Saturday, March 03, 2007

Flame on Agblosticism

Whimsley coins the term agblosticism to describe his skepticism about the worthiness of blogging: "To gain an audience you have to pick up on what other bloggers are writing about and respond within hours. So really, blogging just isn't my thing. The arguments go nowhere, no one changes their mind, and the signal/noise ratio is very low. The blogging world is a world built for quick-typing extroverts who don't go in too much for second thoughts."

Rubbish, Whimsley, rubbish! I have to give you some points for coming up with an el coolo new word, but other than that, well, geeze... I think you're being a curmudgeon.

You don't have to jump on stories to get an audience. You just have to join some blogrolls and write some good posts (which, I should add, Whimsley does). Many of my favorite bloggers (like James Laxer and Baghdad Burning) don't write regularly. I don't.

Being a blogger is a glorious activity. You get to be the editor of the New York Times. You never have to worry about having a piece accepted for publication or writing in a particular style. You write exactly what you want and presto - it's in print! And people read it.

I don't claim to be widely read, but I get enough comments to feel that I have some sort of readership. In addition, a quick google search shows that this blog has been quoted in Mother Jones; the Huffington Post; the Ken Dryden Liberal leadership site; a Judy Rebick-Elizabeth May dispute in Blue Wave Canada; a Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan web site; and numerous blogs.

Over the year and a bit that I've been blogging, I've had lots of good results:

- I'm writing better and faster.
- I'm getting better at finding ways to get through to readers. Sometimes I write a well-researched, ponderous post and find noone comments, so I rephrase it in a briefer, breezier style, and get a much better response.
- I'm less thin-skinned about comments that are critical of my posts. I find myself enjoying dissenting comments, even when they're inarticulate or nasty, and empathising with the writer.
- My opinions are becoming better informed (because, believe it or not, I actually do research my posts).
- Laying out my opinions in public has made me question a lot of things I took for granted and made my convictions stronger on other things.
- I have an unending flood of things I want to write about, and am held back only by time and energy constraints.
- I feel I'm part of the public discourse in a way I never was before.

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1 comment:

tom the curmudgeon said...

I guess you've become a quick-typing extrovert.

Actually, I'm feeling more positive about blogging than when I wrote that. Although I'll have to ask you about which blogroll lists are good to join.