Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Blogrolling, rolling, rolling 

When I saw Whitney Pastorek's piece in the Village Voice basically ripping into the blog culture this morning, I was a tad confused. Never mind that the timing of this piece just as Jennifer Howard is getting into the blogging thing (hey folks, it was her first day, she's still testing the waters. I'm betting by Friday she'll be a seasoned pro) is amusingly coincidental, but more importantly, what was Pastorek trying to say, exactly?

For one thing, if she was trying to make a point about the "drinking patterns of twentysomethings," she picked the wrong blogs to highlight. Last time I checked, The Elegant Variation was a highbrow look at the literary world, Cup of Chicha was about arts, culture, and lit as seen through the eyes of an MFA graduate student, and Old Hag is well....sui generis. If she is so "addicted to blogs" as she claims, then surely she could have come up with more appropriate examples of whatever she's complaining about?

For another, there's a touch of the grandiose about some of the conclusions Pastorek arrives at. The 'sphere is responsible for her not fighting with anyone, not going anywhere, not having anyone show up at literary events? Even if *a select few* (because really, New York City is a huge city; the number of bloggers is ridiculously small compared to this, and let's not even get into the rest of the world) do this sort of thing, well, maybe it's because some of the evenings are spent with people they care about or families or other friends--i.e. non-bloggers. Of course there are get togethers, and because of the nature of things, they talk about blogging and other related matters. But to imply that this is about the only topic of discussion is short-sighted and limiting.

Never mind that Pastorek, by writing this article, has in her own way engaged in the same behavior that she complains about, considering that the aforementioned party she speaks of having attended for "research purposes" was actually due to an invite from Maud, who works as an associate editor for Pastorek's online literary journal Pindeldyboz (full disclosure: my story ran at PBoz in January.)

But every time this subject comes up and goes round and round, I try to remember why I do this in the first place: because ultimately, I have something I want to share with people, which is knowledge and information. Everything else is an added bonus. In the five or so months I've been blogging, I've met amazing people, partaken in what I hope is a thriving, rising literary culture, and received feedback from fans to publishing types to authors and more. My life has changed all for the better since, in some very unexpected and wonderful ways. Sure, it's cool to make snappy comments at other people's playgrounds and have them do so in return, but if that all disappeared one day, it wouldn't really change a damned thing for me, because my goals for this blog remain exactly the same: to keep up with the world of publishing and focus keenly on crime fiction and whatever else piques my fancy.

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