Late last month, this post popped up in my timelines: Iran’s blogfather: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are killing the web.
And yeah, I first saw the link on Facebook, so that might seem contrary to the title. But it resonates. And I saw the article circulate enough to know that I wasn’t the only one.
After being jailed for six years in Iran to silence his blog, was released to a world, and a world wide web, he barely recognized:
The hyperlink was my currency six years ago. It represented the open, interconnected spirit of the world wide web – a vision that started with its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralisation – all the links, lines and hierarchies – and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks. Since I got out of jail, though, I’ve realised how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.
Since reading his thoughts, which I’d encourage you to do too, I’ve been thinking and mulling and remembering that blogging has been a good thing for me. And somewhere in my dormancy around here, I missed a ten year anniversary for this blog, so it’s been a good thing for me for quite a long time.
The apparent loss will be familiar to anyone who blogs, journals, or publishes regularly. Having space to form fractured inklings into mosaic thoughts leads to an enriched way of seeing the world. I’ve had outlets for this, whether blog posts for other places, my podcast, or sermons for our church community. But none of those offers the same opportunities to chase whatever notions may be stirring in this noggin.
But in my ruminations about the transforming state of the webernet, and particulary social media’s rise, I realized just how much it causes me to say. Or not to say.
With social media, be it Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, I’m always aware of the audience. I have a general idea of who is following or friending or, most especially, favoriting. And so I’m tempted to write for that audience. Its not so much that I write for the likes —though they have their intoxicating qualities. Its that I start to write based on who I perceive that audience is. I start to mutter about what I think they will be interested in, rather than what I’m interested in.
There is an anonymity of audience when it comes to blogging. It’s like being on stage with the spotlights blinding you from anything beyond the first few rows. You’re up there putting it out there. Those friendly and familiar faces in the front row can be encouraging, for sure, but who knows who, if anyone, is in the rows beyond.
I’ve spent the last few weeks retooling and polishing up this old blog of mine. I’ve added the ability to post shorter tidbits without a title — asides as they may be known to you blog vernaculareans. I’ve modified the already added ability to post links to some of my podcasts, sermons, orther writings. Or to post links to anything else that I think worth directing people toward. Nope…to anything else that I find of interest.
I’m hopeful these simpler formats will keep some thoughts mulling and words moving. And along the way will come some good old fashioned blog posts like this one. Probably.
This feels good.
I’m not saying blogging is better. But its better for me.