Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blogito Ergo Sum?

The great thing about blogs is not that you get to write, vent, display your wares or publish stuff you think no one will ever read anyway. The great thing is the whole universe of bloggers that opens up once you have discovered and unraveled for yourself some uncharted blog territory. Blog-hopping is great fun and immensely satisfying I think. Not all of it is good - far from it. But it's almost like a silent conversation with people adding to it on their own, bit by bit. A conversation that doesn't really have a beginning, middle and end. One that is prone to many many tangential departures. Some of which you may not understand or be able to contribute to. While some of it might strike a chord and you might find yourself smiling a little because you understand.

A friend remarked that she would NEVER use her blog as a personal diary. Neither would I. But there are many who do just that. I have come across several blogs that give so much away about the author, that one immediately feels like an unwanted visitor. An intruder in violation of personal space. The argument is simplified by saying that if it's out there then it's meant to be read. Of course. But have we discarded our traditional notions of what is public and private? Conventional ideas of space? Blogs perhaps exist - as does most of the content on the internet - in the turbulent space in between the two spheres of public and private. The lines are fine and blurry. A post might be plain rhetoric - not meant to be answered or discussed. Sometimes it is provocative and invites argument and quarrel. It may seek definition or defy it altogether. A blog derives meaning from dialogue, from this dynamic relationship that the author establishes with the universe of bloggers. It grows in most cases. But there is also death and decay. A wasteland of abandoned blogs - conversations left incomplete.

An article in Tehelka about "Celebrity Blogs" says Blogs are cults of personality, read for the tastes, idiosyncrasies, lifestyle and preoccupations of the blogger." Cults of personality! Indeed, it is a cult with faithful followers, timid first-timers and incorrigible zealots who work tirelessly in order to make this a cult worth subscribing to. My own preoccupation with blogs has been somewhat of a mystery to me. Is it really "Blogito Ergo Sum" - I blog therefore I am? No, not by any stretch of imagination. But it might be "I am therefore I blog." Just that. Nothing more, nothing less.


Pinkeagle said...

Mm, I love blogs too :) Both the blogging and the reading! It's like a biograohy, a fascinating glimpse into someone else's inner world.
I do think that many blogs step over my personal boundaries of private-public, but then we all have different standards and what I think is too intimate to be shared is fair play for another!

Mandakini said...

Of course...i agree. That's the fun part I think. You never know what you will find. And I love being surprised by blogs I read regularly. And there's a whole bunch of things you can do with your blog ( I haven't learnt how to do all of that yet) that make it so layered and varied. Great forum I think! :)

Sagar said...

:)ahem.. i think blogs have become an imp part of our life.. so our person things inadvertently comes on it..
we cant b away for a long time from our blog...feels highly out of place..

Pinkeagle said...

Yeah, the HTML! I know a teeny-weeny bit, but not enough to make many changes beyond colour etc :(

shilpa das said...

this is an excercise that fascinates me a great deal-this fuzziness between public and private spaces. i think the moment we write with the knowledge that it may be read by anyone "out there" , as they say in the X-files, "the truth is out there", and doesn't vest in you anymore. of course, all depends on the degree of self-consciousness that one does or does not have as a blogger. you know, if you think i give a damn what others think, i write because i am, it is perfectly justifiable. that said, i also feel that it is too complex a thing--this act.

blogito ergo sum has my goat now, and i know will make me think all day. :)