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Erratically updated blurbs on the life and times o'cat.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
blogosophy, speaking
Listening to:washing machine rumble
Weather:70, stunning!
I've been listening to Adam Curry's podcasts for a few weeks, as they come out, mostly digging them. I'm also audioreading this cool novel EarthCore in a podcasted serial format, loving that. But I've tried listening to several other, mostly popular, podcasts like Dawn & Drew, Yeast Radio, etc. Man, they mostly really suck. From every angle. The content is largely superficial drivel, the audio quality is pathetic, and the personalities are annoying. Kinda like many many blogs, they seem to come from a pretty immature and egocentric being. And this is also the stereotype the major media has plugged bloggery and podcasting into.

But I just recently decided I'd try out Dave Winer, since he's so often mentioned as one of the creators and first users of these personal web publishing phenomena. I was really pretty into Adam Curry as a thinker and seer of the future of podcasting, and still am in a way, but Dave is my man! So much more depth to his thinkings on this medium, and more importantly, he brought me back to my real center which is Fuck Commercialization. It inevitably screws up the waters for the majority of us fishermen. I found myself sorta going along with the post and let post approach, even saying on the yahoo podcasters group it's ok that some will try to make money with this cool relatively new tool of podcasting, we who use it for artistic expression can coexist with them. But Dave has helped bring me back to center, which is that the moneyseekers are fucking up and will increasingly fuck up podcasting.

I also had one of those cool moments today while listening to Dave where you just want to jump up and grab the guy and say "dude, you are so right, I have been experiencing the SAME FUCKING THING! I was grooving on an archived bit from February, I think, an interview on NH public radio with a chick who was exploring the current surge of interest in bloggery. She was a bit dim. When she asked Dave to respond to the criticism that all us bloggers are tainting the infoworld by publish without the factcheckers and verification protocols that the major media use, he was brilliant (of course, since he was repeating what I've been thinking for several years hee hee). He said (disclaimer:and I'm totally paraphrasing from my memory and perceptions:enddisclaimer), are you kidding? Every time I read an article in a major respected newspaper or hear a story on network news and it's something I actually know about, they get it horribly wrong. To the contrary, many bloggers are not only scrupulously concerned about the truth, but they are right there actually witnessing much of what they write about. Puhlease with the truthier than thou bullshit. Yes! I have really been feeling this problem since the regime from hell took my country over. I'd love to blog about the war and how our detestable foreign policy impacts the world of good people, but I'm afraid to develop an opinion because I feel I have virtually no access to honest news. Liberal media, my ass, how I wish the media were actually liberal.

The interview also included mention of the yin and yang of broadcasting happening, as Clear Channel owns the lion's share of radio stations and giant conglomerates own all the TV networks and newspapers, yet bloggers and podcasters are growing in numbers and thereby decentralizing the publishing of news and opinion on the web. And in conjunction with that decentralization, I can't totally ignore the interviewer's stereotype of inaccuracy by us individuals, there is certainly plenty of that, too. But it should just remind us to BE SKEPTICAL, know the source, analyze and consider its bias. That should be just as true for the web as for traditional media and publishing. This is a concept I constantly hammer on with Olivia, and it's amazing how little she hears that in school.

OK, so this is all bringing me to the big question, why is my blog here? To gain an audience (this seems to be the purpose most commonly attributed to the generic blogger)? Uh, no. My initial purposes are still my main ones, to play with technology, to archive some angles of my life for posterity and myself, to communicate with friends who are increasingly spread out over the big blue ball, and to force myself to collect my thoughts and do some summarizing and analysis. More recent purpose has been a blank canvas to puke my rants up onto (commonly known as "an outlet" or "escape valve").

The interview also included a bit about how another essential component to bloggery is inclusion of links. Well, if you think broadly about the meaning of links, I guess I could agree. But just href's, no I disagree. If it's part of your world that you are digesting in your blog, which it is for most bloggers, yes, but if your blog comes more from the writing side than the technology side, links are totally nonessential. Thus sayeth cat.

And to rant for a moment, have you seen a million times on Good Morning Today Network whatever how the Pope came to the window on Easter but "was unable to speak?" Well assuming the clip they were showing accurately depicts the scene (big ASSumption), I clearly saw and heard him speak. Didn't you? Just because you couldn't understand him doesn't mean he didn't speak.

K, time to go hang out the laundry (this part of the blog entry corresponds to the interviewer's ragging on how bloggers sit around in their pajamas and tell you what they had for breakfast). Yeah, I'm currently sitting in my pajamas which are not pajamas at all. I had coffee-flavored milk for breakfast. I'm playing hooky from work today and getting ready to hang a load of laundry out on my clothesline. Is this egocentric drivel? Micheneresque descriptive detail? How about a little context? Or archive? All that probably.

permalink posted by cat 1:28 PM

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blogosophy, speaking