But I digress: specifically I digress to consider this disturbing new phenomenon that is currently rife (and it’s rare to get a chance to use the word ‘rife’) on our streets: the blog. It’s a strange condition that prompts people who are (one assumes) otherwise sane to actively perpetrate a kind of personal reality television on any unsuspecting passer-by who might be bypassing. This has been compared to an online diary, but the comparison slips: when one thinks of diaries there is the inevitable film scene where the young female protagonist has her secret journal of her most inward thoughts stolen by her annoying younger brother or similar, and feels quite violated that those closely guarded secrets, confided only in the sanctuary of pen and paper, are now in the public domain. What she doesn’t do is chase after him shouting, “And show it to your friends! In fact, tell everyone you know to come and read it.” What, then, is the blog? Is it simply a colossal and undirected round e-robin, a “this year we did…” in bite-sized instalments?
Well, insert all manner of wise words about global community here. In fact, given the flexibility of the medium, should any such wise words occur to me I can just come here and do so. Still, try as I might, it’s hard to shake the feeling that I’m standing in a great echoing hall, which may or may not contain anybody else, and shouting “ME!” as loud as possible, over and over. A Blog is the latest in a long line of human devices designed to prove to the universe that we exist. Put your own name into Google and make a wish. Post your reviews on Amazon (ideally good ones of my books, when they’re published). Send your facebook photographs into the void like the plaque on the Voyager probe, that vastly optimistic, romantic piece of scientifery that says: here I am, this is me.
Nothing that people haven’t said before and said better, I’m sure. Metablogging is surely simply navel-gazing with a magnifying glass. Still, before actually getting down to the serious business, the whole book-agent-publisher-editor (-me-me-me) farrago, it was worth taking a moment to meet my own eyes in the mirror. After all, what’s a book but another (larger) Voyager plaque with annotations.
Here I am. This is me.