April 11, 2007

When bloggers are too intrablog.

I blog (and vlog) about blogging sometimes, but I also try to resist it. For example, in that famous outburst of mine on Bloggingheads recently, I didn't want to impose on viewers by putting a remark that offended me into context, because I didn't think it made sense to appropriate Bloggingheads time to explain an old fight among bloggers. I think viewers (and readers) must get annoyed at bloggers going on about blogging.

And I know I'm doing it now. But I ran across this Bloggingheads segment where they go very intrablog for a whole segment and talk about something that they assume we get, but in fact, they are talking about something -- "Blogroll Amnesty Day" -- that I've never even heard of. I mean, I blog a lot, every day, so if there's something about blogging that I haven't heard of, I have to think it's obscure enough to require an explanation. And not only do they talk about it a lot, they are oblivious to the possibility that viewers don't know what they are talking about. Not to mention the problem of whether we'd care if we did know.

Last week, I was on vacation, taking a bath in my hotel room and, like the web addict that I am, for something to listen to, instead of something normal like soothing music, I put on the newest Bloggingheads episode. So there I am, lolling in the hot water, listening to Bloggingheads creator Bob Wright and internet god Michael Kinsley and they start talking about me -- me and that time I raised my voice and got mad talking with Garance. And Bob is giving background on the story that includes the sort of thing I thought I'd be misappropriating Bloggingheads time to go into. And asking Michael Kinsley to care. And Kinsley acted like he sort of cared a little, though not enough to really want to rake over the details. Which seemed sensible to me.

Anyway, I'm thinking about this because I'm actually going to record a Bloggingheads with Bob today where we'll go into what I called the "old blogosphere flamewar" when I was trying to work through my minute of excessive emotion with Garance. And then we'll also have to talk about my minute of excessive emotion with Garance....

And, good lord, what's this?! So we'll also have to talk about what Garance and Eric Alterman had to say in a new Bloggingheads about me and that time I got mad at Garance. Sigh.

It's all sooooo intrablog.

And vortex-y.

28 comments:

hdhouse said...

If there are 50 million blogs and the average visit/member/contributor is 1 then "intrabloging" may be the wave. Could keyword topics also include links to similar blog topics generally without the specificity normally found in textlinking...e.g. "more blogs like this".

I'm not sure it applies generally but content aggregation was always a good idea in the past and it could lead to some organization.

Just a thought. Also thinking that bathtubs and laptops, battery or not, bubblebath or not..proped up on the down toilet seat or not...just seems not a good idea....a little Gershwin or Cole Porter next time perhaps?

bill said...

Then you can blog about what you vblogged about blogging. Then everyone else can blog about your blogging and vblogging. Then you can respond to everyone's blogging and vblogging about your blogging and vblogging. Then Bob--Bob, is it?--can Bloggingheadvblogblog about it and before you know it it's like that time at the fair when the brake fell off the carousel and everyone just started vomiting and vomiting and vomiting. And when you thought they were done, that's when the dry heaving started. And seriously, there isn't much worse than dry heaving. All your stomach and back muscles clenching and spasming, your chest getting heavy, your throat constricting, and mouth making like you're expelling a hairball...then...nothing. Man, that sucks.

Peter Palladas said...

...taking a bath in my hotel room

...That bit I caught. And like the idea.

As for the rest, well whoosh right over my head.

Will people for frigg's sake stop talking about the 'blogosphere' as if it actually exists, or worse the 'blog community'.

It's just people THE WHOLE WORLD OVER and not left/right wing American partisan/position holders.

And if that was a rant - just listened to it for the first time - then people you do not do ranting. That was a few sharp words, no 'rant'.

I say worse things to my gravy.

Joe R. said...

I have to think it's obscure enough to require an explanation.
Okay. So what is it? [I only had patience for the first two links on google and they weren't that informative or clear.]

Joan said...

Yawn. This stuff is why I've watched exactly one BloggingheadsTV-thing and will most likely never watch another. Reading about other blogs is one thing -- you can follow the links -- but video conversations are a snooze, if you follow the links you lose the video, and half the time the subject matter is so esoteric that no one but the speakers cares about it anyway.

Ann Althouse said...

Joe: I still don't know. I Googled but didn't have the interest to pursue the links any further than the first couple, which didn't explain it.

Henry said...

I think viewers (and readers) must get annoyed at bloggers going on about blogging.

YES! YES! YES!

I used to read the New York Times in the morning and see some odd article and think, there's an odd story; maybe it will show up on Althouse today. Often enough, it did.

Now the vortex sucks all the air out of the room.

You should have said No to Bob.

I will add that Blogroll Amnesty is way more boring and pointless than the Valenti breast contretempts. At least your old flameware actually involves something that happened in the real world.

Simon said...

In this Franke-Ruta/Alterman diavlog, Garance repeats the assertion - despite your careful explanation to the contrary, despite the total absence of any serious argument supporting it - that you are "in fact a conservative." I have no idea why a self-styled movement leftospherian, who is so totally immersed in that movement's dogma (certainly at least as far as Althouse is concerned), should have her protestations of good faith taken seriously.

At first, as my comments here and elsewhere indicate, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but Mort's and Bob's subsequent revelations of additional context have made me deeply regret doing so. I know you don't buy this, but y'know, you're a better human being than I am. ;)

reader_iam said...

Boring, yes, but really not that obscure. This is something that started with Atrios at the start of February, and then was picked up by Kos, and so it goes. Basically, it was a device that "allowed" (how weird!) some of the biggies to "guiltlessly" (how weird!) purge their blogrolls of little people and reconstitute them with the normal suspects.

Here's a link to a blogpost that sort of explains it, on a blog that was started to whack the concept.

No offense, Ann, but while you blog a lot (yay!), you don't really read that many blogs, as you yourself have said. So I'm not surprised this one passed you buy. And, as you said, it really was one of the more boring flaps.

Not all that obscure, however: even my blogparner, who generally doesn't "do" blogflaps, noticed it and was inspired to do the exact opposite: vastly expand his blogroll and into new territories. But then, we're little. No one gives a crap what we do.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: "In this Franke-Ruta/Alterman diavlog, Garance repeats the assertion - despite your careful explanation to the contrary, despite the total absence of any serious argument supporting it - that you are "in fact a conservative.""

Her key data point is that I was in the "conservative blogress diva" contest. Hello? Other people nominated me for it! I linked and asked for votes on the theory that I was a "blogress diva" and that conservatives liked me, so I could be their blogress diva. You know it might be a sort of a tin ear for humor. She also can't seem to fathom what I'm doing with this blog. She's all: you can't do that and be a serious political blogger. She also doesn't get the artistic side of things here. She doesn't understand my analyzing the sexual imagery in architecture -- as if it's just a weird, creepy pursuit. It's no wonder these people don't understand why I would analyze a photograph and discuss the arrangement of the figures and the clothes people wore. This is why the vortex sucks in politicos.

Doyle said...

I'm glad you mentioned the Wright-Kinsley diavlog again because I never got around to mocking your take on it.

Michael Kinsley obviously doesn't know you from Adam.

Ann Althouse said...

How does that mock my take on it? Where do I indicate that I think Kinsley should or does know about me?

SteveR said...

Well the picture controversy is funny, because its funny, but the blogs talking about vlogs, talking about bloggers and what they said about other bloggers gets a bit too incestuous. I am ok with first person accounts and comments on news items and pop culture, but talking about Andrew Sullivan talking about Jonah Goldberg talking about Instapundit, not so much.

the Rising Jurist said...

The whole blogroll amnesty thing is simply this: bloggers whose blogrolls have gotten too large will delete their blogroll and start anew. The amnesty portion is that they get to do it without taking any flak from anyone.

It stems from two concerns: One is that blogs that are deleted might email the blogger whining about being deleted. The other is this fear that if they no longer link to a blogger, that blogger may no longer link to them.

So, basically, it's all just silliness. I add and removes blogs from my list constantly, with no real regard for how it affects bloggers downstream. If I don't read and enjoy your blog, I'm not linking to it.

Ann Althouse said...

Rising Jurist: It reminds me of the old cooties-no takes gambit. You inflict harm while declaring your immunity to retaliation.

bill said...

Reader_iam and Rising Jurist: thank you.

Trying to create a entire bureaucratic structure because they're afraid of whining and delinking. That's possibly the most pathetic thing I've ever heard (other than the story of how I ended up with a peg leg).

Aero! said...

Don't you mean "interblog" or "intrablogosphere" or something like that?

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"She ... can't seem to fathom what I'm doing with this blog."

If you take her explanation for what happened in that first diavlog at face value, she can't even seem to fathom that (1) controversies have two sides, and that (2) you should probably pick your words carefully when dealing with someone who was in the middle of the controversy. If she's actually that clueless, I half-expect her to do an interview with Harriet Miers about the Roberts and Alito nominations, and then express shock when Miers reacts badly to Garance's reference to "the interlude with some totally unqualified candidate."

I have serious doubts that you can garner a resume like Garance's if you're as dumb as she and her supporters would have us believe, but I am willing to bet that the ability to play dumb and innocent might help.

Aero - I suppose that to the extent that the right and the left can be said to have separate blogospheres that operate in different ways and with different purposes, one might have an interblogospheric spat.

Doyle said...

Simon -

There's no supposing about it: if more than one blog is involved, it's "inter-". Arguments that take place in this comments section, or between the voices in Ann's head, would be "intra".

Simon said...

Doyle - a dispute or discussion between more than one blog would be interblog. The blogopshere (or possibly a blogopshere, depending on you point of view) includes multiple blogs, so an interblog discussion would still be intrablogospheric if both blogs were part of the same blog.

Consider a comparison: If I sell parsnips to a guy in Indianapolis, that's intercity commerce, but intrastate commerce. If I sell them to a guy in Peoria, only then does it become interstate commerce. Unless you sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, of course, in which case you reason that since the fertilizer I bought came from a horse whose feed was grown in Illinois, it's still interstate commerce even if I eat the parsnips myself, but that's another matter. The point is that interstate commerce must involve actors in more than one state, and interblogospheric discussions must involve actors from more than one blogosphere, but while two blogs arguing may be interblog, it's still intrablogosphere.

Mainly I just wanted to use the parsnips gag.

Doyle said...

That's fine, I just wanted to call Ann crazy (it bears repeating). But if you're going to write something as cringe-inducing as "sooooo intrablog", it should at least make sense.

XWL said...

I do think the prefixes, "meta-" or "para-" might make more sense in this context than "intra-".

Those prefixes would speak more to the vortices of interest and cross-posting crosstalk.

The strange thing is noone sees the need to speak with each other, instead they speak about each other at various other places.

That's not only the case with this Franke-Ruta/Althouse (non)Affair, it happens frequently on the internet.

I suspect it's easier to talk about someone when that someone isn't there to defend or explain the assertions you make about them.

It's all sooooo "metabloggical".

I may write about it in an upcoming self-help book, "Achieving Kundalini Through Trancendental Metabloggics"

All Aboard The Express Kundalini!

(to rid yourself of ego, you must first experience an excess of ego)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Simon: Parsnips make me gag.

Simon said...

Doyle, you know, I could swear I see quotation marks in the title, which is the only place Ann refers to inter or intrablog anything... Maybe it's just my eyes. I should have them checked.

Todd and in Charge said...

Ann, I'm perfectly fine with you analyzing photos. Bagnewsnotes does this exclusively.

But describing Garance as humorless? I don't see that at all. I would say she seems a bit regimented regarding what blogs should do, but she's also suggesting that your blog does not have that much political content.

She also appears quite intelligent, at least from the blogginghead episodes.

Fen said...

She also appears quite intelligent, at least from the blogginghead episodes.

Really? I found her to be disappointing. I expected more. Her worst was the "they hate you for hating them for hating you" backflip. I don't think she meant it as a joke.

Bas-O-Matic said...

And I know I'm doing it now. But I ran across this Bloggingheads segment where they go very intrablog for a whole segment and talk about something that they assume we get, but in fact, they are talking about something -- "Blogroll Amnesty Day" -- that I've never even heard of. I mean, I blog a lot, every day, so if there's something about blogging that I haven't heard of, I have to think it's obscure enough to require an explanation. And not only do they talk about it a lot, they are oblivious to the possibility that viewers don't know what they are talking about. Not to mention the problem of whether we'd care if we did know.

It's not obscure and it says a lot about your centrism that you don't know about it. It was actually kind of a big deal in the left blogosphere. It's stupid that it was a big deal, but big deal it was.

Jon Swift said...

Blogroll Amnesty Day had nothing to do with you, Ms. Althouse, so that is probably why you don't know anything about it, but you can read all about it here.