Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Quite a bit of publicity this week for the Blooker Prize, which highlights the best books that started life as blogs.

It's always very nice to get some sort of authoritative pat on the back, of course, even if the recent Oscars proved yet again that the award-givers are quite capable of egregious error. But doesn't the existence of the Blooker just prove that, despite all the blarney about blogging being the future of journalism, a product still isn't taken seriously until it's printed, bound and in a 3-for-2 promotion at Waterstone's?

And, like any low-overheads, self-supporting, not-for-profit purveyors of cultural content (see also fanzine editors, buskers, stand-up comics at open-mic slots), aren't rather a lot of serious bloggers doing this thing chiefly to raise their own profiles? To reach a wider market and to reach a point at which they might possibly be able to make a living from what they like and/or do best; writing stuff about things and things about stuff. In fact, to keep their heads above the drift of (if it's not labouring the point too much) cultural snow? Otherwise, what's their (my/your/our) motivation? Joel? Bob? Spinster? Alistair? Curve? Anyone?

And in case anybody thinks I'm being hypocritically pious here; six-figure book deals to the usual address, please.


Spinsterella said...

Load of bollocks. Even the most fantastic blogs would make pretty rubbish books. Books need structure. Blogs are good because they're, um, of the moment. Different thing.


Just wanted to tell you how much I looooove orang-utans.

Joel said...

I had a previous blog that lasted about 8 posts before my concentration wavered. Then a little while later I was going to write a corporate blog and when that fell through I thought I'd write it anyway, but with myself as the product. Yes, that's pretty stupid. It hasn't worked out like that anyway. It's more a mix of ideas I can't put anywhere else, clumsy attempts at self-promotion and confused muttering about things I like. Fairly standard blog fodder (blodder?).
Hope that answers your question.
(Unless you were talking to some other Joel.)

The Curve said...

My reasons are rather dull and prosaic: I wanted to have a reason to try and learn a little about HTML and CSS, and I thought it would be a good way to allow friends back in the UK/elsewhere to have a glimpse of where I have been/what I have been watching/listening to/talking about/reading etc. I enjoy writing, but I already do it for a living so I was not really interested in using the blog as a vehicle for self promotion. However, I am not against the idea; people can use it how they see fit, that is one of the reasons that I think it is such an interesting medium.

alistair fitchett said...

uh, goodness, why blog? might as well ask 'why breathe?'

i think i've only really ever written as a means of working out my life and the threads that bind it together (and that tear it apart). it's not really designed for an audience other than myself, though i would be lying if i didnt think of a world outside of my own headspace, and how it might interact with my words. so i guess in that respect it's also always at least partly been about that urge to make connections with like minded souls... the unshakeable legacy of growing up in a two-bit town where no-one else seemed to be on the same wavelength, perhaps.

and yes, we are also still struggling to break away from making 'new' media analogous with 'old'... that will take several generations, i fear, to shift.