I can’t believe it but I have already been at my new job at the library for over two months. Time has been zooming by. I have met a lot of people at my job and I hope that I’ve been able to help each one of them out even just a little bit. Hopefully more. Almost all of these meetings with writers have been one-on-one type meetings. They send me some of their work and then I read it and then they come in to see me and we talk about it. There are a lot of writers out there. This is a good thing in my opinion. Tomorrow is my first opportunity to address a larger group of people all at once. Tomorrow I am going to talk about blogging. WHAT IS BLOGGING? We’ll find out tomorrow. I remember when I was in university and first heard the word Blog. It was one of the stupidest words I’d ever heard and whenever someone would say it I would just laugh and laugh. The picture above is what I found when I Googled “what do bloggers look like?” into Google, the search engine.
At the beginning of blogging (I assume) people were all taking ideas or topics they were interested in and writing about them in hopes of forming a full and complete thought or idea in the context of whatever was happening in their lives at the time. Today, in the regrettably flying car-less 2014 most people who are online are blogging in one way or the other and they don’t even know it:
1. Took a picture of your omelette? Boom. You’re a food blogger.
2. Tweeted about how the person sitting next to you on the bus smells like cabbage and is humming the theme song to Lamb Chop’s Play-Along? Boom. You’re a city blogger.
3. Did you recently read an intriguing piece on Jezebel about girls and junk and then posted the link to the article on Facebook along with the comment “OMG Y’all!!!”? Boom. You’re a culture blogger.
So the face and style of blogging has changed since the beginning but one thing is abundantly clear: the gaping maw of The Internet is always open and is hungry 24/7 for content. It’s best to keep trying to fill it up with the hope that one day it will be satisfied and then we can all go back to our lives and maybe go on a hike or build something out of wood. One thing, in my humble opinion, that helps cut through the noise of online content is to provide your content with a healthy dose of context. Often content is provided to the Internet without context. No context often equals no meaning. For example, one of my favourite websites right now is called Grantland. They write about sports and movies and TV shows and while I become instantly frustrated with anyone who insists on talking about True Detective when I still haven’t watched it yet (I can’t afford HBO Canada) I still mostly enjoy their writing because they provide context with their beloved content. Recently Liam Neeson was on The Daily Show to talk about his new movie. At the end of their conversation, Jon Stewart and Neeson had an argument about horse-drawn carriages in New York City. Neeson is for them, and Stewart was sort of against them and thought the horses weren’t treated very well. If you watched this exchange you would have thought it was either hilarious, awkward, or a mixture of both. Rembert Browne, the staff writer for Grantland who wrote a piece about this exchange also did some digging and discovered that Neeson and Stewart had had this same argument before on The Daily Show. Was this a bit? Unscripted horse politics? Whatever it was it was funny to watch and then funny to read about the next day with some refreshing context. Content without context would be some meme with a picture of Neeson on The Daily Show and above his head a caption would read “Says he loves horses” and then underneath it would say something like “makes a movie where he kills like 30 wolves”. It’s silly and dumb and funny for maybe 10 seconds but no real context.
One of the things I will tell people in my talk tomorrow about blogging will be to keep your blogs to a relatively short length because people have no attention spans anymore. This means that 65% of people who started reading this blog post will have already stopped reading by now. Is it because people are idiots? That’s not for me to decide.
Another thing I will tell people tomorrow is to blog regularly. It’s good to form healthy writing habits and doing anything with some regularity is bound to be good for you in the long run. Hence this blog post, my first in two months.
Here is a list of things I would/will blog about when I have more time:
1. I like Grantland.
2. Should I be playing video games on a higher difficulty setting? Am I a video game savant? Should I quit playing video games because I’m 32?
3. A very attractive blogger wrote this piece about people who tweet the Mayor of Edmonton idiotic questions. I liked it.
4. I really want to watch True Detective but I think that Matthew McConaughey should know that most people in Canada are watching that show by illegally downloading it. I don’t know anyone who can afford HBO Canada.
5. It’s hard to make new friends lately because everyone is talking about True Detective and I haven’t seen it yet. I would really like them to stop until I have seen the whole first season. Then we can all talk about it.