First (and Last) Impressions of the Blogosphere
Two apparently unrelated events:
Today, I stared at the bloody carcasses on the street as I passed the aftermath of a nasty car wreck.
Yesterday, I toured a small slice of the blogosphere, courtesy of the omnipresent Blogger.com “NEXT BLOG” function.
How are these connected? Well, dear reader, I discovered that blogs—like car crashes—are funny things. Not “ha-ha” funny, mind you. But when something is so wrong, so out of place, so disturbing ... well, it's hard to do much of anything but snicker.
It’s not easy to provide statistics on how much of the blogosphere is merely insanity and/or inanity. The fraction of existing blogs I scanned was so small, for example, that it can only be compared to the percentage of American brainpower residing in Jessica Simpson.
Nevertheless, patterns emerged.
I was pleasantly surprised right away—two out of the first three bloggers wrote decently, presented their views politely, and resisted the urge to compare their penises to NASA rockets, power tools, or Greek gods. They even spelled well.
And then realized I’d hit my quota of normalcy for the evening.
I soon found myself bouncing between writers promoting (and demonstrating) various S&M techniques, spouting drivel about bringing pure communism to America, or merely advertising various varieties of crap over the web.
And these goods and services aren’t on your typical must-have list. Want to invest in Iraqi dinars? Peruse gay Asian porn? You’re in luck, just check the next blog.
Or are you drawn to the personal side of blogging? In that case, you surely loved the blogger who thought that the world wanted to see hundreds of pictures of his deformed baby. Yes sir, I found them too.
Mesmerized by the little girl’s manic rants against her little brother, with their vivid descriptions of vomit and fantasy vignettes of fratricide? Uh huh, I’ve already been there.
Have you seen the erotic daily posts that the burly man in Kentucky writes to his pickup truck? I beat you to that one.
If this is what’s out there, I think I’ve had my fill of the “average” blog. I don’t want these details from MY OWN family—I sure as hell don’t see myself checking in on these folks again.
But there’s always another side to the story. Maybe it’s inherently good to have a global community with such an open exchange of uncensored views. After all, consider where I’d “been” during my tour. Stops in Argentina, Australia, and Azerbaijan. Visits to Bahrain, Belize, and Bangladesh. Appearances in Cairo, Conakry, and Canberra.
Even Canada … who even knew they had computers?
Bloggers around the world can get to know each other, the pundits say. Come in with a clean slate. Read and learn. Find out who these foreigners are. Understand how they think. Then, people from different cultures won’t judge each other based on stereotypes and previous demonizations.
No, we will hate each other based on our actual words. Much better.