Friday, March 9, 2007

The Unexamined Blog is Not Worth Blogging

As a media ecologist, I can't just start blogging without devoting some of my time to examining what it means to blog. It's odd enough using "blog" as a verb, and at first I was going to write that the unexamined blog is not worth writing, but my last post was a picture, who knows what else will wind up in this electronic scrap pile, so calling what I am doing here "writing" seems to be a case of what McLuhan calls "rearview mirror thinking," which means only understanding the new medium or technology in terms of an older one, because the new one is too new to really know what it's all about. So let's call it blogging even when it is only writing. Back when many of us media ecology types were self-consciously analyzing what we were doing when we were communicating by e-mail on an electronic discussion list, I was not alone in suspecting that there was more than the typical amount of narcissism involved in that ostensibly interactive form of online communication. And yet, how much more narcissistic is this? To gaze at our own images on a computer screen, to fall in love with the reflecting pool of our own websites and blogs?

And yet, the electric is by its very nature a dialectic, and within this burst of narcissism there can be echoes of others. Here's one: the Media Ecology Association website,'s worth a look.

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