A faculty member I am nudging into blogging shared this beautiful essay about blogging, Show Me Your Context, Baby: My Love Affair with Blogs by Kate Baggott. I would try to summarize, but this award winning essay says it all:
Show me your context, baby. I already know the world you live in; tell me only how you see it.
I am among the most demanding readers of blogs, or web logs, or on-line journals, or whatever you choose to call the daily missives individuals post on the web. I want the whole story: the profane, the sacred and the essential facts. These are the demands we make of great literature too, but that comparison is too limiting.
To call blogs literature would be to turn them into an elitist, edited, and vetted art, one which is contrary to their very nature. The complexity of what blogs and their reactionary, perfectly contemporary, accessible prose could mean to the future of sustainable storytelling, to truth in journalism and to the survival of democracy, is too great to call literature.
And about the authors…
Bloggers are like the smart and difficult students who interrupted every lesson with sarcastic commentary and passed their exams with audacity and contempt for their schools, their subjects, their teachers and the exams themselves. They do not write for audiences or according to deadline. They comment because they have something to say.
This is at the heart of my interest in blogs- the platform for people to have their own voice, their own say. It is environments constructed by people, not constructed for them (a.k.a vapid presentations, page turners of learning objects….).
I believe in the wisdom and might of blogs and bloggers, but I believe it with the same fear and hope that lovers do when they cling to each other in any fresh spring romance. Like the lovers, I do not know if my belief is ultimately sustainable or just naive, but like the lovers I will let it bloom in all its good feeling.
(and thanks Shelley!)