Monday, October 24, 2005

Building the Blog Phylogeny

A meme I got from Pharyngula (though it started on the right-wing Politburo Diktat) is exploring the geneological relationship (phylogeny) of blogs. Here are my answers and you go ahead and do this on you own blogs.

The questions to answer are:

1. Your blogfather, or blogmother, as the case may be. Just one please - the one blog that, more than any other, inspired you to start blogging. Please don’t name Instapundit, unless you are on his blogchildren list. (Same goes for Kos-spawn)
I did some usenet in the early 1990s because of Balkan wars, but then quit that kind of activity for a while. After a year or so of campaign blogs and forums in 2003/04 I moved out to individual blogs. I first cut my teeth by commenting on Legal Fiction, so I consider Publius to be my blogfather. He's spawned a lot. A number of good bloggers, I think, consider him a blogfather (or at least 'one of'), too, e.g., Eric, Jon, Julie, Dr.Biobrain, Nadezhda, Praktike.... (let me know if this is wrong, or if I omitted someone).

2. Include your blog-birth-month, the month that you started blogging, if you can. August 17th, 2004.

3. If you are reasonably certain that you have spawned any blog-children, mention them, too. I seriously doubt I have any blog-spawn. Correct me if I 'm wrong. Have I inspired YOU to start your own blog?

I think it is interesting how one's earliest blog experiences shape one's own style. All of the bloggers I mentioned above as my blog-siblings at least initially tried to emulate Publius's format and style. This means: infrequent, long, analytical posts. Some have moved away from this, i.e., started posting shorter posts more often, while Eric has gone the other direction - his posts are now less frequent and LONGER than even Publius'!

I actually like this. I want to dig into a real essay in hope I will learn something from a person who has background and has spent some time and thought putting that essay together. If you check this recent list of my favourites, you'll see that almost all of them are blogs who write long, informed, interesting essays.

I keep bumping into this "rule" that says that blog posts should not be long. What is the limit? 400 words, 4000 words? Nobody specifies.

While quick link-and-snarky-one-liner posts can be funny (and the link can be useful), I resent anyone telling me how to blog. Still, I have changed, perhaps semi-consciously.

If you look at my Archives, the first few months consist almost entirely of very long posts. If you look at the last couple of months, there are tons of short posts and only an occasional long one. Now, don't assume I lost steam - I have a number of long posts brewing - but I've been running into this "rule" a lot lately and it affects me. Will people run away if they see more than three paragraphs?

Perhaps my propensity towards long discourse is cultural, i.e., a Serbian thing: This post by an American living in Belgrade is funny, but oh-so-true...don't get me started now!

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 9:24 PM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink