Blogging teleology

Some conversation around with Collin, Derek, and Jenny about what to do with this blog thing. Clearly there are many more options for user-generated content than there were when I started this 578 posts ago. There’s the minimalist microblog and status update. Video. The various social networks. Some are more time intensive, others less.

I was talking FTF with Derek about this a couple days ago and we both said presented with the question of whether we imagined we’d be blogging in 10 or 20 years that the answer was "of course not." One of the things Sifry’s 2008 State of the Blogosphere reports on is the changing nature of what blogging is. So even if we were doing something that we still called "blogging," it wouldn’t be this.

So where is all this leading? Whatever this is.  I suppose I started blogging to investigate this question. But in some ways it is a broader question. Why write? It doesn’t surprise me that the vast, vast majority of blogs are started but quickly go silent or are rarely updated with no sense of rhythm or exigency. Writing is hard. Yes the blog gives the average person the technical ability to compose and publish texts. My sneakers give me the techncial ability to run a marathon too. And though I jog on a near daily basis, I’m not running any marathons.

Blogging is an endurance event as well. It’s not about the individual post. It’s about doing it on a regular basis and getting back to it when your habit fails. Actually for me it is a little more like meditation than jogging in this respect. I’m always getting back to meditation and getting back to blogging.

That might suggest that there is some objective, or if not an objective at least a trajectory carved out through the practice of regular blogging. I imagine one can be interpreted from this blog or any other. However, not surprisngly, I don’t see this as about telos. I’m not trying to get anywhere (sorry). Instead it is the regular practice of writing that interests me–in all of its myriad components: an engagement with rhetoric and composition that can only come through writing itself.

So "blogging" may change and I may stop blogging someday. I am sure I will. But I will always be doing this.