a sad day.

Mike French said...

What a strange decision - taking part in social sites is a way of throwing a wide net out to your potential readers - to kill the heart of what you are building is madness.
An effective means of communicating must align with the core vision of what you stand for - otherwise you just add low grade rubbish to the already huge amount of noise out there.