Saturday, July 22, 2006

Is this a blogger I see before me?

I'm developing a morbid fascination with the way old media is stumbling onto the blog bandwagon, especially when legitimate hacks use their blogs to reflect on the way blogs are challenging and changing their working practices. It's all so thrillingly metatextual!

Here's the deputy editor of Newsnight on how they're using Technorati to pick their interviewees, and also the delusions still held by some bloggers that their thoughts are somehow private and privileged; and the news editor of telegraph.co.uk on how last week's stats about how many people have blogs are skewed by commercial definitions of what is and isn't a blog.

Which in turn offers up today's essay question. MySpace: the Sunny Delight of blogging, or what?

14 comments:

Molly Bloom said...

Well Tim..I'm sorry that you were pipped at the finishing post. However...you didn't have any help from clues so you will still be one of the starring roles in a story I will write when my computer works again..

Re the blogging phenomenon...it is a strange world. MySpace? I just think that there are too many smiling faces on there. Look at Lily Allen for one. I rest my case.
I like dark introspection, insularity, melancholy and quizzes. And daft stuff too. But...I think the blog, for me, don't know what you think, is about having a creative space away from the stress of my life. I like to use it as a place which is just me and no-one else's...although...in some ways...I can't describe it here..I am still controlled by a couple of people who read my blog. Tis a long story.

I like the anonymity of these blogs. I know I have put my pic up a few times...but you can be whoever you want to be really. That sounds a bit naive doesn't it? In my 'roles' I have to be so sensible and dull. I am not allowed an 'adult' or 'personal' space. Also, I'm searching for a bolt-hole. And...I like the thought of the community. I always see your site and people like Betty, Geoff, Billy et al as a kind of Trafalgar Square of life. They do seem to be exciting and interesting and eccentric. I love it. And...even though I work with graduates..I'm astounded at the lack of knowledge..creativity...excitement of it all. I like the fact that people are eloquent, subversive, interesting here. And perhaps we have more experience and perhaps feel more deeply than the 'yoof' at MySpace. They are all so bloody good looking as well! Seethe.

God...I'll stop. Sorryxx

Molly Bloom said...

PS - I have other secret blogs too where sometimes I turn into a werewolf.

Molly Bloom said...

PS - hope you like your prize.

Billy said...

"MySpace: the Sunny Delight of blogging, or what?"

Surely the alcopop of blogging? This would make Blogspot, I don't know, like a nice bottle of wine that was on special down at Oddbins. Livejournal - hmm... cider and blackcurrent.

Now I'm just being stupid.

Tim Footman said...

I like to think that, anonymity aside, the virtual identities of bloggers are almost identical to the real thing, except that the real people don't have such pert bottoms. Incidentally, go over to Molly's site and check out her story. Fame, fame, fatal fame...

And, talking of real vs virtual... Billy, I did consider the alcopop metaphor. But Sunny D is clearly and inarguably a cheap, vile substitute for orange juice. Whereas with alcopops the thing that they're trying to represent is vaguer and less evident. Which means that an alcopop has claims to be a [deep breath] simulacrum (see Deleuze and Baudrillard - or ask Patroclus to explain, she's good at poncy stuff like this) and thus has some kind of post-post-modernist respectability, whereas what I was trying to imply about MySpace is that it's tawdry and chavvy and shite.

Billy said...

Aha Tim, I think I get your point. Basically if you drink enough alcopops, you will still get drunk. So although alcopops don't look like alcoholic drinks they are.

But Sunny D is trying to be orange juice which is something it can never be.

Tim Footman said...

Ish. It's a question of what the alcopop was trying to resemble (Tango? Shandy? Entry-level lager? It's lost in the midsts of focus groups and R&D departments.) Whereas, the original for Sunny D, as you point out, is sitting on the shelf opposite. Sunny D can only define itself in relation to OJ, whereas alcopops have broken free.

Alternatively, think of movie adaptations or cover versions. Judy Garland's Wizard of Oz and the Beatles' 'Twist and Shout' have erased all memory of Frank Baum and the Isley Brothers. Baudrillard would label them simulacra because they are copies of something that, in a real sense, does not exist.

Molly Bloom said...

Ahem - my bottom is as pert in real life I might add.

I think there is much more talent over here than at MySpace. It's a bit like a Sixth Form disco over there. Everybody trying to look more beautiful than everyone else. And yes...a simulacrum. A desperate recreation of what is popular and what you think you 'should' be. A recreation and vile transformation of what is trendy and hip. Yuk. Give me our blogs any day.

And...you deserve the story.

Dave Lucas said...

"Sunny D?" No thanks! Tim, MySpace is NOT blogging, or, if it is, MySpace is to blogging what Porn Mags are to literature. I'ce linked back to you from a humungous post on my blog HeRe.

Molly Bloom said...

I've just come back here...as the Bird Girl...to your Stephen. I was just going to say, as the Bird Girl of course, that actually my virtual identity is very similar to my real identity I think. I would hope so in many ways. But...having spoken to some bloggers about what my 'identity' is...some of me is viewed differently here. It is strange. I wonder if we all have a constructed idea of what people are like from reading their words.

I tell you where is really great for blogs...is Opera. I have an Opera blog too and it is very calm and peaceful there. I go there when I want to just be quiet.

Betty said...

MySpace seem to work as a promotional tool for bands. It's strange to note how many long forgotten bands from the 1980's/90's have a MySpace page, some of which are still working, althought the pictures featured are always of them in their prime, of course.

Otherwise, I don't like to get too precious about it if it's a way for young people to communicate with each other, even if there isn't much room for depth. Or the fact that I get fed up of all those people who have 150 "friends", most of whom are 18 year old girls in bikinis whose pictures have been Photoshopped ... or the fact that you get some really LOUD bloody awful emo song playing ... or the over reliance on emoticons and LOLS and all the other stuff we have come to expect from today's youngsters. Bah! Bring back National Service, the birch, etc.

orange anubis said...

I preferred Sunny D when it was chock full of vegetable oil. They had to change the recipe following complaints. Is MySpace the same combination of artificial zest and hidden fats?

Robert A. Swipe said...

"MySpace: the Sunny Delight of blogging, or what?"

From my experience, it's more like the "When Plastic Surgery Goes Horribly Wrong" or whatver that awful programme where those poor women paid large amount of moolah to be sliced open by Californian men so they could look like Joan Rivers will in 15 years time. I turned into a woman, you see - a very beautiful Polish one (that's as in the country, not the Mr Sheen product that comes in a can and buffs your coffee table up). She was very popular as she had her own looks (fabbafabbawowwow!!) and my wit (it wouldn't have been quite as compelling the other way round, I fear) Anyway, I had to kill her off because I was spending too much time ogling scantily clad goth girls smattered in fek blood. And being ogled too. I'm still being stalked by several people of either sex who still want to believe that I'm a gorgeous dusky brunette with the timing of Eric Morecambe....

Speaking of which, anyone see the BBC history of light entertainment on Saturday?

Q: Has it ever crossed your minds who you'd be if you weren't a highly successful comedy double act?

Eric [without a second's gap between the end of the question]: Mike & Bernie Winters.

btw Tim - you're technically right about the BEF question, but it wasn't what I had in mind...

Tim Footman said...

If I might be so presumptuous as to sum up the general opionion here, MySpace is a bit rubbish and common, and we can't be doing with it.

On the far more pleasant subject of Eric Morecambe, it's interesting how his material often comes over as no more than moderately amusing on the page. Was his whole gift down to miraculous timing? I mean, as it stands, "Tea, Ern?" is not funny. But I just thought of him saying it (and, credit where it's due, Ernie's response - turn away in exasperation, the corners of his mouth turning in on themselves) and found myself gurgling with laughter.