Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's a funny old B'sphere

I always used to think that Dooce was a bit of a blogsnob because there was no comments box on her site. Now I know why. Talk about opening the floodgates: she's had over a 1200 comments in about 24 hours and the number still seems to be climbing. It would take a full working day to read all of them but from a cursory glance, I'd say that they're pretty good quality comments too. There's none of that sycophantic "I love your blog. You're so funny" stuff you see on some other famous blogs. Although the whole concept of famous and A-list is obviously relative: I doubt anyone is playing in the same league as Dooce. And she IS funny and I do looooove her blog (but not the photos of the dog, and not really the photos of the small person if I'm honest). Obviously readers want to interact with their blogheros, but on that sort of scale, it's not a conversation it can't be anything other than an enormous, unmanageable, sequential cacophony however civilised and reflective.

I suspect that a lot of people, like Dooce, would like to live entirely off blogging (I'd quite like to make a living entirely from reading blogs, the hours are better). Jason Kottke tried it for a year but is giving up, citing lack of traffic, and inability to build a "cult of personality". Do, I detect a little pique in his post on the subject? Any tension there should make for good small talk in his opening "conversation" with Heather Armstrong at the big Blog thing in Austin, Texas. My advice Jason? Get yourself a baby, buy a dog.

If I was contemplating a writing life based on cult of personality I think I'd go for a newspaper career — same reader expectations, same deadlines, but you don't have to pose for the camera.

And finally, you can blame Boing Boing for this. I'm not 100% sure what smartfilter is but just had to have the picture.

Ooops, apologies, I've just gone back and corrected six typos in that post. Note to self: don't write posts in bed anymore.


deborah said...

In quite of lot of newspapers nowadays there are photos of the journalists (even full length) so you might have to pose just once.

Dictionary says scyophantic is obsequious flattery, not sure if telling someone they are funny and you love reading their blog is obsequious, better look that up too - (fawning, servile, slavish, er ....sycophantic).

Dooce doesn't come over as particularly amusing in her latest post. The old chestnut re stay at home 'moms' puts me off reading any comment, let alone, to date, 1413.

LĂ©ons Life said...

Apparently Dooce used to have comments but exploded her bandwidth so had to stop. I can imagine that she had a lot of abusive stuff too, as she isn’t a typical God fearing Mormon after all.

Funny that you should have thought it was her being a blogsnob, I thought if it more as self-preservation on her part!

I like you find a lot of her posts very funny. If you laugh about being locked up in a psycho ward, you can laugh about anything !

I do find it odd that she documents her life with child, husband, the Avon sales lady and that mutt in such detail; her life is really on public display. I guess it’s with this and her humour that she can afford to stay at home.

I also think it’s best that she doesn’t open the comments too often (I’m thinking that this was perhaps just a one and only) As it would be a shame that she gets into a spit and spat like a certain expat blog (you know the one) that will go un mentioned.

Infact it’s probably best that she doesn’t have comments and doesn’t comment elsewhere (to my knowledge) As this in it’s self gives her a certain anonymity, a certain distance from the rest of us out there in blogland ! In that sense she is more like a journalist and publishing the “Dooce Daily” than a regular blogger who posts and leaves comments elsewhere.

Bon – Did any of that make any sense? Well I know what I meant anyway.

heather said...

Ha - my paranoia leapt several feet in the air when I saw the leon's comment of 'expat ...go unmentioned' and then I realised that it was probably someone in Frankreich....

Like Deborah I didn't find her latest post had anything to add to a pot that's already well cooked...

Lesley said...

Deborah, I was quite pleased with the word sycophantic but on second thoughts I don't suppose there is any point in ingratiating yourself with someone who can't give you anything in turn.

Pauline: I hadn't thought abouot the problem of bandwidth. I wouldn't open up comments anymore either if I were her.

Heather: No, no, no. It wasn't you she meant, it was the one with the Lover (who incidentally, in my opinion has lost a little of her mystique since she published her photo.)

deborah said...

In fact I think sycophantic too negative because I like telling bloggers 'I love your blog' more as positive encouragement than ingratiation.

Kim/Thomas said...

'I love your blog" haha...I just am new to blogging...and I have read more of your blog and other expats..than dooce..but it seems as though she is the queen of blogging....I think that the comments box is a way to encourage you to keep bloggin...the more the comments..the more you know you're not just typing for a couple of people..not to mention..the other opinions are great to hear!
thanks for blogging!

Ms Mac said...

You know, I have tried to read Dooce a couple of times on other bloggers' recommendations and have failed to find anything interesting at all.

Maybe I just wander over there on the wrong days.

Jordan said...

I discovered Dooce when I stumbled upon a post she wrote about a guy straining so hard to take a big dump that he blacked out, hit his head, and knocked himself out cold. Or something like that. I find her a bit annoying, actually, but I do go back once in a while because she\'s pretty funny. Annoyingly funny. Funnily annoying. Whatever.

wendy said...

So I wandered over to Jason site's and it was boring..no wonder he can't make a living. There's zero personality. I read blogs out of a sense of...voyeurism? (dare I admit that?)...and sometimes to have a laugh, depending on who's writing it. Maybe just to confirm that I'm not the only person alive who has a mundane life peppered with interesting moments.

Dooce is still funny sometimes but not as often and Lover Lady's blog has definitely changed over the last year and is no fun at all to read...interesting (from a voyeuristic point of view) but that's all. And yes she has lost her mystique, which was a very attractive thing. Now she's just one of us. I think it must be very hard to maintain the persona you originally project because life changes us over time and when you don't blog according to your set script then your readers get disappointed and huffy. I'm rambling. Time to stop.

deborah said...

Nobody's mentioned the nuditiy square yet ..... I loved everything 'Bernini' when I went to Rome but Michaelangelo's David left me cold.
This bit looks like a lion sticking out it's tongue.
Am doing my best to understand the point of Boing Boing.

deborah said...

PS no slur on BB, just Sunday night tiredness. And can't find your mail Lesley, tried to send mail via here but not sure if it worked.

deborah said...

er ............... Florence

memo: no more commenting in bed

Antipodeesse said...

In Dooce's early days she always left comments open and soon two problems occurred: (1) obviously the number of comments grew at an alarming rate and (2) some (possibly inebriated) commenters started having endless, boring and utterly irrelevant two-way conversations in her comments box!

Lesley said...

Kim:I like complimentary comments on my own blog, just not on other poeple's.

Ms Mac & Jordan : There are definitely off days. (Glad I never have any of those.) And I'm not a fan of the constipation posts either.

Wendy: Yes, I agree. You don't keep an audience by saying "so much is going on on my life right now..." without telling people what it is that's going on.

Deborah: Not been to Florence, but can compare with real thing.

Antipo: yes, that must have been irritating and also, I should imagine that she got to a point when she didn't really need the feedback. I notice that loads of people leave comments on her Flickr photos though.