I’ve gotten lots and lots of RSS feeds set into my computer of late. I’ve been considering how people weblog as an aesthetic medium; or assessing it in terms of its style. Erotic content can be helpful, but also, there are changes in the dynamic of posting. Let me consider some examples of good and bad style
- Some RSS blog feeds are basically telling you news stories; this doesn’t really count as a blog
- On the other hand of the RSS spectrum, there is the ultra-personal, “Brand” blog (of which I am an author of several). These can be good as “viewspapers”, in contrast to the former case of impersonating “newspapers”
- Doing a good “viewspaper”, however, requires a bit of tact; don’t be one-dimensional, don’t be childish, don’t have to have an opinion on everything, and assume your opinion is the best view, or the best resource there is. Can’t you accept you are stupid!?
- Don’t be a child: no “this is my opinion and that’s it”. Tell us why we should care! Further, do you think you are trying to start a religion, or school of thought? Well, if you are, you aren’t worthy of reading, and if you aren’t, but write badly, you have no excuse.
- Have some personality; although ineptitudes can show in real life, make an illusion of interest! The reason I like good writers are that they are (at most) boring people with (at least) interesting thoughts.
- Have a variance of style; subject matter; content, and media. I know of a logician at oxford who writes on poetry, a Cambridge-graduate-turn-stripper who writes on politics and postmodern society (although she doesn’t refer to the latter as such), or a transexual talking about religion. The one thing (Michael and I both share this) that we enjoy about writing is the occaisional instance where we can see the world in a slightly different way; knowing about those things which we hardly think about; like homophobia in Palestine, or stuff white people like.
- Michael often has a phrase; if someone’s reading some work that he has written, and they might either not be familiar with a word; or assert that its not an actual word (as it’s either a anglecisation [made up word] of some Latin, or neologism, or such such); he will sometimes reply; I don’t care, I will make it a word, then. In a way that philosophers can legitimately invent new vocabulary which people will pick up on; for instance, how a priori or ersatz have become legimate and widely recognised vocabulary.
- Its so much easier to tell you what not to do to make mistakes, as to what to do to be original
- Even given the above, often breaking the ‘bad’ rules can sometimes be good; some comedians base their routine on being monotonous and consistently one dimensional and the same. For every ‘bad’ I’ve stated, there are is least one counter case which is suggestive of good (or at least successfully popular) style despite it being a general bad thing.