Damn Your Blogs!

A universe of words and images. Instant communication. The ability to reach millions of people with new ideas, new cultural prospects and different ways of thinking. Unprecedented possibilities of creativity.

So why are blogs so damn boring?

Blogging has been around long enough for scores of people to get in on the racket. With the number of people being able to log on continuing to grow, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are making their once crude software into bloatware that lets their clients keep an online journal, post movies, audio files and images to cookie-cutter Web sites. It’s great fun, because there is such a proliferation of blogs that even the most bored Internaut might stumble across something interesting.

Just because you can put pen to paper or in this case, post something to your Web site doesn’t mean you have anything to say. One can easily argue that blogging is probably one of the Internet’s least interesting forms because it’s fundamentally mediocre. What you have are scores of people posting their diaries online. That’s it. Web sites chock full of individuals who write down the highlights of their day and leave it up for all to see. End of entry.

But you know what? I’m not interested in your day. I don’t care about how drunk you got last night. Or why your boss is such an asshole. Yet that’s what blogs seem to consist of: meandering nonsense that is suppose to enthrall us with its trite ordinariness. Is this what the Internet is supposed to be about? Just reams of cybertext on a screen drolly recounting the mundane facts of your life?

And if it isn’t dull factoids, blogging has become a ceaseless meta-commentary on everything. Okay, I understand the need to try to make yourself seem witty and sophisticated, but where is the creativity in these blogs? If everyone has a story to tell, why aren’t they attempting to tell it? Why clog the bandwidth with your complaints that you don’t know how your computer works, your move from California to Atlanta and how you expect the hicks to bow down to your West Coast wisdom? In short, if the Internet poses such limitless potential, why are so many people just settling for average?

I understand that not everyone is a budding Picasso, or understands how to construct a decent Web site -- that’s why these ready-to-post sites exist. But blog sites are like Wal-Mart: they’re big, they’re everywhere and they’re excruciatingly dull. And they keep people coming back for more, what with blogging communities continuing to grow with all the panache of prefabricated homes. If you don’t want to think about your blog and what you want to say, then everyone will have identical blogging sites. Just like pretty soon, everyone will be issued a lifelong e-mail and blogging address at birth, with the stress that conformity to exposing your bland life to the world is the apex of human development.

If you settle for mediocrity, that’s precisely what you’re going to get. Now, don’t get me wrong: the ability to post your diary online can be a very liberating thing for many people. And blogging has been a boon to news outlets who want to get first-hand accounts of bad things happening in the world: witness Salam Pax’s blog from Baghdad. In this case, a blog becomes more than a journal, and these instances offer a glimpse into the true possibilities of being global. Yet more often than not, blogging is like white noise. It’s everywhere and uniformly vanilla. Even those who keep a blog regularly seem to be lost on the fine art of writing, not to mention editing. Just saying whatever pops into your pretty little head isn’t enough to justify why anyone should read it.