A Salute to Bloggers

…we salute youI have never been the kind of person to reject fads just because they are fads. If something comes along, be it a new fashion or a new style of music, and it becomes extremely popular, I won’t reject it based on that alone. If the fad in question appeals to me then I will buy into it. If people want to call me a lemming or a follower, that’s fine, but I am going to support and partake of what I like and/or believe in regardless of what others think. I’ve tried to apply this same standard to a relatively new fad known as MySpace. But, like others, I don’t get it.

Lyndsay set up a MySpace page a month or so ago and has been completely hooked. She’s constantly adding “friends” and being added as a “friend”. So I asked her what she will do with her new MySpace once she has added everyone she knows as a friend. Believe it or not, I was not being facetious. I honestly wanted to know the benefits of having a MySpace. Her response was a sheepish grin and a shrug of her shoulders which told me that there’s not much you can do with it beyond that.

No, I don’t have a MySpace that I have experimented with. But before you accuse me of shooting off my mouth without having any firsthand knowledge let me just say that I have helped Lyndsay set hers up and I have also played with her account to see if I could ascertain what all the buzz was about. What I discovered was that most MySpacers do not use the blogging utility of MySpace. However that doesn’t seem to matter because it would appear that no one reads them anyway. Though it is like pulling teeth to get Lyndsay to blog at the Smoak House, she has, of her own freewill, posted five blog posts to date on her MySpace. And even though she has 50 friends, her blog posts received an average of 1.2 comments. Instead you will find (as is the case with most MySpace pages) hundreds of comments on the main page that usually make no sense because they are responses to comments left on their pages. It makes my head hurt.

While new fads come and go, some of those “fads” become a part of our culture and soon become part of our way of life. At some time, sneakers were a fad. Now they are a staple of casual clothing. Once upon a time it was hip to wear t-shirts. Nowadays t-shirts are a common item. I urge you to consider the weblog. There was a time when blogs were the hip new thing. But they have grown and have made an immeasurable impact on the news, pop culture, public opinion, advertising, finances, entertainment and possibly a myriad of other arenas. MySpace on the other hand has…well, it’s helped people to say “what’s up?” to each other after school. That’s important, right?

I personally believe that MySpace will have its 15 minutes of fame and one by one the kids will move on to the next big craze. However, blogs, like sneakers and t-shirts, will live because they have made a meaningful impact on modern culture. Soon when MySpace is nothing more than a digital wasteland of forgotten profiles, hangers-on will wonder where all their friends have gone. Schoolmates will ask their keep-myspace-alive friends “Where were you last night? We were all hangin’ out?” To which the reply will be “I was on MySpace hoping to chat with some ‘friends’.” “Oh, *snicker* you’re still doing that?” It ain’t gonna be pretty. But bloggers, I predict, will continue to make their mark on society and will continue to bring quality news, humor, and information to their readers.

So for those about to blog…we salute you!

Josh H.


8 Responses to “A Salute to Bloggers”

  1. 1 kev
    April 28, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Very well said, my friend.

  2. April 28, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Wow. That was a great commentary. I too have wondered what you do once you get all the friends you want. I think MySpace would be more fun if you could reply to comments on your own page and carry on conversation that way, but it doesn’t work like that. Its like talking to someone, but the rule is you can only say one sentence before moving into another room, and each time you want to say something, you have to move again. When if you were to stay in one place, you could get a lot more said in a shorter amount of time. Or like playing phone tag, only typing. Those probably aren’t the best analogies, but you can understand the frustration behind both of them. If you must say “what’s up?”, why not email?

  3. April 28, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    MySpace supposedly died out about a year and a half back, but now there’s a brand new surge in its popularity.

    Blogs and MySpace have completely different purposes. A successful blog has to have someone who wants to and is able to express thoughts and ideas. MySpace is about networking: it’s for friends who want to express friendship and interests. MySpacers don’t always have much to say, but participation serves as 1) a virtual way of waving at the neighbor across the street, 2) a way of finding and keeping in touch with long-lost-friends.

    If you have no interest in or need for doing this, or if you are so prejudiced against MySpace that you would never avail yourself of these benefits, you might not understand MySpace. You might even, for laughs, call it evil. There’s a very good chance you might use your blog to do this. MySpace will likely be around for awhile for friends to touch base with friends, and blogs will be around for awhile to express opinions about this and everything else. It’s the circle of life, Simba.

  4. April 28, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Exactly, Stephen. Networking vs. Written articles. They’re totally different. MySpace just happens to give MySpacers the opportunity to blog. But that is not what MySpace is for. It’s just an added benefit that some people take advantage of. Josh, just because you don’t understand it’s use doesn’t mean other people don’t. Just like some people don’t understand Macs, but you sure hate to hear about that! I know the premise of this blog was “jest” but when you talk about something that people really enjoy, you’re asking for negative comments. Like if Steve posted “in jest” about how he likes Windows machines better than Macs you would have a heart attack, as would I, I mean Macs are something I care about. So lets all just stay away from things that may tend to offend. I know did not mean this to offend, but surely you understand how it could.

  5. April 28, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Ok, I’ll admit! Sometimes when I tease about things I overstate it and it may come out sounding like I’m really trying to offend.

    I really meant for this to be a friendly poke at my wife, and Lauren and a few of our other friends. I really, really did not mean anything by it.

    My apologies to anyone that I offended.

    ps: but don’t get I get any props for the AC/DC cover I revamped?? 😉

  6. 6 Brent C
    April 28, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Perhaps if more of your readers knew anything about AC/DC…

    Myspace does seem a bit silly, but then I have a facebook account for keeping up with college friends, so I suppose I understand that facet of appeal.

  7. April 29, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Well, I think we can take some wisdom away from the musical “Oklahoma!”:

    Oh, the blogger and the myspacer should be friends.
    The blogger and the myspacer should be friends.
    One man likes to write his thoughts,
    the other writes “LOL” alot
    But that’s no reason why they can’t be friends!

  8. 8 kev
    April 29, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Wow. I feed bad. I write a post titled “MySpace is a Disease” and nothing happens. You write a pro-blogging post that denounces MySpace and World War III takes place.

    This leads me to three conclusions:

    1) MySpace has a loyal fan base.

    2) Your writing brings out strong emotions from your readers.

    3) No one reads my blog.

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