Music Blogger Symposium
1. Talk about your blog and how it has evolved over time. Why did you start to blog? What sorts of things do you do on your blog?
I blog because I'm kind of an opinion exhibitionist. But until relatively recently I felt uncomfortable in other people's (online) conversation spaces, so I wanted to start one of my own; it started as a fairly narcissistic enterprise, and I think narcissism is basically what keeps me going when all is said and done, though my best comment threads are way way better than anything I've ever written on my own.
I think my blogging success ratio is somewhere around 10%, but the 10% hits pretty hard. And great convos can always develop in the other 90%; the worst post can spark the best conversation. This is an aspect of blogging I'm sad to see really dwindling, especially in the blogs I read regularly. I would love to see more comment threads the size of, say, the lefty blogosphere's average thread, but for some reason a kind of individualist mindset has really taken hold in music blogs, like we're just here to watch the madmen and women raving from a polite distance.
Now that I've returned to the freelance fray in terms of contemporary music, that particular reason to blog has faded for me. It's the other function that now dominates: the blog as a public notepad for sketching out ideas, the kind of thing that couldn't be turned into journalistic writing because it's either too hyper-theoretical or it's not tied to a record release or it's just too whimsical or it ranges across a really wide cultural field and makes a lot of unlikely connections.
Blissblog has the caveat emptor--or should it be "caveat lector"?--at the top, the subtitle: "Not Fully Baked." So you know what you are getting. Sometimes the entries will be fragmentary, shards and strands of thought; other times it will be more essayistic. I'm really into linking to other blog or web writing that's caught my imagination--sometimes it's just sparked a single line, an observation or quip, other times it'll set me off on an extended meander.
From the start I've particularly enjoyed the way blogs allow you to write about stuff that isn't contemporary. It's appropriate for an era in which our listening is scattered across the entire span of pop time. For sure, people's listening has always been a bit like that, but now more so than ever, with the availability of everything instantly and the resulting abolition of pop sequential history. The music that's on my mind and affecting me is just as likely to be something I've found in a second-hand vinyl store, or seen on VH1-Classic, or tugged out of the recesses of my collection, as it is an advance CD I've just got through the mail.
Recently I grasped the full implications of the fact that Blogger allows you to have any number of blogs. I'm too inept and lazy to build a website from scratch but by using Blogger I can set up a sort of bodged-together, shanty town-like surrogate. So I have blogs for Rip It Up (mainly for the footnotes to the book), Bring the Noise ("deleted scenes"--pieces related to the collection's theme that I didn't end up including), and for my three other books. And I've started ReynoldsRetro, a disorganized archive of my writing from the mid-Eighties onwards. I might even start a new blog for more distilled, telegraphic thoughts, aphorisms and haiku-like speculations. The idea would be thought freed of the encumbrance of proof, evidence, substantiation, the fat of fact that Blissblog sometimes gets bogged down in.
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Jump to the survey topic of your choice:
1. How your blog has evolved