Atanu Dey On India's Development

The Bloggers’ New Clothes

This is a blog. Schizophrenic though it may be, but I am fundamentally against blogging. I believe that there is a humongous mountain of absolutely wonderfully written totally worthwhile news, views, and analysis out there, and most of it is available to you via the wonder that is the Internet and the WWW, and so there is absolutely no need for anyone to waste time reading blogs. Go read a book, instead.

All in all, blogging is a self-indulgent waste of time, especially for the reader. For the writer, it could have some redeeming features such as the opportunity to learn how to write, to expound on topics of interest, or even to just maintain a store of interesting tidbits one has collected on one random walks across cyberspace.

I used to write a lot on the Usenet years ago. Blogging to me is a second-best substitute to writing on the Usenet. Sure the Usenet exists but it is no longer what it was, the noise to signal ratio is through the roof.

What brought on this line of thought was an article that Prashant Kothari sent the link to called Time for the Last Post. I think it is a must-read. Here are two paragraphs, just for the record.

But as with any revolution, we must ask whether we are being sold a naked emperor. Is blogging really an information revolution? Is it about to drive the mainstream news media into oblivion? Or is it just another crock of virtual gold – a meretricious equivalent of all those noisy internet start-ups that were going to build a brave “new economy” a few years ago?

. . .

And that, in the end, is the dismal fate of blogging: it renders the word even more evanescent than journalism; yoked, as bloggers are, to the unending cycle of news and the need to post four or five times a day, five days a week, 50 weeks of the year, blogging is the closest literary culture has come to instant obsolescence. No Modern Library edition of the great polemicists of the blogosphere to yellow on the shelf; nothing but a virtual tomb for a billion posts – a choric song of the word-weary bloggers, forlorn mariners forever posting on the slumberless seas of news.

  • aq

    The ‘old’ media doesnt really treat blogging as a threat.. for the media is a story, and hyping up not-so-significant stories as revolutions is what the media always does. In the ratings game, if they old media has to announce its imminent demise at the hands of ‘citizen journalism’ to make a for an interesting story, it will.

    Yes, news websites now have blogs on them, but it isnt as if CNN is sending all its journalists home with a laptop and a livejournal account.

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  • http://vinu.wordpress.com vinu

    atanu, yes I have thought of it in the same way sometimes! blogging and reading blogs especially when you reach around 250 feeds – needs discipline of time else you are just wasting time!

    But Blogs are totally different in a way that they are a ‘medium’ Enablers of conversations! its not that people are just writing or people are just reading. There are relations made, conversations shared and collborative knowledge gain at the end of the day/week. Yes, it may not be efficient … But I don’t see any other way how we can shift – time, space and thoughts in a convinient and cheaper way at this current age and technology …

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  • http://parvativetri.blogspot.com Parvati

    It is a medium to express whatever one might think or feel; a way to meet and interact, albeit virtually, with likeminded people – this precludes all the inconveniences of personal actual person-person meeting / socialising, and concentrates on the emotions/ideas world, which I think keeps the mundane away in quite an effective and interesting manner.

    Where what I write might never see light of day, and might never be read by anyone other than me or my close family or friends, blogging draws lots of readers to my writings and there is a satisfaction in an amateur or serious, but unpublished writer to see many read him.

    And so on and so forth – but for actual information and actual enjoyment, I go to books, books, books. Even the www might just overload with all those links. Books are THE best.

  • http://sportolysis.blogsome.com Pratyush

    Atanu, the statement is too general according to me.

    There are different kinds of blogs. A specific blog may have movie reviews from an author whose viewpoint you like. If main stream media and books were the only things we read, we would not know that view point. That perspective would be lost.

    It is upon us to chose wisely what to read and what not to read, how much to read.

    The medium exists which is great. W\

  • Vivek S

    “All in all, blogging is a self-indulgent waste of time, especially for the reader”.

    I dont think reading deeshaa is a waste of time.

  • Sahil

    Pratyush gets it. I agree there is a lot of rubbish out there, but then again, who am I? Just another chap. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or however that cliche goes.

    All of this applies to books as well. Let’s not romanticize reading. I love it, but let’s not kid ourselves — there are LOTS of really, truly, terrible books out there. But make sure to refer back to my cliche above to qualify that statement as well.

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  • Navin

    Atanu,

    I kinda agree sometimes it could be a waste of time… but what else have I got to waste..

    Time is all I got in plenty to waste :-)

  • t

    Today is my first day blogging and I want to know what all the fuss is about. I hear it is revolution which is taking off and all corporations must be involved in, in order to excel. I can see it is another public relations too and a medium which allows for transperency and human conversation which can not be found anywhere. On the other hand though, I am a huge book worm lover and my joy of reading would never be taken over by technology. Although, I do use technology to obtain my books. If you love reading and want books for free, I found this great website about trading and wishing books. You may have heard of it http://www.bookins.com. I like this site as it allows a place for everyone to read and no need to pay high priced barnes and noble,amazon prices. If you guys know of any good Indian authors, trade it, i love indian authors.

  • Anandaswarup Gadde

    Pl. check:
    http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/2005/03/brain-of-blogger.html
    for an interesting article about blogging.