Okay, let's try this.
In 2018 I am going to try summarizing my previous week's web activities here at my personal blog. This is part of my quest to understand where blogs can matter any more, if they can at all.
Here's the idea: My digital life is spent generating spurious spot content on Twitter, Facebook, and in countless discussion forums online. There's a ribbon above with icons that link back to my profiles on these forums -- it is in those places where I am actually digitally active each day, not here on the blog.
In some cases my comments at those sites read like full-fledged blog posts which are not, for some reason, posted here at the blog.
I know the reason of course. A large part of it is that I want the instant reaction in an active traffic stream (the forum I'm posting in) because narcissism, a want of validation and attention, a need to be seen and heard, like anyone. If I'm on stage with a comedy act and there's nobody in the audience, there's nothing in it for me. No reward, no dopamine release.
There's no audience here at the blog. I might be polite to myself and say "there's no audience like the audience at those places", but no, there's literally nobody hitting this blog on a daily basis for weeks or even months at a time.
So maybe the blog still has relevance in the context of an expression vehicle as a sort of "home base" to all that other stuff I'm putting out there, in a role that doesn't fan for attention, but rather, exists as a node for discovery among the interested. Who would "the interested" be? You can never tell. Old friends, new friends, potential clients and employers, the media, researchers, who knows really. But as this roadmap or archive of things I'm doing to keep the open web alive as just one person, it's important that I find out and keep tweaking to find where it matters.
Those facing the same internal question and struggle, keep an eye on this effort to see if it pans out.
Blogging Versus Facebook
With that being established, here's an embed response to a comment I just posted while searching for insight on the question of blogging versus "Facebooking". The search took me to this 2015 piece by Mitch Joel, The End of Blogging, and one commentator of the dozens and dozens hit the nail on the head insofar as I was concerned.
Here you go:
House Fire Down the Street
Early this afternoon a house caught fire down the street. When I'm at home I keep a police scanner running nearly all times. I'm keenly aware of what's happening in Buffalo at any given moment. It's a life long habit wherever I'm living.
Today the call went out about the fire just a block or three up from me. Fullfilling my duty as a "content journalist" (known pre-web as "fucking nerd with a scanner showing up and getting in the goddamned way") for my BuffaloScan Twitter feed, I raced to the scene and began broadcasting.
Here's a link to the BuffaloScan Periscope "Fire Amherst Street Live".
Doing Education "As You Go"
In Disqus I waded into a thread with my recounting of how I managed to earn a college degree with very little, easily paid-back-within-a-few-years, debt. If you don't look too closely at what I've done with my college education, the achievement itself is one of my life's pride points. You can digest it here.
The gist otherwise:
So, I don't know how people get themselves into a situation where they wind up owing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars unless they literally believe that living responsibly to pay rent and to buy toilet paper, must somehow be a separate endeavor from living in a dorm for four years doing nothing but going to classes. To me anyone's post-graduation loan situation can be dramatically improved if they don't mandate a quick classical 4-year graduation timeline (one downside to my experience, but more because I'm a bit "slow" than anything, is that it takes longer to get a degree) for themselves and instead patiently pay for it bit by bit with current earnings and maybe a few short-term textbook loans as they go
I really believe in this college stuff mostly because if an actual idiot like myself can pull it off on the cheap, anyone can. What fundamentally spurred me to elevate myself this way back in my 20s? You'll just have to read that long-ass post in its entirety.
Fist Bump to the Online Slut I Admire
This one kind of hurts. There's this woman online I started following maybe a year or go or so on Twitter - @NYorNothing.
I followed her because she's "into" her life in New York City, something that sits well with my own experience and future aspiration to one day return. She totally gets it and embraces the awe and achievement of existing there day by day.
But it turned out, in time, that that wasn't the half of her online schtick. Turns out that embedded in her adorations of Gotham living she cranks out off-colored remarks about her sex life and retweets others doing the same. I mean, it's totally like I hit another kindered spirit kind of thing but, like, she has actual talent or something while keeping her nose to the grindstone on the docks of New York City of all places -- and if you take her tweets literally, maybe other places. I'm totally out on both - I left the city when I quit my boring desk job, and comedy did not save me! So yeah, I totally came to admire her rants.
Anyway, she's a slut humorist. Not that she is a slut (I mean, she could be, that material probably comes from somewhere though when it comes to comedy it's usually supposed to be a place of pain). What I meant was that there is a topic field of sluttiness, and she is a comedian in that field,apparently and effectively. Like Joan Rivers on steroids.
Anyway, on some impulse of affection and general pathetic-ness I begged her for Twitter re-tweet love and baited her by calling her -- a slut humorist.
I just wanted to join the fun!
She got it -- yeah she actually did! And I knew that she would. And she did re-tweet my remark which reached her audience who got it...not so much.
So I got a lot of flack for it. The only other time I had to endure Internet hate was when budgeteers (parakeet enthusiasts) lambasted me for running a webcam back in the 90s on two of my parakeets in a cage they noted was too small for them. I fixed it with a mammoth cage, and they were happy. In this case, I kind of apologized to her but figured I'll just leave the audience remarks alone. Internet hate is a lot more vicious in 2017 than it was in 1999.
So that's my digital week in review.
Somewhat to a lesser extent, you might be interested to know that I touched up WBRAIL and Tampa Rail too a bit.
If I can keep this theme up I'm changing the tagline to something like "A Blog About Me Talking About the Things I Talk About Online".