June 29th, 2007

moss on stones

Blogger or frogger?

I've decided blogging is as much a state of mind as anything. Now that I blog frequently (in addition to following some writing and spec fic sites), I've discovered the world is full of people with something to say. It's a lot like a giant slush pile of stuff out there. If you want to blog, you can. All it takes is access to the web.

When one of my LJ friends posts a mention of another blog and I read it, it often leads me to yet another blog, sometimes on LJ, sometimes on Blogger, or just on a private site. Blogger (from Google; all their blogs have "blogspot" in the URL) in particular makes it easy to surf the blogosphere. Most Blogger layouts have a link at the top that says "Next blog." "Next" in this case just means "random." You can click that link and bring up some total stranger's blog. It's the Forest Gump effect; you never know what you're going to get. Might be interesting. Might be dull. Might be in Russian or Mandarin or Greek. Might be porn. Live dangerously! Click it again! And again!

LJ has a wonderful Spotlight feature where they tell you about interesting blogs, and a Browse Feeds function to shows you what other folks are watching, but they don't seem to have embraced true randomness. There is a "Random Blog" link on the user home page and the Explore LJ page, but I don't think there's a way for non-LJ folks to get to it. Besides, you have to keep using the Back button in the browser to get back to the link and go to the next blog. This is one feature Blogger does better.

Not that's it's essential; it doesn't help you blog. It only helps you waste time. I've discovered why they call it a slush pile. There is a lot out there that's not that readable. A number of folks seem to think just putting a page of ##((( and strings like that constitutes self expression. Maybe it does, but they're not expressing much.

On the other hand, there was the pregnant woman with a small child and a worthless-sounding husband who had really tugged my heartstrings with her upcoming eviction until she started in on how much she hates Mexicans. Or the woman who lives to knit. Or the assorted pundits on both ends of the political spectrum. And the gay guy who travelled cross country with his cats. Those folks all had lots to say.

So many blogs! So little time!