Monday, February 11, 2008

Time to Blog & Read Blogs & Everything Else Everywhereallthetime

Re: Web 2.0--- yes, it's speeding up, it's getting overwhelming, it's crazy crazy kray-zeee--- the torrents of e-mail, everybody on their Crackberries and iPods and BlueTooths & etc--- but is refusing to blog, or even look at a blog, an optimal response? To research my talk for last Saturday's WIW panel on writers's blogs, I sent out an e-mail to my writer friends (the majority age 40 +) asking whether they blog and which writers's blogs they would recommend. Here's a typical response, this from the author of several wonderful books:

"I have a website, but not a blog, and no time to pay attention to one. No time for that matter to spend running around the internet looking at other people's blogs. How does the artist carve out time to produce if all you do is worry about the computer?"

The opposite extreme I happened upon over at marketing guru Seth Godin's blog:

"Someone asked me the other day if posting a blog post every day is intimidating or a grind. I view it as something I get to do. I spend most of my blogging time deciding what not to post."

I would not suggest that all writers keep an on-line journal anymore than I would argue that all writers must write novels or all poets write sonnets. That said, a blog is not a blog, exactly... (see this post on that...) But it seems to me that, as artists--- artists who live in this world of unimaginable quantities of information 24/ 7--- we need to develop a set of skills we never knew we needed.

An analogy, information as food: we were like cavemen, used to having to work very hard and very smart to catch a rabbit or perhaps a bird, and to gather a few roots and berries. Then, abracadabra, plunk in front of our cave, there's a Whole Foods. You can have lamb, chicken, ground turkey breast, porkchops, sirloin, filet mignon, liver, veal, Italian sausages, low-fat sausages, chorizo, chicken with spinach sausages, grouper, snapper, shrimp, tuna, bass, salmon, smoked salmon, oysters, seafood salad, smoked trout, smoked trout dip, smoked salmon dip, gravlax--- OK, I won't belabor the point with the produce section, the cheese, the wine, the pastas, the olive bar, the ... oh, and seven brands of mayonnaise! Twelve brands of yoghurt, goat, sheep, cow, skim, fat-free, vanilla, strawberry, banana, peach, raspberry, honey and nuts, from Greece, from Iceland, from Australia, from West Virginia, grass-fed this, cage-free that, hormone free, gluten free, etc etc.

So, our caveman could:
---> stand in the first aisle in a slack-jawed daze;
---> grab up more than he can carry, injuring himself (and dropping quite a few things on the floor), and stuff himself until he pukes;
---> say, "this is a scary place" and refuse to ever return;
---> make a grocery list, push his wheeled cart through the store aisle-by-aisle, and then take his groceries home and place his selections, as appropriate, in the fridge, freezer, or pantry.

Well, bone appetite.

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