mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Monday, January 13, 2003

Take the ReachM High Cowboy Network Noose Survey

Cowboy_Kahlil (who was able to make some sense of my recent entries and pulled thoughts together beautifully here) resident of The ReachM High Cowboy Network Noose has questions, possibly we all do, regarding the whys of blogging. He asks: Has the culture of the Web, and blogging in particular, become the sort of 'passive egoism' Huxley mentions, reducing us to a giant game of Trivial Pursuit? I'm reposting his survey here. My answers are in red. He will tabulate and blog the results. I'm curious. I'm not really sure why I blog, are you?
On to the survey..
[1] The best description of most political commentary bloggers is:

a) a chorus of voices from left, right or elsewhere, trying to drown out the opposition with the sheer weight of its sparkling analysis and objective reason.

b) a chorus of voices from left, right or elsewhere, trying to drown out the opposition with the same news analysis article passed through elebenty-seven other blogs in a giant circle jerk, adding original comments that amount to little more than a buncha spittin', cussin', whoopin' and hollerin'.

c) a good exercise in participatory democracy that bypasses the mass media and will influence elected decisionmakers.

d) a passing fad that will ultimately be exploited by shrewd political operatives like all other media has been, limiting its longterm impact.

e) a potential media force, particularly for those who create successful aggregations of talented researchers and writers, set fact-checking and ethical standards and build functional income streams, just like offline periodicals do to survive.

f) a chaotic creative anarchy from which some excellent writers will advance professionally, with a lot of temporary 'shooting stars' from others too inconsistent to advance, yet able to demonstrate random moments of brilliance.

[2] The best description of most technology bloggers is:

a) geeks talking to geeks.

b) advancing programs and apps of temporary appeal for which there's little consumer demand and will never be sufficient consumer demand.

c) advancing programs and apps of temporary appeal that are necessary stepping stones to future technologies that will prove highly marketable.

d) badly in need of translators capable of stripping away sufficient layers of proprietary geek vocabulary to let non-geeks into the conversations, so the geeks can have more data input into the consumer's concerns. In our outmoded language, that "data input" is called 'conversation' and folks who take time to review its content and hear it (as opposed to passive listening and head nodding) often find it quite a lucrative avocation.

[3] In general, poetry blogs:

a) are reasonably well done.
b) should be curable with psychiatric help.
c) don't rhyme good, like poetry should.
d) will be the Next Big Thing.
e) offer a previously too cheap commodity, free.
f) demonstrate there's hope for humanity.
g) still aren't likely to get you laid enough or laid well enough.
h) my personalized answer, Can I do that? are a great way to play with html whether anyone bothers to read them. So what if it's cheesy design?

[4] In general, fiction writer blogs:

a) are reasonably well done.
b) should be curable with psychiatric help.
c) don't need to bother with rhyme, the lucky bastards.
d) will be the Next Big Thing.
e) offer a previously too cheap commodity, free.
f) demonstrate there's hope for humanity.
g) probably will get you laid often and divinely, by more and kinkier librarians than you ever suspected existed on the planet.

[5] The type of blogs there aren't enough of:

a) warbloggers ... heh heh heh, jest kiddin'.
b) anti-everything Bush says and does ... heh heh heh, jest kiddin'.
c) media critiquers exposing political bias elsewhere, as well as their own ... heh heh heh, jest kiddin'.
d) professional journalists, seeking a little extra mad money with begging jars ... heh heh heh, jest kiddin'.
e) manifestos, for the easily amused.
f) design oriented color abusers to make the eyes of readers bleed sufficiently.
g) those assembled on stable software and servers, with acceptable levels of fully explained and easy-to-use features, solid 'Help' documentation, and acceptable levels of tech support. (And for the ones that can achieve this, people will pay a little, for the relief of a little aggravation).
h) business and market oriented info and opinion.
i) ordinary people in other countries broadcasting the thoughts of their main streets.
j) (your thoughts here)

[6] The best two blogging programs are ( A and B) because (C and D), but they'd be perfect if they offered (as many as you wish to describe):I've only used blogger, blogger pro, and guest blogged with movable type. I'll take what's offered as long as I can figure it out.

[7] Why do you blog (or do you want to blog)?

a) the sense of community with other bloggers.
b) the Muse insists.
c) it's my job, man.
d) somebody's bound to discover me.
e) everybody offline's already heard what I have to say and nobody visits anymore, so will you be my besty-best friend?
f) saving the free world and making it safe for puppies depends on me and Ozzy in the next episode of MTV's 'Reel Whirled.'
g) my life is technology-deficient and too perfect; aggravation beats boring old utopia.
h) to find my voice and express it in the belief others may find some use for it.
i) it's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, CRY if I want to; you would cry too, if it happened to you. (gee I hope the Alzheimer's didn't make me forget the real lyrics).
j) there's just gotta be a way to make money from it.

[8] Gratuitous self-interest bonus question (but you win 50,000 mugwump minutes from Dial-a-Mugwump for answering): What's hot or not about this ReachM blog?

a) the design? hot
b) the visual clarity of the text? hot
c) the content? hot, good writing, I might add
d) the use of hyperlinks in the content? hot
e) the choices of links in the sidebars? hot
f) the lack of a comment/feedback feature (other than email)?not, especially for surveys
g) there's no 'About' section? hot
h) the smarmy, self-referential stuff? hot
i) the lack of a decent RSS feed? you'll get it if the demand is there
j) the not-so-secret secret that Cowboy Kahlil satisfies all the base urges of more powerful women of achievement and their submissive sisters than any guy in the blogosphere? Oh?
k) that, for a fat old guy, I don't sweat much? drink more water
l) that I'm a nekkid, pimply-faced 13 year old boy, just like every other blogger, and you? heh, I'm 14

[9] The one thing you haven't considered:

a) is this survey actually has the serious purpose of surveying the audience to provide clues all bloggers can use to improve our offerings.
b) the meat's not as important as the emotion.
c) is returning to this site, ever.
d) that Cowboy Kahlil might be a pseudonym.
e) that Cowboy Kahlil might be Atrios of Eschaton.
f) that Cowboy Kahlil once offered an inappropriate birthday tribute to Strom Thurmond that displayed his long-held bias towards Southern hookers and great microbrews.
g) that Ringo Starr keeps looking better and better than Yassir Arafat does.
h) that defending all that America is and can be, is a task some young men will put their lives on the line for in 2003, we owe them bigtime for that, but it also requires our hopes, our dreams, our vision of a just world, and our actions in pursuit of kindness and beauty to make the country and planet move in the right direction, in spite of the limited aims and ulterior motives of politicians in every country in the world.
posted by Cyndy | link | | |


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