Friday, February 19, 2010

Wading through the blogasphere peeking in windows.

I have been spending too much time browsing blogs. It's a mindless way to open a window and spy on the public face of strangers' lives. I say the public face of their lives as I have to believe there is quite a bit of self-editing going on. Think a digital year-round Holiday Letter!

The ones that are not somewhat commercial are in several distinct categories, and the categories are somehow maintained together. I hit the first "Jones Family" blog and the next twenty will be other surname family blogs. There are a lot of pictures of birthday cakes in very imaginative if poorly executed designs. The candles blaze and the birthday child leans toward the flames with puckered lips. It's a standard uncoordinated shot everyone has on family blogs.

Women start blogs when they become pregnant. Every day of the waiting is faithfully documented with the obligatory pictures of her swelling self. When the child is born there will be a mass of pictures of the small red wrinkled baby, and then no more posts until the child is two.

The blogs about family always have a large number of pictures of the kids. It seems parents spend quite a bit of time trying to catch the cute kid with the cute pet. There is special documentation for the first child. When the family has three or four children you only see vacation pictures.

There are the single mother blogs, detailing the emotional scars and their struggles to raise their children and work.

There are blogs about an obsession for a particular music genre or artist. Graphic designers and photographers are bloggers. Some of the photography is first rate. Some is awful. Who tells someone their photos are awful? If anyone does they don't post it in the comments.

The blogs that are all about fashion, the latest gadget, who's dating who and "did you see what that girl was wearing?" These are blogged by young American women. These are not to be outdone by the Japanese teen blogs, which look remarkably like the American version.

There are blogs about hobbies; sewing, embroidery, tatting, cooking, rip offs from the Julie & Julia concept.

The men are blogging about religion much more than women. Women who post about religion are all about accepting what their lot in life is and stating it's God's plan. Men post sermons that seem to be developmental stories about how they are able to contain all their venal temptations because of God's love.

My favorite blog is one that is highly personal; honest and revelatory. When reading these I feel I am having a conversation with them, and doing more listening than talking.

Blogging can be a kind of therapy, I think.