April 22, 2006

"It creates a habit of fluency that pours right over the surliest block."

The surliest writer's block, that is. So says Amba, talking about blogging, in response to -- thanks! -- my little "pseudo-blog" of an essay (written for next week's "Bloggership" conference). More from Amba (about my piece):
Even though it's written to coax a specialized audience off its safe shore of stodginess, timidity and pomposity and into the fast-moving waters of blogging, it's one of the best all-round blogging manifesti yet, especially for any blogger who does other kinds of writing for a living and/or calling.
Read the whole thing. Hers, I mean. Which will perhaps send you over to mine.

And read the other conference papers too. Here's a tribute to the other papers, received via email, from one of our regular commenters (not Amba):
OK, I'm a nerd. I ended up spending quite a chunk of this afternoon and evening reading the papers, and I'm very glad I did. It has literally shifted my thinking about the way I should be, well, thinking about certain things. I'm very open to learning to new information and do that all the time, but it's not so often anymore that I feel this sort of "stop and think" (in a good way), outside of encounters with art and other non-info-oriented things.

I'm very much hoping that your commenters--in particular those who are also bloggers, but small, and not lawyers, and perhaps without other sorts of useful backgrounds--go over and read some of those papers and think about them.

I love the free-ness (more potential on my part, but I'm working on that) of blogging and of the blogosphere. But like any morphing and maturing media, there are certain caveats -- and most especially as/if people start thinking of themselves as citizen journalists. I'm not sure that those caveats come under consideration as much as they should, at last not by bloggers not in the "higher ranks", or not lawyers, or whatever. Some day, that may come home to roost for some poor blogger who's ill-equipped to deal with it.

ADDED: The commenter who wrote the email is Reader_Iam, who actually wrote a post on here about it.


amba said...

No "perhaps"! Go read hers!

(The regular commenter sounds to me like . . . well, maybe they don't want to be identified?)

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, "they" do, so guess away. I'll do an update, but first I'll give you time to guess.

Marcus Aurelius said...


Ann your comments are backwards!

Mirror rorriM

tiggeril said...

Ann, I was wondering if you'd seen this article about "mobbing" http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i32/32a01001.htm.

It's about academia, mainly, but I found it interesting that the same things he talks about can be applied to blogs, and to commenters within a single blog. (not here, naturally)

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Hatch said...

This is good:

"It must be horrifying to those who want to chew over the a
new case for a year and a half to see all the bloggers who pounce on it the minute it is
released and frantically try to play through all the permutations on day one. And how
galling it must be that we bloggers have our instant, readymade audience that far exceeds
the sum total of readers who will ever peruse your carefully composed and edited
traditional article."

I was reading the Dan Henninger piece in the WSJ the other day, sensing his frustration with bloggers. (here it is: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/) What a baby he was being.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Editors everywhere have reason to be frustrated. They are now just a very boring voice in the crowd.