Remarks on Blogging

Writing in any form is directed to an audience. Even a supposedly solitary act of writing, such as journaling, bears within it both an author and a reader, whether that reader is merely the possible future self who will go back and take a look at the journal at some point in the future. Yet blogging is a form of writing that entails a manner of relation between author and reader particularly characteristic of contemporary culture. Blogging captures the zeitgeist of readership in the early twenty-first century. Blogging is marked by the possibility of free and instantaneous publication, as well as of free viewing by anonymous individuals. The act of blogging reveals the asymmetrical relationship between author and reader, the author supposedly ‘baring all’ while the reader reaps the benefits of this exposure without risking anything in return, and at the same time the fact that neither is the reader ever truly anonymous; rather, both author and reader are inscribed in a social code and nexus of relation that is ever, more or less ominously, determining their place within them. Not only the author, but also the reader, is ever being watched. Or rather, through complex inscriptions of computer code, ever being read. By whom? For whom? And to what end?

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