Wednesday 12 June 2002

What blogging really is

In addition to its intrinsic fascination, Stavros’s essay on the nature of identity provoked an unexpected insight: blogging can’t be journalism because…

blogging is football!

Stavros was responding to AKMA’s extended meditation on the ethics of identity and, in doing so, he cited a passage from Antonio Tabucchi’s Pereira Declares that I quoted back in Februrary in a post titled The Imaginary Me. I was attempting to answer a question Mike Sanders had asked: “Who is the real you?” And Mike’s inquiry was provoked by David Weinberger’s discussion of identity in his book Small Pieces, Loosely Joined.

A football (also known as a soccer ball)What is this other than a game in which an idea is passed from one player to another? Each player keeps the ball (sorry, idea) in his or her possession for a while before passing it on to another player.

I was so taken with this metaphor that I decided to take it further by matching each blogger in my virtual neighborhood with a football player: Blogger A is England’s David Beckham, Blogger B is Luis Figo from Portugal, Blogger C is Japan’s Junichi Inamoto… some bloggers are steady and reliable, others are quixotic and unpredictable—just like football players.

I’d constructed an elaborate HTML table with columns for blogger, footballer, blogging team, football team, FIFA rankings, Daypop appearances… when I read Burningbird’s remarks about her ill-fated foray into blogger categorization:

What I forgot with this little brain storm of mine is that categorizing a person is probably one of the most depersonalizing things you can do to another human being.

My blogging = football analogy received a red card before it put a foot on the pitch. And so your identities as blogging footballers (or footballing bloggers) must remain a closely-guarded secret.




Posted by: AKMA on 12 June 2002 at 12:51 AM

Yeah. What he said.

Though I wouldn't recognize soccer players' names anyway.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo on 12 June 2002 at 06:42 AM

(Thanks for your email, Jonathon. For some reason my mail server keeps bouncing back my reply to you...)

Posted by: stavrosthewonderchicken on 13 June 2002 at 12:04 AM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour