Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What Is A Weblog? (Nov 25, 2002)

This is something I wrote about two years ago. I only repost it because there's something strange going on with my archives and I couldn't get at it, except by Googling it and finding it on someone else's site. Ironic.

I literally had the experience of reading a part of it last week on someone else's site, kindof liking the words, wondering who wrote it, then going to a NEXT page to realize that the author was ... ME!? Weird.

So here it is again and feel free to comment now as to whether it holds up still after two years.

What Is A Weblog? by Halley Suitt

Every few months it seems like all bloggers are called upon to answer the big existential question, "What's A Weblog?" Whether it's over a light dinner of Beef Wellington for 24 in the formal dining room after riding to hounds in my friend's weekend house two hours out of London, at 14th and 2nd waiting for the bus by the New York Eye and Ear Institute, at The Body Shop at the Denver International Airport in front of the Oceanus shower gel or simply on Sand Hill Road driving too fast in a Lexus SUV sucking down Jack-In-The-Box Cappacino shakes and tacos, or eating a pita at a lunch joint in Georgetown, the question keeps coming up. What's A Weblog? I'll try to answer it. Here goes:

1. A weblog (or blog) is a daily online diary on the Net where you write and publish at the near-same moment to a few million of your closest friends, except only about 20 people actually read what you write. Each entry is called a "post" and the person writing a weblog (or "blog") is called a "weblogger" or "blogger."

2. A blog is a love letter, scribbled on three-hole paper and scrunched up all sweaty in your hand that you try to pass to the cutest looking guy in class and he drops it and walks on it and then your friend goes to retrieve it and bring it back to you, unread while you die a thousand deaths.

3. A blog is a new medium as new and weird as the novel was a few hundred years ago. It's a medium that has embedded news, non-fiction narrative, fiction, poetry, graphics, music and most importantly hyperlinks to all other media which gives it its quintessential differentiating characteristic -- it can NOT exist outside of the web. It's a purely networked form. Writers love it because (oh shit, shall I spill the beans, it's EXACTLY how they think and experience the world. Scary, eh?) Talk about baggy monsters.

4. It's telepathic training wheels -- that is, it's a very early stage on the way to the REALLY big next big thing -- brain-to-brain telepathic transfer. Bye bye telephone, bye bye writing, bye bye fortune cookies, bye bye every other way you used to communicate. Blogs open up people's minds, you travel the road with them, see it all through their eyes. It's all we've got now, but soon enough we'll all be in bed with each other, embeded with each other I mean.

5. Blogs are embarrassingly textual and visual now, but will soon be audio/video. Don't hold it against them. They're trying to get there asap. You will hear them talking soon. Yes, that A/V guy who was a putz in 8th grade will be king. Just get used to it.

6. Blogs are one of the last places where you can still tell the truth.

7. Blogs are one the first places where women are finally telling the truth.

8. A weblog is good way to make friends, visit friends, love people and not leave your house.

9. A weblog is my head, open to you, day and night, at your convenience. Come on in. Please take your shoes off at the door, I hate having to vacuum after you leave.

10. A weblog is watching brains at work, especially watching brains with the ultimate prosthetic device -- everyone else's brain and the whole net connected. Weblogs let you watch people learning at lightning speed. Awesome to witness.