Thursday, June 02, 2005

Blogology

I know that people in the US State Department, friends from my Chicago DJ days, my employees, my family, thoughtful conservatives from Texas, cypherpunk friends, foreign intelligence officers, Japanese business associates and close friends all read my blog occasionally. In real life, I present a very different facet of my identity to these different communities, but on my blog I have to imagine how all of them will react as I craft these entries. - Joi Ito

I don't know anyone in the US State Department and I've never been a DJ, but I know that people reading this blog fall into several different groups. Which is fine: I don't "have to imagine" any of them when I'm writing a post, let alone think of all of them. Equally, Actually Existing doesn't exhaust everything I think is important, or every way I think about significant stuff. I'm writing with an audience in mind, but the only way I define the people in it is as the kind of person who would read a blog like this. Meanwhile, I'm writing as the kind of person who would write a blog like this. It works for me; the definition's not so much circular as self-instantiating.

As it says on the right, I also blog elsewhere. At The Sharpener, I'm one of a group of bloggers - 17 of us at last count - who write about politics. Sharpener pieces are usually fairly long and closely argued, and come to a definite point (ho ho); they're also relatively impersonal. It's blogging as opinion column, essentially. Since I've been writing for the Sharpener, the posts I write here have been getting more informal and less impersonal. It's a matter of degree, though; Actually Existing has its own character, which I want to preserve.

I write Apparently... (no relation to the David McKie column) in work time. It's a blog where I talk about the more speculative side of my current job; it's also for talking about metadata, ontology, taxonomies, ethnoclassification and tagging (among other things), and for responding to arguments raised by Clay Shirky, David Weinberger, Shelley Powers, Pietro Speroni and Suw Charman (among other people). The topics covered in Apparently... are of great interest to a small group of people and of great indifference to the rest of the world. Let's move on.

Me, singing is a blog with one purpose: collecting the lyrics of the songs I've written in the last few years, together with a few notes on what I think about the songs, how they came to be written and who I ripped off in the process. As I write this there are seven songs up there, out of a total of 22. For obvious reasons, this site's much more personal than any of the others; its audience consists mainly of its author. Really, it's not so much a blog as an online repository. Comments are enabled, though - blogs which don't take comments are a pet hate of mine.

Finally, what can I say about Sir Frederick William Jefferson Bodine that he hasn't already said himself? Not a lot, I'll go bail. It is my sad duty to bring the world Remembering Judy Garland, Sir Frederick's pitifully incomplete memoirs, in the hope that the all-too-impressionable youth of today may profit from the lessons contained therein (whatever they may be). Sir Frederick isn't a frequent flyer, up here in the blogosphere; what he actually remembers about Judy Garland, these days, could be written on the back of a paper napkin, and in fact has been on more than one occasion. Nevertheless, his memoirs are - as Sir Frederick comments himself - an invaluable account of
a life in the green room; a life which I can truly say has been lived among the stars; a life that's full, in which I've travelled each and every byway. But more, much more than this.
So that's "Me, elsewhere"; that's Phil Edwards, blogger. It's not that big a deal.

One of the great things about blogs is that it accelerated the the conversation on the web and increased the bandwith. Phone calls are even faster. - Ross Mayfield

2 Comments:

Blogger Jarndyce said...

Another full polymath and all round genius. Suddenly I'm feeling painfully inadequate as a writer. Back to the sounding board...

3/6/05 23:21  
Blogger Chris Clarke said...

I'm sorely disappointed. Not a single blog about Stilton and the eating thereof.

I demand you start a cheeseblog.

6/6/05 01:43  

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