Monthly Archives: August 2009

A world driven inane by blogging

blogging

UPDATE 2015: I wrote this back in the mists of time before blogging and things like social media really went supersonic. All I can say in my defence is I’d definitely had a drink or two or three.

I still quite like it though.

The world is full of bloggers.

They’re everywhere. Really. Blogging about their research, their latest cappuccino, blogging in defence of their religion; there are even a few (more than a few I suspect) blogging about their cats. There are good bloggers, some excellent bloggers and some truly terrible ones. The information highway has become home to a zillion pages and a zillion zillion pointless opinions. In a few short years it has become jam-packed with every thought man has ever had.

And then some.

If you like technology, then this is all part of the new social networking revolution – the way we communicate has changed, or is changing, and it’s doing so rapidly. To others it’s just the thoughts and rants of some middle aged Seattle house wife spilling out into the ether. Do we really need to know that Megan Caplinski has just baked another batch of blueberry muffins and do we sincerely want to give her a poke on Facebook?

The geeks, some say, are to blame. They sit in darkened rooms plotting our downfall.

Surrounded by nothing more than their Eminem CDs, some girly mags and the warm, moist scent of their continuously discharging bodily fluids, the geeks beever away on snippets of code, creating widgets, building a world that is as artificial as it is inane, stopping only for a quick masturbatory interlude under a torn poster of Brittany.

They brought this world to us, the autistic sons and daughters of neglectful parents, and now we’re trapped in a universe of tweets and twitters, myspaces and your spaces, YouTubes and bloggers, and the world has gone South in a big, pile of shit kind of way.

Inane has become everything. As I sit on my couch watching the same repeat of Mock the Week that I watched at exactly the same time last week, there’s a sense that everything is revolving in tinier and tinier circles. It seems that all the bloggers and the internet addicts have been put on hold, trapped in cyberspace while the men in dark glasses rush around and quietly fuck things up.

We live vicariously. And that’s the way They want it. We live through news streams and live action feeds – bombs going off in Iraq, MPs saying sorry for diddling their expenses. None of it really has any effect on us. Why do we need to know that there has been an earthquake in Japan or that a school kid in Columbine went whacky with a gun? It’s not happening on my front door is it?

We sit and digest. I sit and digest. I just don’t quite know why.

Let me ask: Why do so many people sit in chat rooms talking to people like PhilBigJob284 who they’re never likely to meet? Why don’t they pop round to their next door neighbour and say “Hey, how yah doin’?” Maybe it’s that anonymity that frees them up. They can say to PhilBigJob what they wouldn’t say to another person’s face and they can write a blog and pretend people will be interested a thousand miles away.

Come on, you have to admit, in a world of billions of people there’s bound to be at least one or two who are interested in different brands of cat litter or how to make a trampoline out of cornflake packets.

If social networking is beginning to change the face of human communication, you have to wonder what it’s being changed in to. If everyone has a voice, how do you listen to them all. Where do you find the truth? The truth, probably, is that you can search around the information highway and find the truth that suits you. But then that’s not truth. It just pretends to be.

The problem with the information highway is that it creates a big fat illusion. Look at my blog. Listen to my voice. Google analytics say that 200 people a day are dropping by to find out what I, the Feckless Goblin, think. Look at all those people following me.

I should stop, before I get a Messiah complex…too late. I am the God of the Bloggersphere.

The truth is that blogs and all the other social networking stuff are less about communicating and more about making people feel good about themselves. Your may as well write your thoughts on a sandy beach. You words travel halfway round the world to someone else’s pc screen but what the hell for? The average time spent on a blog is about 3 minutes at most.

That says something, doesn’t it?

I could say something like the internet has confirmed our place as the subjugated masses. The internet keeps us quiet. We pretend to make a difference. And that makes us happy. The internet keeps us trapped. A jaundiced view I know. God has gone the way of the dodo. Welcome to the new religion. Say your piece. Say it loud in different fonts. Scream it into the bloggersphere. No one’s really listening.

Are they?

Hey, maybe it’s just me. Maybe you’re all out there having fun and I’m the geek in the darkened room repeating the same left click right click thing over and over over again.

Be brave my fellow cyberspace pirates. They say anarchy is just around the corner. Even if it isn’t quite real.

Good copy: Trimming your prose

good copyThe other day, I found myself writing “new innovations” without thinking. I’ll be saying stuff like “very unique” next.

Seems to me, I’m beginning to lose my touch. I wonder if my drink-induced brain damage is beginning to take effect. Or maybe I’m writing too much. I nearly wrote “just writing” then. I have a tendency to stick “just” in front of statements. There is no “real” need for it.

Or there is no need for it.

The point I’m trying to make is that you should avoid adding words to other words that add nothing “really” to the meaning.

I do it all the time in a first draft. It’s not a crime. You won’t be sent to prison for it. But your prose will be a lot tighter if you get rid of such things altogether.

Cooling adjective and adverb fever for good copy

  • Don’t overdo the descriptive words.
  • Take a look at the noun or verb you’re adding it to and ask yourself: Does this word need anymore emphasis. The answer, if you’re honest, will probably be no.
  • A loud bang: Really? Is there a quiet one?
  • A sudden bang: As opposed to what? A gradual one?
  • A distant bang: Okay. You can have that one. It adds more information and is fine with me.

Top tips for copy writing: Trim all the fat. Develop a ruthless streak with your prose and it will be better for it.

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