Thursday, April 28, 2005

Striking while the iron's hot

So one of the things I've noticed lately about blogging? Just how quickly you get left behind.

Say you want to blog about something which happened in your own life - some anecdote you wish to relate - but you can't write it the same day or even the same week it occurred. Is it still relevant several days later? The anecdote hangs in limbo, like the magazines in the doctor's waiting room: too old to be current events, too recent to be history.

Or what if you read an interesting blog post. You want to write a response - either in the author's comments section or in your own blog - but you don't have the time to do so, or at least not as thoroughly as you wish. So you file it away as something to do later when you have the time.

Hours pass. Then days. Next thing you know, it's been at least a week. Should you still bother to write a response?

Some topics, of course, are based on current events and have a limited shelf life. Speculation about, say, who will be the next Pope is obviously rendered moot a week after the new one's been picked. But other blog topics are about long-term issues, things which don't go away or get resolved quickly. But it could be that the discussion has already moved on by the time you have a chance to write a reply.

Would the original blogger care about what you have to write now, days or weeks after his or her original post? The issue already feels like it's in limbo too; the blogger's moved onto other topics. The way some blogs work, the author might not even realize you've written a comment at all.

You could still write a post in your own blog. But it seems strange to reference another blog post that's already past its freshness date. The immediacy of the Net feels like both its boon and its bane: it ensures that bloggers everywhere can share their thoughts with the rest of the world within moments of them occurring; but it also means everything happens so quickly that backing up to "old" topics feels counter-intuitive. Blogs are the streams of consciousness of the Net - good luck swimming back up the rapids.

Yet surely things are not meant to be so ephemeral in the blogosphere. Why keep archives in the first place, if not so others can reference past writing? Why blog at all if you don't think what you have to say has merit beyond the moment of its creation? If it takes days - or weeks or even months - before you're able to make a good point about something, shouldn't it still be made?

And yet, it still seems strange to me to write about things that are in doctor's-waiting-room limbo. If things move at light speed online, you're in the dust if you're no faster than the speed of sound.

Or so I thought.

Well, screw that. I don't always have time to blog about something when I first see it. And sometimes, it takes me days, even weeks, to think of what I want to write. But I've already skipped blogging about anything in recent weeks, because I've told myself, "Oh, it's been too many days - it's not relevant anymore."

Which just feeds into my usual lazy, procrastinating nature.

Which starting up a couple of blogs was supposed to help me fight.

So I'm gonna blog what I want to blog when I can get around to blogging it. And if it means I wait days, weeks, months to say something; and what I have to say seems embarrassingly dated to others; and people are left wondering why the heck I even bothered so long after the fact, then so be it.

The iron may be stone cold by the time I get around to hitting it, but at least I'll still take a whack at it.


At 4/29/2005 1:06 PM, Blogger J. said...

Hear, hear!


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