« Aaaaarrrgghh: the surprise third installment | Latest | Excuse me while I tidy my room »
The current page:


The Nall of Wallidge

Book reviews

SoFo archives by name:

A great long list of individual entries

Entries by category:



Boring Old News



Kombi Vans

Mad scientist storytelling





SoFo on SoFo



The cryptic crosswords:

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5

The main page:


visitors since May 12, 2002
May 2, 2002
The self-referentiality of blogging

OK. I think I've got the template working and the archives functioning. What's really nice about this is that I can stop using the word "Aaaaarrrgghh" in my titles.

I think that's going to work, at least for me.


When I started writing this journal, I made a list of things to talk about, and a list of things not to talk about. At the top of the second list was the word "blogger."

Ahem. Time to reconsider that.

Part of the reason for not wanting to write a blogger that used the word "blogger" was to avoid self-referentiality. Avoiding self-referentiality is a leftover attitude from university days. In a lot of the arty-farty subjects I studied, self-referentiality was cool. But postmodernism was also cool, and so was writing long, impenetrable, jargon-ridden, impossible-to-understand sentences.

Just to simplify all of this, bad writing was cool. If no one could understand what you were saying, you were cool. The people at the Very Pinnacle of Cool made no sense whatsoever.

At the time, I regarded this situation with a scepticism bordering on the deafening. Many years later, incomprehensibility still seems worthless. In the world of words, incomprehensibility defines worthless.

Ooops. Getting off track here.

The problem with self-referentiality is that there are always more interesting and important things to talk about. What I like to read about are accounts of people who are engaged with the world, and who can articulate what they're thinking, or what they're feeling, as they go about their lives. That's what I was looking for when I first had a look at the links on www.blogger.com. What I found was a pile of blogs which mainly talked about other blogs, or about blogging itself.

"Oh no," I thought.

So I made a resolution: do not discuss blogging.

But recently I've made brief mentions of templates and technical difficulties and archiving my blog. Every time I've done so has been with great embarrassment - not that I've admitted that until now. But it's true: I'm embarrassed to talk about technology. Which is weird, because it's an area that I'm definitely interested in. But (and, if you'll forgive the double entendre, it's a big but) I'm extremely wary about talking about it in public.

I think part of the reason for that is that sooner or later I won't have to. Sooner or later, all the technology we use will be invisible. Blogging will just be one more medium for people to communicate with each other. And what's being said will be the important thing, not the medium being used to say it. After a while, we don't even notice the medium. Newspapers tend not to run headlines of "Shock photos of printing presses!"

But a lot of blogging is still at that sort of level.

Including, at least for the time being, mine.


     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 12:55 AM in the SoFo on SoFo category | Comments (0)
Popular things on this site:

The Coaxer moustache

My war with Samoa

Movable Type vs. SoFo

Confronting a rat

Travels through Iran, Pakistan and India

SoFo: NoPro

Amazon (UK)






Hot Soup Girl

Michael Barrish

Powered by Movable Type


Amazon (US)

Web hosting by Paul Bamber of Zen115