Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Jill at times reflects on why people blog. She is the one who got me into this, and when I didn't give up after the first couple of tries, as so many others, I keep returning to the why.

Lisbeth was interviewed about it in a Danish newspaper, and at one level I agree with her reply. I write to be part of a community of researchers, part of an ongoing dialogue. As a Media scholar working among other things with the public sphere and theories of democracy and publicity, I can pull out Habermas and say that blogs are the new voices in the free public discussions, supplanting the café as the site of the rational argument. I think this is true, and I think that is why I and so many others go on blogging, why we write and share everything from links to opinions.

I also have selfish reasons for blogging. I think better when I write. Sometimes, I need to get rid of thoughts, and then I write them down so that I can go on. When I was 16 I wrote down the names of the boys I was in love with. If it was one I happened to hate I would burn the note afterwards, and feel like I had some kind of closure. Now, when I am in love with a thought, I can write it down. That lets me examine it when it doesn't expect me to look at it. I can sneak up on it at a time when my head is busy with something else, and I can surprise it in a different context. This will let me see my newfound love, the virginate idea, in a different light, and I can see its flaws and weaknesses, as well as its beauty. And I can move on, let the ones which are not worthy of being taken home live on somewhere outside my head.

No, I don't think I write only my bad ideas here. But some ideas just don't fit with what I have to think, write and do today. Later perhaps I will return and woo the idea again. If it has been a little tease in the mean time, and found a new home with one who can appreciate it more - well, there are more thoughts streaming from my fingers and into the blog.

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