I adore blogs. I'll admit freely that that's where what I spend most of my time online--blogging and reading blogs. The rest is pretty much watching old music videos on YouTube, scouring Etsy, reading poems, and doing research into weird things, (also googling myself and sending salacious e-mails to boys, but I digress .). Why do I like blogs? Alot of it is probably just a certain voyeurism, peeking into other writers lives (also why I LOVE literary biographies), but also gossip, news, recommendations, etc. In the recent rash of blog closings (some of which I enjoyed reading)and all related drama (of which it never seems I privy to), I don't really get why people are so quick to talk about how evil they are, how they foster false senses of community, are self-serving, yadda, yadda, yadda. Granted, I'm wary of the nastiness and trolling that anonymity provides. But you also get that with any sort of online interraction, even just plain old e-mail or critique boards. There's also a danger in attracting such nastiness when you put yourself, your work, your opinions out there...but I suppose that might be the sort of riskiness of putting ANYTHING out there...risking rebuttal, critique, vitriol. Combine this with the anonymity to attack and it can get real bad, real fast.
Regardless, I think the good outweighs the bad. I have to admit, at the root, my aims for this blog are largely shamelessly self-promotional, a sort of newsletter of what's going on, pleas to buy my books, where I'm reading, what I'm doing, and admittedly a certain ME! ME! ME quality. (Of course, I started it as an extension to my website so that's natural) Of course, I do get a little bored with author blogs that ONLY go as far as the self-promo with nothing else to offer. I like a little more content, whether it's what you had for dinner, what you've read and loved (or hated) or pictures of your cat. Something.
I also tend to use this thing as a place to rant, to bitch, to think out loud, so in that way, it's sort of a little personal soapbox. When I get steamed or really excited about something, I come here. I like to read what other people are steamed or excited about. It's also a bit of a diary, since I don't really keep a written one anymore. If I need to reference some past thing, a date, or some random link to something, it's all pretty much here.
There's also something about blogging that makes me think of slambooks, all the listing and the memes, that makes the 13 year old in me very happy. I was also one of those kids who had like a dozen penpals in high school, so this feels a bit like that, too. Sort of an open letter to anyone who cares to read it. And there is a community of sorts, people you "correspond" with in ways that might not happen otherwise. All of this, I suppose in addition to more noble aims like serious (or semi-serious in this case) literary discussion, reviews, etc.) which some people strive for, makes blogging really sort of cool. Will it change the world. I doubt it. Will it change the poetry world? Make it more open, accessible, varied? Maybe. Make poets more knowledgable, sophisticated and exposed to a greater idea of what "being a poet" can be? Most definitely.