Friday, September 03, 2004

To Blog or not to Blog?

That is a pretty good question. There are so many blogs out there, and so few of them are worth reading. Unless one is an accomplished writer, for one to assume that one can produce a blog that is as good as the best, and therefore worth reading, requires either hubris or ignorance. But I read blogs. I read several of them, and for various reasons. Some of them I read for information (e.g., Washington Monthly, Talking Points Memo, or Daily Kos), others for similar viewpoints (Brad DeLong, Brian Leiter, and the like), alternative viewpoints (Evangelical Outpost, Andrew Sullivan, and a few others), specific issues (like Alas, a Blog), out of intellectual interest or curiosity (Pandas Thumb, Pharyngula, and Language Log are a few examples), and for humor, be it intented (Fafblog and Sadly, No!) or unintended (e.g., Anal Philosopher, Vox Popoli, Dissecting Leftism, and other unintentionally humorous blogs1 ). Sometimes reading a blog leaves me frustrated, amused, angry, inspired, or interested in learning more. Often I want to comment, but many blogs have no comment sections, the comments fill up so fast that it's unlikely anyone will read my specific comment, or the discussions in comments are hopelessly inane. I could email the blog's author, but why send it to only one person, or let that person use my words for his or her purposes without making them public myself first? So, the most obvious option left to me is to blog. But then I return to the first point: it's unlikely that I can blog well. I have published, but I'm hardly an accomplished writer. My knowledge base is relevant to most of the issues that people like to read about on blogs only peripherally, so my opinions on these issues will be no more, and often less informed than the good bloggers who are already out there. What's a guy to do?

Well, if you're reading this, you already know the answer. I've decided to blog. I do so without the arrogance that would lead me to believe I will be widely read, or the ignorance that might make me think I will be better than the good blogs already out there, and therefore I hope to be able to avoid the pitfalls that hubris and ignorance usually create. Maybe after a few days or weeks, I will decide that I'm better off keeping my comments to myself, or at least buried in comment sections where no one will read them. Until then, I hope anyone who happens by gets something out of his or her few minutes of time.

1 I just noticed that all the blogs listed in the "unintentionally humorous" category are blogger blogs. This doesn't bode well for me, does it?

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