Monday, February 23, 2009

Plurk, Twitter or Blog?

If a blog falls by the wayside, will anybody hear? What does it mean that of all the blogs that I follow, only Ernie in Tokyo is still keeping up his usual good work? What does it mean that I have been silent for over a month and so have many of my friends who blog?

An article reprinted in a Bangkok newspaper from the Straits Times in Singapore offers an answer with "Blogging is so last year." What's replacing them are micro-blogs Twitter and Plurk, which can be sent from a mobile phone as well as a computer, and are limited to no more than 140 characters in length. And says one Twitter/Plurk devotee, "Blogging is getting to be a hassle. I think about and write a lengthy post, and then only get three comments."

Well.  140 characters is less content than my average facebook status update--that's not a thought, that's a hiccup.  And blogs are micro-essays--from micro-essays to micro-blogs is a rather terrifying leap to a writer. And if a blog post gets three comments, and none of those are responses from the writer of the blog, it is doing damned well.

I have no illusions about a blog--at best it's a conversation with the world, at worst it's a lonely little writer's notebook. It's what I--and I'm not alone in this--do instead of mailing letters. It's a quick and superficial way to communicate--and there is the rub.

If I have to go to statcounter to see which of my friends and relatives are reading this blog, that is simply wrong.  Conversations need a response, letters require an answer--and writer's notebooks are more easily kept in conventional fashion, on the pages of a spiral-bound tablet that fits in a handbag and goes with me everywhere.

So I'm not going to be one of those who Twitter and Plurk. I will take a stab at resuming this blog, if only to keep Tokyo Ern company--at least for a while, to see if anybody wants to respond to it. Yoohoo, shy little people, come out, come out, wherever you are...


11 comments:

Kim said...

I may not do it in a timely fashion, but I blog foremost for me. To write about topics that interest me. To practice my writing. To play around. And to share with those few precious friends and strangers who check in every once in a while to see how I'm doing. It's been fun to have people around the world make my recipes, fun to know that anyone searching for "Eve Babitz" will always find the essay I wrote, and satisfying to know that I can send a few words out into the world. I blog because I love words and for no other reason. And I read your blog because I love your words! Kim

Janet Brown said...

And I yours!

Alison said...

I have fallen by the wayside. It's not really because I don't get comments - it's more that I get lazy. I'll resume putting my little poems, pictures, and thoughts on mine and comment on yours.

I look at my blog like a notebook. It's a way to back up some things that I want to save and share them with you. I don't think I am interested in any of the other things you were mentioning. I get tired of all this technology. I'll just stick to my blog and a cell phone that won't take pictures, serve drinks, act as a sex toy or drive my car when I am too tired. Sometimes all this stuff is just too overwhelming for me.

Wanna talk on my tin can phone if I call you tomorrow night (Tuesday my day .. 2/24 - 7'ish your time?).

I love you.
A

Janet Brown said...

PS Alison, after I vented here, I left a long comment on your blog...

Ebriel said...

Hah, found you! You've got a brand-new subscriber/fan, Janet.

And cheers to you for refusing to bow to short-attention spans.

Janet Brown said...

Elizabeth! We can stay peripherally in touch through our blogspots! (The peanut butter is sheer bliss, by the way, I have to restrain myself from eating it like pudding.)

Tokyo Ern said...

I thank you for the support, but as with your friend Kim, I just love to write. Aside from you, I know I have some regular readers - my father being the most avid, who responds to every post I write (his e-mail automatically receives every post I write because he's still computer illiterate), he gets all my edits as well and comments on them too. I'm also like creating my photo albums on FACEBOOK and am part of the MIXI (Japan's MySpace/FACEBOOK) where everything I write is in Japanese. It does feel great to have regular readers though even if they don't leave a comment.

Will Yaryan said...

I found Tone Deaf by googling Eve Babitz (whom I once knew) and finding my way here. That same day I bought your wonderful book at Orchid. What a series of coincidences! You've succeeded in capturing what I love about Bangkok and have tried to express myself. But you do it so well I'll have to find something else to write about now.

Katia said...

Better late than never. I'm also resisting the Twitter thing. I don't want anyone restricting my word count. As a picture book writer, I already have to watch it carefully. Blogging is an outlet. Yes, a journal. It's there when I have something to say. And it allows me to share my thoughts with people I might never have "met" otherwise, and that includes you :)

Janet Brown said...

Katia I hope we do meet sometime soon.

Janet Brown said...

Will I just sent you an email--my address is fresh_hell@etceteraetcetera so please check your junk mail filter.??