June 19, 2011
Today, I bring the following book to your attention – “Zero Comments” by Geert Lovink
In many ways, I am ambivalent in regards to this book. But, as always in life, art, in sympathies or antipathies, everyone gets to decide for themselves, whom to consider a genius, and who is simply a nice and possibly useful fellow.
Besides, the book is written in an entertaining and engaging language, which is a definite advantage over many books on the subject of the new media. (Reading some of them, you might unexpectedly doze off without having understood anything about how digital media, new media industries, and business fads infiltrate and influence our lives.)
This book reminded me of a salad bowl, in which the author threw a bunch of ideas, and mixed them up with observations and conclusions.
In order to understand what we’re about to have, here’s an appetizer.
- The identity circus called "blogosphere" is not exactly the place where progressive types set the tone. As a sign of the times, the blogging majority is conservative and this was already noticeable in the responses 9/11 and U.S.-led invasion in Afghanistan and Iraq. Leaving the enabling rhetoric and democratization potential aside blog culture in not, by definition, progressive and cannot be heralded as "anti-establishment".
And now for some small, but delicious ribs (important strategic advice) from experienced chef (blogger).
-Lyndon from Flockblog gives a few tips that help blog writing - showing how ideas, feelings, and experiences are compressed into the news format, and how dominant Microsoft PowerPoint has become: "Make your opinion known, link like crazy, write less, 250 words is (?) enough, make headlines snappy, write with passion, include bullet point lists, edit your post, make your posts easy to scan, be consistent with your style, litter the posts with keywords."
For the most part, following these words, I can just about finish my review, because these ribs were actually the main dish, which can help beginner bloggers prepare their posts. The thing is, I can’t help serving some desert as well. I’m going to be generous, and actually offer you several desserts.
- As a micro-heroic, Nietzschean act of the pajama people, blogging grows out of a nihilism of strength, not out of the weakness of pessimism. Instead of repeatedly presenting blog entries as self-promotion, we should interpret them as decadent artifacts that remotely dismantle the mighty and seductive power of the broadcast media.
- Blogs express personal fear, insecurity, and disillusion - anxieties looking for partners-in-crime. We seldom find passion ( except for the act of blogging itself). Often blogs unveil doubts and insecurity about what to feel, what to think, believe and like.
- They carefully compare magazines and review traffic signs, nightclubs, and T-shirts. This stylized uncertainty circles around the general assumption that blogs ought to be biographical while simultaneously reporting about the world outside.
- Their emotional scope in much wider compared to other media due to the informal atmosphere of blogs. Mixing public and private is constitutional here. What blogs with is the emotional register, varying from hate to boredom, passionate engagement, sexual outrage, and back to everyday boredom.
- There are no blogs without a sphere. Bloggers need each other, they need the addictive build-up around rumors and new scoops. What bloggers often lack is a ability to do through research and investigation.
The book is very interesting but, in my opinion, the author either closed his blog rather quickly, or he has never even been a blogger. What are your thoughts on this subject?
As for me – since I’m quite a Nietzschean mood today, I would like to offer my fellow Nietzscheans some abstract photos.