Saturday, 1 November 2008


There’s been a bit written about blogging recently, and not just on the blogosphere. The papers have recently carried articles like “Have blogs finally come of age?“ and “Is blogging dead.” As they do.

Closer to home, our very own Jason and Danny have written excellent articles/blogs about blogging. Now, some folks sneer at blogs - even The Doctor used “blogging” as a term of abuse! There‘s a lot of talk about “information overloads” and “the cult of the amateur,” and “user generated content taking over from traditional media.” This is seen as a bad thing.

I think this view is based on a fundamental misconception: That all this blogging, facebooking, my spacing etc is published material that seeks to replace books or newspapers. It isn’t. It’s a primarily a form of communication. It’s people talking to each other. To say that much of it is banal is to miss the point spectacularly. It’s like saying that the conversations people have in the real world debase the language of Shakespeare. The language belongs to the people, not just the poets and philosophers. A random reader may not care that “April is hungover, But it was worth it!! lol ;)” or “Jon hates his f***ing job :( ,” (or that Mike has finished his first draft,) but their friends do.

Besides which, is five pages of Wossie and Brand’s Unspeakable Crime against Humanity really any better? And have you read a newspaper columnist recently? I read one the other day ranting about their fridge being delivered late, or broken, or something (okay, I didn’t actually read it, just kind of skimmed past it tutting.) Danny says about blogs that “anyone can post a you tube video and a joke and call it a post.” *(ouch. See below.) Well, doesn't that describes the contents of most tabloids?

I’m a geek. I know quiet a lot about a few things, and I get frustrated by how wrong the papers can get it when they write about, say the Beatles or Doctor Who. Who fans out there: How many times have you read that Dr Who was created in 1963 by Terry Nation? It makes you wonder how accurate the stories about things that really matter are. And the press have the cheek to slag off wikepedia for being inaccurate!

At least us amateurs have passion. There’s a lot of crap out there on the internet, but there‘s a lot of great stuff written with passion, wit and insight (Just like the mainstream press in fact.) Blogs provide insight and information, but for me the best about them is that they allow you to keep in touch with people you would otherwise meet once and never again.

All this is a roundabout way of saying I’ve been neglecting the old blog recently (which is probably the phrase I’ve used more than any other in this blog!) Truth is I’ve been neglecting the writing too - I was going to do a "flaky meltdown post" about why, even though that breaks the second rule of blogging (Be Positive**) Then I got waylaid with this brief introduction on my thoughts about blogging! (Which kind of turned into a rant about the press didnt it? (With far too many brackets.))

But fuck it, this is just between us right? So coming soon, The True Confessions of a Spec Monkey: The Truth about Writing. ***

Speaking of which, I think I’d better go and actually do some now!

* which is a shame, cos I was going to post this from the most underrated film of the last year, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It’s a little gem of a film with all the wit and warmth you’d expect from The House of Apatow. But it also has a Dracula Musical. With Puppets!! Here’s that link again
. Watch it. Then rent the movie. Hell, buy it - you’ll want to watch it again.

** The First Rule is “Don’t be boring.” Come to think of it, shouldn’t that be the first rule of writing?

*** I was going to call it "When it's Hard." snigger.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

I read “information overloads” as 'information overlords' - being a scriptwriting newbie stalking the blogs of the pros, I just nodded.

I don't understand the aversion to communication on the net, whether it be blogs, wiki or messageboards. Maybe the problem is that what's being offered on blogs is free? That's free in both the financial and 'open to all' meanings of the word, a double whammy. Like public toilets, anyone can use it, and...what if they don't flush? :O