Thoughts on the Future of Blogging and this Website

I’m torn and must decide: to blog or micro-blog. Regular or traditional blogging is writing posts on individual websites such as this WordPress site or a Blogger or Typepad site. Micro-blogging is posting on sites like Twitter or G+ where you don’t have your own website per se but, rather, are part of a larger social network where sharing is more ubiquitous and the nature of the content includes more link-sharing and conversation. I admit though that the boundaries between blogging and micro-blogging are fuzzy, which is part of what this post is about.

Why micro-blog? Obviously there are things you can write on WordPress that are much different from the things you can write on Twitter. They are not really comparable in this sense because of the extreme length restrictions of Twitter. However, with G+ the relative advantage of WordPress over social media is lessened since G+ lets you write relatively long posts with some amount of basic formating (bold, italics, etc.). So in deciding whether to blog or micro-blog I see the choice narrowed between WordPress and G+.

On G+ I share and reshare articles from around the web that I wouldn’t find appropriate to share on this website, which is more about philosophy and psychology rather than science and news at large. But rather than writing exclusively on a small set of subjects on a real blog, I am contemplating merging everything into a unified “jack-of-all-trades” G+ account that shares sciency-links (and who knows what else) but also occasionally writes “real” philosophy or describes more serious psycho-philosophical research. I haven’t tried to used G+ in this way (yet), but I’m thinking about it. The main advantage I see is convenience and potential for a larger, share-friendly audience. It’s nice being able to log into a central site that allows you to do all your online communication without having to switch between different websites, formats, etc. Also, it seems easier to “spread the word” on G+ than WordPress because G+ was built from the ground up to share information ubiquitously.   Also, when it comes to the Facebook vs Twitter vs G+ battles I see the writing on the wall, and Google has the pen in their hand (give it a few more years though).

The main reasons I can think of for why I am hesitant to merge everything into G+ rather than posting on both G+ and WordPress is (1) Continuity with the blogging content I’ve been posting for the last six years (Has it really been that long?!) and (2) Having my “own” website feels more legitimate academically speaking than doing everything on G+. It has a greater feel of authenticity, but perhaps this is an accidental or sentimental feature I am projecting onto WordPress. Of course, perhaps my bigger problem is that I think blogging has any academic legitimacy in the first place.

What say you, readers?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Thoughts on the Future of Blogging and this Website

  1. Good questions, and quite timely for me. I recently transferred my ‘older’ and more static web site to WordPress, which is easier to manage and people can comment and discuss the content. So far I’m satisfied with it. I’m not too concerned about academic legitimacy, but having one’s own web site/blog is far more authentic than disappearing into the crowd at G+ or FB.

    • Hi Govert, thanks for the comment. “having one’s own web site/blog is far more authentic than disappearing into the crowd at G+ or FB.” I tend to agree with you right now. Authenticity seems important especially for longer and more serious posts such as some of book reviews on this site (which, for good or bad, I’ve had people treat almost like published book reviews not just casual commentary). On the other hand, G+ profiles now have their own customized address space similar to the wordpress.com address: https://plus.google.com/+GaryWilliamsPhil

      • Hello Gary, this address doesn’t work for me, giving a 404 error. O the larger question of bolo or micro-blog I think that it encapsulates a very important question. I initially began blogging with an idea of individuation, as expressing all that I could not express in the ordinary conversations of daily life. There is a sort of excess, a supplementary potential energy, that is not, at least in my case, actualised in my daily life. This is the case for many reasons: my job as English teacher does not correspond to my training as a philosopher, my accent as a foreigner (I am an Australian living in France) makes many people turn off very fast and not listen, etc. All this I resume under the Deleuzian idea of speaking in one’s own name; A blog seems to promise the possibility of doing this, but very often it involves falling back into the shadow side of this process and adopting an automatic self based on fixed habits and positions, a repetitious tone, and stereotyped references, predictable ideas and style.

        Related to this fall into disindividuation is the failure to unite expressing one’s ideas with any real dialogue worthy of the name. I have been blogging for less time than you, only three and a half years, but the real exchanges during that time have been few and far between. So while i have been slowly constructing and articulating my thought there is an autistic dimension that I have not been able to overcome in myself nor get round in most other bloggers. So the idea of a platform more adapted to sharing is quite attractive. But the risk is a loss of depth. So the ideal would be to create that thing which seems absolutely necessary theoretically, a community of self-individuating thinkers (my motivation is philosophical) but which remains self-contradictory in practice. If you have found the magical formula for doing this, i will adopt your solution. So good luck, and keep us informed.

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  3. Hey Terrence, thanks for the great comment.

    “A blog seems to promise the possibility of doing this, but very often it involves falling back into the shadow side of this process and adopting an automatic self based on fixed habits and positions, a repetitious tone, and stereotyped references, predictable ideas and style.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head as far as the potential dangers of blogging. Also, I like the idea of a “non-automatic” or more authentic style of blogging, kind of in the vein of David Foster Wallace’s emphasis on “sincerity”.

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  5. I’ve happened to stumble across your blog pertaining to a 2009 post you made about ecological epistemology. I do not participate in G+ or Twitter and seldom use FB, so I would much rather read a blog. Blogs may lack constant interaction with your readers, but have more substance and to me are more meaningful. Please consider keeping your blog.

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