Sunday, September 11, 2005

Collin, my hero; or, why blogging is good

I had a bit of a public outburst Friday afternoon when a colleague, during a department colloquium, referred to blogging as "wanking." (And if my colleague happens to read this, I hope he'll find it interesting. A little private joke there, since he told me later that he doesn't read my blog much because he doesn't find it so, given that I talk little about my private self here. So there's a bit of my private self to spice things up.) I tried to talk about blogging as generative, that simply reading blogs doesn't give a full sense of what blogging does, but ended up not really saying what I wanted to say.

But my purpose here isn't to talk about that so much. Rather, it's to reaffirm that Collin is my blogging hero, and that if only I had had today's post I might have been more coherent in my defense of blogs last Friday. In part, he's re-asserting good points he's made before about how blogging changes the rhythm of writing to something one does every day rather than in binge-and-purge cycles. You must read it all if you haven't already, but here's the last bit:
Maybe one of the things that disturbed me the most about the Tribble flap was that there was no room in his "analysis" for an awareness of the contribution that blogs might make to a person's development as a writer. For all of our consciousness about blogs, both in and out of academia, that's something that still goes largely unremarked. It shouldn't take us until well into our careers as writers to unlearn the implicit assumptions that we take with us from graduate school, and if weblogs can help in that process, more power to 'em.

And, not only that, but he (along with Derek and Madeleine) has done a truly remarkable job with CCC online, making into a wonderful, flexible tool for research. And it, too, is based on blogging software and digital logics.

So yea to Collin, and yea to blogging. My glass is raised.

1 comment:

jeff said...

Yah. I saw this kind of comment on the Teaching_Composition listserv a few months back.
It usually stems from
a. The person is not familiar with the medium. Somehow, however, the person feels that he/she knows what it's all about. The person would not let his/her students make this kind of claim, however.
b. The person bases his/her understanding on some circulated cliches (the very thing that person would no doubt critique a student for doing)
c. The person seems to have forgotten that the cherished essay's origins are, in fact, in "wanking." Besides Rousseau's response as essay resulting from the emergence of print culture (I read this, thought about it, now I want to say something - which, as Collin notes, is what a lot of blogging does), he specifically, as one of the first essayists, used that occasion to talk about his love of masturbation.