25 June, 2010

Birth and life cycle of personal blogs....

Why Personal blogs exist?
 A large section of the blogosphere consists of ‘personal’ blogs – biographical narratives  documenting the ephemeral experience of living every day. At the cost of sounding lyrical, I would suggest that blogs are an attempt to achieve immortality – to create documents that shall outlive the user and live in the limbo of the virtual. It is the same drive that perhaps drives an artist to bleed in paint on her canvas or an author to angst in words on his pages.
A typical life cycle of a blogger :

A ‘Noobie’ starts with tentative narrative accounts of the world around him/her and initiates a commentary about their daily life. This is what I call the foreplay of blogging. The writer in the narratives is exploring, expanding, nudging and unfolding the physical surroundings around him/her. Through user-pictures, personal profile pages and subscription to communities, the blogger begins to reproduce him/herself in a specific way – trying out different names, forms and identities. As the bloggers start ‘befriending’ people and increase their audience and readership, a strange thing happens. Instead of suddenly becoming more cautious of the self and the things that are being revealed on the blog, the blogger increasingly sheds the layers of pseudonymity and facades that they create in their early narratives. There is a typical increase in talking of the self in these narratives and one can notice a sharp shift from the exploratory narratives to the intimate revelatory biographies that are produced in the blogs. The disembodied protagonist self makes it easier for the blogger to strip his/her virtual garments and exposes more of the self than ever before .

Directly in proportion with the conversations that people start on the blog, the blogger becomes more revealing, more explanatory, more stripped of the layers that technology has imposed on him/her. And then comes a moment when the blogger finally achieves what s/he is looking for – an acceptance of his/her narratives and the realisation that comes from the reciprocal actions by the others who read their blogs. The content of the blog no longer matters. The blog often dwindles into something that is mundane, dull,everyday, regular, uniformly un-anecdotal – private. The blogger realises that it is not so much the content of what s/he is writing as the act of writing that is important. This moment when the blog content comes a full circle and resembles the first posts is the moment of ‘blorgasm.’ The sense that the self has been realised and that the experience
of the moment is captured in that one representation or conversation is the pinnacle of
pleasure for a dedicated blogger 

(Excerpts from an intriguing paper titled Playblog, by Nishant Shah. )

A good analysis of personal blogging, and the turn of events between the blogger, his/her blog and it's audience. 

After reading this article, I have started correlating it to myself, positioning myself in this cycle. Although, not entirely accurate this analysis gives a good idea of the blogger's intentions behind churning out posts for his/her blog.

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