Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blogs: The voices out there

I've been hopping around reading more blogs than usual and find they sort into categories. Each of these has at times engaged, annoyed, edified, moved and perplexed me. Some days I'll gorge on one type of blog, other days I can't give it two seconds. But I always respect this is someone's voice, someone's very public offering.

1. C'est Moi!
About the minutiae of the blog
ger's life, whether that life involves what she ate watching the SuperBowl or which designer she wore to Mick and L'Wren's party. A blog type hugely popular with women.
Pr
os: Lots of intimate details from a life you'll never lead; often hilarious, insightful or touching. I connect and truly care.
Cons: Can't believe I'm spending the limited moments of my life reading someone's latest Starbucks order and the route she took to
drive there.

2. Moi, Doing This
A sub-set of C'est Moi blogs: me traveling through India, me volunteering at a community for the disabled, me working at Google.
Pros: An inside view of a life experience you're curious about; perfect for armchair travel, career exploration
or vicarious thrills
Cons: Can lack focus, devolving to the rambling, lonely-backpacker-writing-in-internet café syndrome.


3. Aide-Moi
Blogger seeking advice and support: coping with financial crisis, writer's block, landlord from hell, or parent of three teenagers.
Pros: Because it attracts others going through the same struggle, there's a trove of useful advice and soul-nourishing empathy
Cons: Sometimes excessive sympathy is given when person might benefit from some straight talk like 'Stop blaming your parents; grow up and pay your bills'


4. Passionate Interest

Explores a topic (e.g., politics, food, style), with only occasional references to the writer's life. May also be concerned with a cause, e.g., Fat Acceptance, living with autism, community gardens.
Pros:
The best-written are educational, entertaining, and stimulate me to 'think different', as the Apple folks say.
Cons: Sometimes I read 190 comments
- why?

5. Trojan-Horse

Ostensibly concerns a topic but is actually a shill for advertisers. For example, a jewelery blog started by a well-known Canadian fashion journalist who does not say anything critical about the brands featured on the site.

Subset:
Faux-Moi, where the blogger writes about her life but the real purpose is to showcase her product or service.

Pros: You can still learn something

Cons: Trojan-Horse: Genuinely talented people begin to look sleazy. Faux-Moi: Pitch fatigue.


I'll read any of these types; for the C'est Moi, I have to be in a certain mood, kind of like spotting your sister's diary open on her bed.

Trojan Horses elicits tart comments along the lines of 'I see what you're up to, sister, and that Tiffany dog tag is butt-ugly'.


I enjoy and appreciate this online cornucopia of thought. And if I don't, like radio (remember radio?) I can turn the dial. When I'm really old, I expect to be less mobile, and this blog world offers a marvelous way to connect with so many minds.

7 comments:

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Duchesse, you've done it again. You have a gift for (succinctly) putting into words the vague thoughts that (I think) occur to many bloggers. I like this post a lot and you're quite diplomatic. Thank you.

WendyB said...

These are hilarious. I think I must be Faux-Moi, no?

materfamilias said...

very perceptive and witty analysis -- what I find interesting is how closely one can match blog personalities and approaches to patterns seen in one's social life -- that is, I recognize friends who specialize in aide-moi, others who do c'est-moi. But also, I recognize my own response to friends and to blogs in your pros and cons -- I love my friends for the mix of both, although I do find the cons tiresome from time to time. So while those who haven't yet fallen under the spell of the personal blog deride some of the qualities we recognize as con, they haven't understood that, as with friendships, the balance of pros keeps us coming back for more. (altho' it's hard to think of cons for yours, my dear!Pro, pro, and more pro, all the way!)

Frugal Scholar said...

Great taxonomy. And I can't believe how many interesting people/wonderful writers are out there.

greying pixie said...

I have often wondered if, in the future, I might start a blog. But I don't know that I would have the enthusiasm to keep it up every day. Duchesse, not only do I admire you for the varied and interesting content of yours, but also for your relentless commitment to it.

Like materfamilias, I notice a tendency in myself when responding to the few blogs that I read.

What is interesting is the way that we are a generation who has had to learn to live in the digital age and we have found a way of using this newly acquired skill to our benefit and for our own entertainment.

One thing - the few blogs I like are, like yours, quiet blogs, ie. contemplative and honest; havens of peace and sanity in a noisy world.

Duchesse said...

Tessa: Thank you, I did exercise some restraint.
Wendy: If the ring fits...
materfamilias: So true, we have in-person friends like this too! re people who only see the "cons", perhaps they have not found the blogs that engage them!
Frugal: Yes, wonderful writers and so willing to share.
GP: Thanks for the "quiet blog" compliment. I started the blog b/c I left such long posts on others'!

Imogen Lamport said...

Interesting- I find some great C'est moi blogs, and many atrocious ones that bore me (care factor 0).

I don't like the ones that are just selling stuff - very dull.

Some thought or argument needs to go into the content to keep me coming back.