The blog is hungry. The blog will not be ignored. It is an insatiable little beast, a creature still unclassified by science -- hairy, warty, slobbering, with its own fiendish agenda. I often fantasize about killing the blog, but I worry that it will respond just like the crazed computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey": It will try to kill me first.
-- "The Tail That Wags The Blog," WaPo, Aug 21, 05
Those of you who are all, "Clearly, the quote's meant to allude to the weblogger's own ambivalence about her weblog. And now, the inevitable 'Whither weblogging?' navel gazing" ... why are you still here? You win! You correctly predicted what the topic of this post is. You can now avoid reading it.
Anyway ... The Rage Diaries turned two this month. In theory, it's testing boundaries and throwing tantrums in public places and attracting stares from other, judgmental people who are all, "Isn't it a little old for diapers?" I had planned, way back when I was making my sweetly naive and overly optimistic list of 105 Things in 2005, to throw a virtual rager to celebrate two years of sustained writing online.
Except that really, when combing through the archives, I'm having a hard time figuring out what to celebrate. I had originally begun posting links because I was tired of my bookmarks list -- too many links, too hard to organize, too little ability to wrap context around the data. At the time, I figured that I would just keep posting, and eventually whatever editorial focus I had would arise organically from the compost heap of my attention span. (As would the magical ability to write using metaphors that were not at all labored.)
Well, it's been two years, and while I'm certainly not lacking for interest in assorted topics, I am lacking either the intense topical focus or the clearly defined editorial progression that marks many of my own favorite online reads. I am thinking that two years of random posting without any hint of an editorial roadmap is hardly something to celebrate.
A billion years ago in Internet time, before I knew him personally, I read Chris Rywalt's It's Just Another Baby and thought, "This ... is what the Internet is for. Tracking the parallel progressions of author and subject matter." It's the same reason I dug the Julie/Julia project -- she had her organizing editorial principle, and when she had mined it, the project was done.
I'm not saying every online writing venture has to be limited both in topical scope and time period (for one thing, I am tremendously fond of home-renovation weblogs, and I've yet to find an author there who ever thinks they'll be done with their topic materal) -- but there's a lot to be said for honing your focus and sticking to it. As a reader, I like it. I see no reason why I shouldn't try to do likewise for any of my own readers.
Now if I can only figure out what the focus is -- or should be. I suspect I am too close to it to see. I am welcoming any suggestions or feedback within reason. This is the brainstorming stage of solving my problem -- there should, I hope, be more to come.
Happy birthday, Rage Diaries! You're getting an existential crisis!