April 11, 2003

Opening a vein

Jill Walker opens up entire new vistas in our understanding of weblogs in two very short paragraphs.

Blogging is about hiding. It's about partial truths and a voice that is binding as well as freeing.

When my partner tells me he's unsure about our relationship I write about protesters rallying for peace . When I don't know whether we're partners or not I write that I'm tired . When he leaves me I write about civilian casualties and how untrustworthy and partial reports of a war can be .

At IA Summit, I think Stuart Moulthrop was approaching this very point when he asked, at the end of the panel on Wayfinding and Spatial Navigation, whether the underlying problem is that we no longer learn to read James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, that people expect meaning to lie on the surface. I fast enough on my feet to see this, then.

It's time for weblogs to grow up, to move beyond their obsession with authenticity and to get over the panic that accompanies any hint that a weblog writer might not be exactly what they say they are. Who is?