Written by Managing Editor Meghana at Unverbalise
Oftentimes when I sit down to write something, I run the risk of being meta-textual. However this fatal flaw of mine has been salvaged by two factors:
• I recently found out what the final episode of Marvel’s recent release She-Hulk was like and I realised I can never go wrong with self awareness to such an embarrassing extent.
•The medium of blogging rather explicitly demands meta-textuality.
Blogging and meta-textuality?
Blogging calls for a very personal style of presentation to connect with you, the reader. More often than not, this involves the blogger referring to their own creative process. Blogs feature links to other blogs or web pages apart from images and/or videos.
Blogging – the origins
Let’s jog back to a simpler time when the internet was just a handful of websites and a spoonful of chat rooms. Back then blogs were called weblogs, and mostly amounted to being virtual versions of diaries and journals. Early bloggers climbed to success by keeping a running account of their personal lives as electronic diary entries.
You share a cherished experience of yours or how much you despise something as specific as rainbow sprinkles, so that someone on the other side of the world who was privileged enough to get an internet connection to their house would read it and tell you that they had a similar cherished experience too, or maybe just call you a dunce for hating rainbow sprinkles and pat their own backs for being edgy.
Now these interactions can be replicated even from the comfort of the comment sections of the multitudes of social media platforms out there.
The diversity of the Blogosphere
Right from the dawn of the blogosphere, blogging was not limited to online journaling, aka personal blogging. Justin Hall, Jerry Pournelle, Dave Winer were among the earliest to venture into this avenue.Collaborative/group blogs are those maintained by more than one author or a community of authors.
Microblogging is the most popular form of blogging today thanks to platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, among many others. While microblogs are infamous for facilitating the collective downfall of attention spans of users worldwide, I am greatly indebted to them for the simple fact that they facilitated the birth and growth of the art of memes and shitposting.
Corporate or Organisational blogs are those run by business organisations or non-profit organisations, for public relations, marketing, and branding.
The first commercial blog appeared on the website of Ty, Inc. in 1995. Ty, Inc. was the first company to even begin a business to consumer style of blog. The website is credited with the origin of the world’s first Internet sensation – Beanie Babies.Video-logs or Vlogs are dear to a number of netizens. Vlogs are simply the video versions of blogs which have branched out and grown to become a distinct category of its own.
It didn’t take very long for blogs to become lucrative sources of income.
Apart from commercial blogs, many independent bloggers and blogging websites turned to advertising for generating income. Their websites may feature banner advertisements, or promotional content for which companies provide monetary compensation.
Whenever I think of blogs, I inadvertently think of Sir Francis Bacon. But why would I associate a phenomenon as recent as blogging with a disgraced politician and thorough imperialist like Sir Francis Bacon? It’s not because he famously wrote “Knowledge is Power”, nor because he is known as the father of the English essay. It’s solely due to the way he titled his essays in his collection of essays called Essays.
They are titled, Of Studies, Of Truth, Of Vainglory and so on for 58 essays. The guy attempted to put minimalist titling into vogue ever since the sixteenth century. He failed. In the day and age of SEO optimised blog titles, what place does a broad and simplistic title such as “Of blogging” have?
The idea is to make the title as useless as possible to algorithms that thrives on an unquenchable greed for clicks. It’s an inconspicuous effort to break away from the notion of usefulness. It’s a small and insignificant reminiscence of times simpler. It’s an attempt to just be.
Wanting to make money out of something that you enjoy doing – be it blogging or anything that you wish to pursue – is not necessarily bad in itself.
As the beTrobi people of discworld would call it, reflected-sounds-of-underground-spirits (or as we call it, Economics) is a pervasive force in our world, much like magic is in theirs. I take issue when corporations invade spaces where creativity is to be fostered and strip it down to its fundamentals to gouge a one-size-fit-all business model out of it.
I despise it when their actions reduce creativity into a mere mode of generating wealth.
¹Discworld is a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which in turn stand in the back of a giant, space-faring turtle, that is the prime location in the Discworld fantasy novel series by Terry Pratchett.
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