Beyond Blogs

A weblog’s most characteristic feature — the prominence of the most recent entry — has consequences for long-term discussions. But those archives are linkable; a really good blog entry exists in a network of other related posts.  Constantly linking to your own ideas can be a form of narcissism, but judicious back-linking can overcome the problem Bogost complains about here.

Levi often (and understandably) rejoins readers, commenters, or other bloggers who ask basic questions or raise objections he has long since answered, often in incredible detail. But in fairness, how would they know? As a form, the blog burns its own pages. This is how the web works in general, in fact. Google’s search results strongly privilege recent pages, even when recentness isn’t the best criterion. And Twitter doesn’t even bother displaying tweets older than a couple weeks.

Blogs aren’t saviors, by any means. There just the most convenient way to publish words online.

When Tim Morton is right to call out old forms like books and academic essays, rejoining them to “figure out what they are about in this new environment.” But the same is true for blogs and other forms of digital writing as well. We’re no more stuck with the awkward tools that are blogs than we are stuck with awkward tools that are journals. —Ian Bogost – Beyond Blogs.