The Blog is Dead!

I remember those days.

I used to torment everyone I knew who could blog, to blog. I have been even called a bully, in that sense. About three years ago. Now, I cajole, very rarely, not to friends, however.

But blogging, as we knew it then, doesn’t really exist. It’s called publishing now. It is called publishing now because we only transmit on to a medium that has expanded enormously. And we transmit at a very high frequency. And, perhaps, because we transmit with such high frequency, we transmit in very small amounts. We micro-blog, we update statuses. In essence, we publish. We publish without context and we publish with mistakes. We publish abstract and we use SMSese (Text-speak for those outside India).

If the blog dies, does the blogger die with it? Are their lives interdependent? I don’t think so. Bloggers immigrate. They become law-abiding citizens of another world, where their ambitions and skills can be put to some use. And the blog had to die. Anything that is difficult is easily overcome by that which is simple. That is the truth by which this world has evolved.

But simple and trivial aren’t the same things. But now, they are often mistaken for one and the same. I have a list of an A-list of bloggers on my RSS feed, which over a period has become the folder with least number of bloggers. And like Paul Simon said, it applies to this list:

Some have died
Some have fled from themselves
Or struggled from here to get there

I made a very strong case (read excuse) of a writers’ block today to a friend and a fellow-blogger. I was reminded, creatively, that there isn’t such a thing – she asked – which other profession has a block?

IMG_6671.jpg

It was interesting to think about that. A policemen’s’ block. Or perhaps a soldiers’ block. It would be real fun for the kids if they experienced a teachers’ block. A pilots’ block would be real dangerous. You get the point. It all really boils down to impatience. We deny context to what we write, we wring the entire message to a limit of characters; play to a comment and like count; post a photo to substitute a thousand words; and enslave ourselves to URL shortening statistics.

And, continuing with Paul’s Obvious Child:

Well I’m accustomed to a smoother ride
Maybe I’m a dog that’s lost his bite

The blog is dead, long live the blog.

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11 thoughts on “The Blog is Dead!

    • Welcome to Gaizabonts! Have read some Roland Barthes, but mostly related to photography, this was an interesting find. I am even more of a Barthes fan, now that I have read Death of an Author. I believe I have made the same case with respect to an artist. Search for “Ways of Seeing” (in 3 parts) on this blog, when you have time.

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  1. There is a fine line between a tightly edited piece & one that just states facts. Impatience, as you rightly say, is a big reason. But I’m unsure if it is the basement reason because some amount of impatience is necessary to post. How much, is the question.

    I don’t know about any other reader, but I’d like to see a detailed post here about what a writer’s block could be.

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    • Girish, it is indeed a fine line. One that is difficult to stay on with diligence. I recently saw Gabhricha Paus (review on my movie blog), which I believe walked that line. I think the “volume” of impatience is a factor of what you write; I’ll write about it one of these days. Would make for and interesting post; as well as the definition of a block!

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  2. i think the impatience has more to do with technology than person. everyone i know these days starts finding faults with a phone / laptop /camera as soon as the new model is up for sale. may be we have come to define our art not with us, but the tech-savvy media that we use..

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    • Well said and I completely agree! Impatience even sells; if the new advertisement from Airtel is any indicator: Impatience is the new life. The ability to relax, write a post over a couple of days, think about what you have written, why you have written is a skill that is fast losing ground.

      Our tools have indeed come to define us. Your comment resonate with something I had written in a post once: “Yet, it is still a tool, as magnificent as it is. The tool can do only as much as the skill allows. The skill can be honed, only as much as the mind can train. The mind can train only as much as the heart believes.

      We have allowed our skill to be defined by the limits of the tool.

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  3. Agree with what Gauri has to say. Also, i blv easy availability of anything sadly brings down the value of what it ought to deliver. The blog, being one of the most potential mediums these days, has become more of what you rightly said a tool for ‘publishing’ rather than a medium that was respected earlier for the love of writing.

    Some 2 years ago, i read this on your blog and was highly motivated to write about it on my blog –

    “…blogs, like memories don’t die. At worst, they don’t grow – they stagnate for want of nutrition.”

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    • For me, blogging has been painful in recent times. Not the pain that is caused while writing a post – but the one that is caused because of not writing one. I know, I said that earlier. It’s the same; yet it seems to be dying. Needs TLC. 🙂

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  4. These days, 2 paragraph-emails elicit the response, “My God! you write such long mails!”… and there used to be a time when we used to write by hand, entire 17-page ‘letters’, with both sides filled, no less! What’ll that be now – a tome? Will the postman refuse to carry it?!!

    The most one seems to tolerate are painfully unintelligible (gibberish!) SMS messages. Even writing entire words (having all of four letters) seems to be considered ‘needlessly ornate’.

    That’s on the one hand; on the other Salman Rushdie continues to be read with as much gusto as ever before.

    Just as we reach the conclusion that the world is becoming impatient and inconsiderate of courtesies like completeness/readability and entirely ignorant of the beauty in redundancy, one looks at the year’s best sellers.

    I fail to understand this dichotomy… May be you can shed light? 🙂

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  5. Pingback: A Year in Posts « Gaizabonts

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