Captain’s web log, 7 September 2008 …
What is a web log? A diary with a 21st Century name. A diary that goes public. A 21st Century diary.
I started keeping a diary once. And the thing about this private diary that no-one gets to read was that it allowed me to get my thoughts straight, to think clearly, and to clear my head in a way that felt like the process was allowing for further thoughts to develop and enter my head. And then, once I could see things clearly, things began to make sense and I felt better about myself, about my thoughts – probably because now I knew what they were – and what I felt.
So, then, why would I want to keep a web log? Do I want to turn my very private thoughts into something for public consumption? Well, not all of them, but maybe some of them. But herein lies the grub. How do I know the public will even consume my thoughts? I don’t. And it doesn’t really matter what kinds of thoughts they are: they could be the most private of my private thoughts or they could be the most random ideas that usually pop into my head and make S roll his eyes whenever I share them with him. The bottom line for me is: who cares? I can only think of very few people who may care, and to me they’re not the public: I care!, I hope that S cares, and I imagine my parents care – and if they had internet access, my mother would probably read my thoughts more than my father, but she too would eventually fade in keeping up to date with my musings. Of course, it would be great if all my friends cared, but I can’t imagine they have time to care. They have their own thoughts to deal with, other interests to pursue, families to connect with, and if they really wanted to know my thoughts in-depth they would either ask me or demand to spend way more time with me than they do at the moment.
Granted, I do think my thoughts are interesting and insightful and granted that most people think their thoughts (and their lives) are interesting; but if we all think our lives are so interesting, why would we be so interested in everyone else’s lives? And if we were interested in everyone else’s lives would we have time to live our own very interesting lives?
Ultimately I see blogging as simple vanity hoping that some unsuspecting public will stumble across my thoughts, find them fascinating and return regularly to keep up to date with them. And I guess one way to make my thoughts interesting is probably to make them less personal than I am at the moment to avoid that uneasy feeling in readers that they are spying on my most private thoughts.
I started a web log in 2002 and sent the link out to some people who were close to me. Well, it wasn’t a blog as we know it today, but I started my own site (through my email service provider) with the aim of posting my thoughts regularly. The friends did actually read the thoughts, but because we didn’t have all the blogging platforms of today it was quite a mission for me to keep it going. Anyway, I said that so that whoever reads this will know that I was blogging way before there was a word for it!
And like everything else today that makes very little sense and that purports to keep one connected to those around one, when one doesn’t think about it, it can be fun.