Some blogs I read often, some I read occasionally. There are 37 blogs on my blogroll in the sidebar, and I have at least 37 others bookmarked. It’s not that the other 37 don’t make the cut; it’s just that 37 is enough for a sidebar.
Even if you don’t know me, we have a relationship. I KNOW YOUR BLOG.
The blog is an odd, unpredictable, shambling genre. It is a “Web Log,” and I don’t have the faintest idea what that means. Is it a website? It looks like a website. Is it a log? A ship’s log? What kind of log? A black box? A blog is a Website that people can comment on, says Wikipedia.
If I depended on comments, I wouldn’t fit the definition of a blogger. But, yes, they can comment on it.
My first blog was a journal. Way too personal. I deleted it.
The second blog, this one, Frisbee: A Book Journal, is a book blog. Obviously. It says so. I have always regretted the name. It was supposed to be a temporary blog; it was supposed to be a temporary name. Frisbee is a record of my mushrooming susceptibility to books in the age of blogs: even if I say I am going to read Hermann Broch’s The Death of Virgil, I may well end up reading Elizabeth Bowen or Ruth Prawer Jhabvala if a blogger has inspired me. I am, well, like a frisbee tossed here and there, or maybe a moth winging from flower to flower. Perhaps I’ll change the name to Biblio-Wing (doesn’t that sound like a band?) or In a Bind?
Blogs are nothing if not varied and versatile. Scroll down my blogroll and you’ll find Redeeming Qualities writing about old books she downloads at Project Gutenberg. Silver Threads writes about classics and contemporary books. Tony’s Book World and Books I Done Read mostly review contemporary fiction. Dovegreyreader’s blog is a modern Diary of a Provincial Lady with books.
My friend Ellen Moody, a professor and writer, has three blogs: At Ellen and Jim Have a Blog, Two, she writes often scholarly posts about films, plays, and books; at Reveries under the Sign of Austen, Two, she writes about Austen; at Under the Sign of Sylvia, she writes about personal things. I love reading about the personal, and thus Sylvia is one of my favorite blogs.
The personal: I grew up telling everybody everything, even on the bus. I made friends with one of my bus mates, who also went to work with wet hair, and we exchanged stories about our jobs. Whether anybody else heard those stories, I don’t know or care. When I worked in an office, a very conventional, very young woman told me her father told her you should never talk about personal things. She was very annoyed by my not-just-the-weather chatter. Oddly, she became very personal with me, perhaps because I couldn’t help being confidential, and I became very fond of her. But I didn’t have a thing to say about money, religion, politics, or sports, the other forbidden topics people talked about. I think that’s my (partly) working-class origins, talking about the personal, and the fact that my mother spent hours every day telling everybody everything on the phone. Mrs. Clarence had a new job; my teacher was later for school; Mr. Nicholson finally bought his daughter a Barbie doll. Eventually I got a job where I could be as personal as I wanted so long as I turned my work in on time.
According to a recent NM/Incite study at the end of 2011, there are 81 million blogs around the world, as opposed to 36 million in 2006. Women make up the majority of bloggers; half of bloggers are age 18-34; seven out of 10 have gone to college.
I am a woman, I am over 34, and I have gone to college.
So are we lonely women? Are we articulate women? Are we women looking for a place to write? What are we doing “up here,” as I like to refer to the blogosphere?
I am not sure the blog will last. I certainly imagine some of my favorite bloggers will get offline and write a novel. Whether it will be published, of course, is another thing. But tell me the truth. Wouldn’t you buy a book by your favorite blogger?
Curiously, though I love blogging, I feel like burning all my diaries, with the exception of a very funny one I wrote in college. I would have to rip the bindings and shred the paper first before I canned it for the trash men, because I have images of them chortling over them on a break. But I look at my blogs and shrug. Sure, there is traffic here, sure there are occasional indiscretions, sure, I have enjoyed it, but if I disappeared everybody would get over it in days. But I do intend to continue blogging, of course.
Some professional writers have been pissed off from Day 1 about blogs. Anybody can read or write a blog, they say, and how dare they? What are their credentials? What if they get their stats wrong? They’re fucking taking away readership from the New York Times and the Kalamazoo Gazette, and they don’t deserve it. If you don’t want to write a book, if you don’t want to write for a newspaper, if you’re just putting up your thoughts at your blog, it’s somehow a threat.
I expect someday, not now, I’ll start another blog.
But the future of the blog seems brightish, or only a little cloudy at this point.
Tomorow: back to my blogging. What’s up?