If you’ll excuse the tautology, I’m a narcissistic blogger; so you know the real reason I’m linking to Sophie Cunningham’s article in The Age
about the motivations and dissuasions of blog writing is because I’m quoted in it, regardless of the fact that it is a rare example of a Serious Publication putting out a thoughtful piece about blogs.
I don’t share some writers’ concerns about “giving away” words on the internet, when they sell them for a living. While this is a concern, I am moved by author Jonathan Lethem’s argument in Harper’s recently that “in the essential commerce of art a gift is carried by the work from the artist to his audience. If I am right to say that where there is no gift there is no art, then it may be possible to destroy a work of art by converting it into a pure commodity.” Not all blogs are art, but the act of sharing ideas and conversation is most certainly a gift.
It’s refreshing to read in a newspaper something about online writing other than (a) it’s all angsty ramblings of imperilled teenagers, and dangerous, or (b) it’s an endless partisan political shitfight, and dangerous – it’s usually one or the other from one week to the next, never both at once.
The article includes plenty of links to other quality blogs, to help keep up the online community’s rep for incestuous logrolling (which of course professional journalists would never do). Most importantly, I get to say “dick around” in a broadsheet.
Incidentally, I do have conscientously-formed reasons for maintaining this site, but I don’t need to tell you how to read.