Thu 9 Jun 2005
Being a blogger means that I read many blogs. Partly because I like some (a subset of those you see listed in the links on the right), partly because of various traffic exchanges which are based on surfing other blogs. Because of my tendencies for honesty (and lack of willpower when presented with written word) I usually do read blogs I surf across on blogexplosion or blogsoldiers. If you add to that blogs that I visit through other places, I think that by now I have visited a few hundred blogs. And, I can’t help but notice some patterns and similarities.
Of course, saying there is a pattern, of any kind, to anything related to humans is extremely politically incorrect. But being politically incorrect is very bloggy, so I will share my observations with you. Take them with a grain of salt, though. It is not any kind of research, although I’m tempted by now to begin doing some simple statistics.
Overall bloggers seem to be an unhappy bunch. On most blogs I read people complaining or hating something or someone. You name it, liberal left, George W., neighbours, animals, family, weather, spouses and society at large. Many people mention “medication” they take, I have read a few accounts mentioning or discussing psychotherapy and various mental conditions.
There are quite a few political blogs, almost all are from US and, surprisingly, I see much more pro-republicans blogging than pro-democrats. It may have something to do with media being generally shifted towards the left, but it’s pure speculation. Nevertheless, I’m as always astonished by the amount of hate I see on both sides. Most rightwingers hate the liberal left, gays, John Kerry and pacifists. Most leftwingers hate the conservative right, catholic church, army and traditional families but above all George W. Bush. Some hate him so much I wonder how can he sleep at night with so many minds wishing him everything bad. Yes, there are also sensible political blogs and I even stop by to read if a post contains less hate than average.
I’m sorry to say it, most bloggers are physically ugly. This opinion applies, of course, mostly to women as I’m normal (straight in politically correct vocabulary). Very frequently when I see pictures I see people who are overweight, and in many cases seriously so. Weight loss is mentioned in some blogs, and when I see those lbs/kgs… I just sometimes can’t believe human beings can weight that much!
Then, the parents – mostly single moms. Apart from whining about their condition they sometimes write cute stories about their kids and also share insights into life that only parenting can give, I guess.
All that means suffering of course. Whether they suffer from social exclusion, politics, mental health or plain pure loneliness bloggers seem to vent their frustrations and angers on line. And some do this very skillfully. Some very good writing seems to result from all those problems, healthy doses of funny punch lines, irony and sarcasm convey at times insightful, deep thoughts.
Of course, there are exceptions to this image. One are very focused blogs, devoted to one particular subject or topic (unlike mine). These are mostly devoid of any personal references about their authors and in that respect resemble normal web sites more than blogs. Some are very good though, like the Tom’s Astronomy Blog, Google Sights or one great shopper’s blog with product reviews.
The other are blogs with no content. I can now tell them by sight, as they tend to have seriously overdone designs, with many moving graphics, pop-up windows, flash animations and sometimes even some horrid music, which starts to play as soon as one surfs on them. Such sites tend not to have anything written by their owners (they don’t deserve to be called authors), who mostly paste their results from various quizzes, funny comic strips or pictures or extremely short notes about their emotional state. I wonder why the effort of creating these sites, uploading those flashes and horrid musics, then signing into a traffic exchange etc. when one doesn’t obviously have anything to say.
At last I have to mention blogs, which seem to be an entirely American speciality – money making scams. Some, mostly related to those more obvious, are so crappy it hurts. (BTW, ts25 traffic exchange seems to lead only to this type of sites. After surfing through 15 sites full of promises of huge piles of money with no work – just buy my great book – I deleted my account there.)
Now, this is a place where a conclusion should be (or even better the conclusion). But there is none, apart from what I wrote already above – that it seems that most happy, beautiful people, who fit well into society and have no major issues also don’t have much to say and/or don’t feel the need to say anything. But despite that there are tons of great writing, interesting analyses, great pictures, drawings and design – there is so much great stuff already in the blog world I just wish I had the time to read all and leave comments for all authors.