Sunday, April 01, 2007

And you wrote to The Times because....??

Sir,

Winston Fletcher's disappointment (letter, March 29) with web logs, or blogs, as they are irritatingly known, is well founded, in that the topics the authors normally choose to write about are mundane and of little interest to anyone but themselves. The matter is exacerbated by those who have a poor grasp of the written word and there is little wonder many make dull reading.

Oh. I can see, Tom and Rose Wells from Brighton, that you are not enamoured of the world of blogging. That's a shame. Mind you, a lot of people feel that way, as if the only reason that anyone should blog is to entertain everybody else. I mean, blogging as a means of communication with far-flung family or friends, or as a way of working through things anonymously that become easier by the very act of writing them down - that shouldn't be allowed, should it? No. And it's a good job that people like you are prepared to shoulder the burden of writing to a national newspaper to add your personal condemnation of those people who shouldn't be allowed to write a shopping list, never mind a journal. While we're on the subject of poor writing, though, you might want to revise that first sentence and take a couple of commas out. Just a thought. Oh, hold on - you hadn't finished yet, had you?

A blog, when written properly, albeit spontaneously, can be cathartic for the author, and informative for those choosing to follow it.

I'm a little bit confused now. On the one hand you seem to be acknowledging that blogs can be helpful, or even interesting. But then there's that qualification again, isn't there? Blogs can only be helpful or informative if they are Written Properly. You don't seem to want to share your views on what might constitute "properly", but I'm sure we might start to see the angle you're coming from in a moment.

We have set up a blog -

Well. I wasn't expecting that.

- [seehowwepublishourURLinthe timesonasaturdayinordertoboostourhits.com] - which records our one-year-old son's treatment for leukaemia and the highs and lows for us each day.

Oh. I'm genuinely sorry to hear that your son is ill. I'm still a bit unsure what your actual point is though - are you allowed to have a blog because your son has a serious illness? Does this somehow validate your blogging, while the people who are just sort of enjoying having an outlet for whatever crowds their mind should realise how trite and boring they are? Did you, I wonder, consider writing this letter without publishing your URL? Why did you include it, exactly? Is it some sort of public service? You see, the sad fact of your son's illness aside, this is beginning to feel just a little bit like a self-serving come-and-see-how-to-do-it-properly lecture. Are you hoping for a book deal, I wonder? Hmm. Anyway, do carry on.

"Get Well Felix" has received more than 68,000 page views in the eight months since his diagnosis, and he has a small community of supporters who comment regularly and provide encouragement.

Some are people we do not know, but they have all been given a detailed insight into a topic that they knew nothing about at the outset, just like us.

Um. What? You see, Tom and Rose, this was the part that I really struggled with. Let's try and break this down, shall we? Blogs (or Web Logs, as you would prefer them to be called), are crap. Millions of people who don't even have any formal journalistic training are all over the place, writing their thoughts and feelings without even checking that what they are producing is Proper Writing. You seem annoyed that these people haven't realised that they are bothering you. It just shouldn't be allowed. You, however, are allowed to blog, because you have a child with a serious illness. This helps you because you are getting the warm fuzzies from the thing that makes blogging appealing in the first place - acknowledgement and support. All good so far.

But you couldn't help yourselves, could you? You had to pop your URL in and start crowing about page views. You admit that it's only been eight months since his diagnosis. Did you take a laptop to the hospital when you met with the consultant? The thing is, Tom and Rose, that not only are you telling me off, but I'm also starting to suspect that this might not be the first time you've written to a newspaper to discuss this. I mean, I'm happy that you're doing well and all, but I really, genuinely don't understand your motives. I'm also a little taken aback at the perceived notion that if it weren't for you and your superior blogging skills, the world and it's intellect would be a poorer place.

I'm going to leave it there, Tom and Rose. I sincerely hope that things work out and that your son makes a full recovery. It must be heartbreaking to think of him suffering. I'm genuinely pleased that your blog on the subject brings you comfort and support.

You might want to ease up on the self-righteousness a bit though. You know, just a bit.

15 Comments:

Blogger Inexplicable DeVice chimed in with...

Ah ha! I'm the first of the pesky irritants!

I bet making the First! statement is more irritatin than poorly ritten blogz dont ya think Tom & Rose? (See how irritatingly I 'lose' punctuation and my spelling ability?)

Anyway, I'm off to delete my waste-of-space blog.

Ta ra!




Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

01 April, 2007 17:48  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

in other news, petit anglaise just won her 'wrongful firing' suit against the firm that dooced her.
gosh, i feel so trendy knowing this.
as far as i'm concerned, the less reputable blogging is perceived to be the better i'll like it. i do not want the mainstream or the pc cops messing up our folk-art (per patroclus) counterculture.

01 April, 2007 19:21  
Blogger Homer chimed in with...

Amen, sister.

01 April, 2007 20:05  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

well then.


what the fuck was that all about.


ich. i know i'm not getting as many hits as maybe I deserve. maybe i should publish my url in a major regional newspaper.

all the pointlessness just pissed me right the fuck off. feh.

01 April, 2007 20:52  
Blogger rockmother chimed in with...

Yes - very mixed messages indeed and ones certainly not doing themselves any favours that's for sure. I sincerely hope their son makes a full recovery despite the fact they published the url for their blog which was ultimately rather distasteful in iteslf.

PS:
Hello Surly - thanks for dropping by my blog the other day x

01 April, 2007 22:37  
Anonymous Moobs chimed in with...

They belong to the tribe who think blogging exists so that they can show everyone what great writers they are.

I think blogs exist so that I can nose about in other people's personal lives.

The great thing about noseyness is that careth not a jot about spelling.

01 April, 2007 23:03  
Blogger Billy chimed in with...

Page views are different to the number of visitors, usually higher.

02 April, 2007 09:51  
Blogger Betty chimed in with...

Yeah, there seems to be too much emphasis on the idea of "well written blogs" these days. If people want to just use a blog as a platform to promote their writing, then fair enough. However - shock horror - there are actually a lot of bloggers who aren't angling for a publishing contract, they just blog to communicate with people. What's wrong with that? Does everything have to be categorised in such a black and white way?

02 April, 2007 10:03  
Blogger rockmother chimed in with...

There's nothing worse than feeling like your having to compete or be judged for doing something you like. I can't bear all that 'good writing' snobbery that pops up now and again in newspaper articles about blogging. Half the people who criticise it probably have to get someone to turn their computer on for them because they don't know how to use it properly. And so what? The whole point about blogging surely is being able to write about or say anything you like, how you like mis-spelt or mis-punctuated. If that's the way it comes out then so be it.

Whew - feel better now.

02 April, 2007 10:33  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

Seems this lovely pair are completely unable to realise that people might blog for completely different reasons. And what about that guilt-trip they're trying to lay on all the bloggers who are not doing it for such 'important' reasons.

02 April, 2007 11:45  
Anonymous rivergirlie chimed in with...

sorry about the kid and all
i am, however, compelled to say -
sanctimonious twats is one thing (or two in this case), but sanctimonious, self-congratulatory, self-publicising twats is (or possibly are) even worse.
see how badly i write!

02 April, 2007 15:35  
Blogger Doris chimed in with...

I thought the whole point of blogging was the freedom and ability to express yourself in your own way. It may well not be "good writing" in some opinions, but at least it is - or should be - an honest piece of self-expression.I love "hearing" individual voices as I wander through different blogs of an evening.

02 April, 2007 22:53  
Blogger Shell chimed in with...

brilliantly written, my blood pressure is screaming at its own altitude. harrumph! how dare they?? and i'm sure this makes me look like a nasty type but playing the victim, riding their son's illness like this feels very, very ... icky ...

05 April, 2007 00:22  
Blogger Stef the engineer chimed in with...

I think I'd feel happier about such blatant blog pimping if they actually made reference to an established support group, and how it deserves some attention.
(Can I mention the marvellous http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
for example?)

08 April, 2007 12:27  
Anonymous dr ben chimed in with...

Brilliant - absolutely loved it, keep up the vitriol!

(from one of the authors of the many meaningless, poorly written 'weblogs' out there

15 May, 2007 14:48  

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