I noticed the other day that on my side-bar you can read my archives from 3 different months. True, there's not much in October, and we're not far into December, but I felt it warranted comment; According to the side-bar, I've been at this for an entire quarter of a year. That might not sound like much, but, for me, it really is. Especially given that so many of my other projects never lasted nearly this long. (I once purchased several bags of skittles, a stick of glue, and a gigantic sheet of posterboard because I wanted to make a skittle-mosaic. When I got home I began separating the colors into large baggies; red in one, green in another, etc. 4 months later my friend Gina opened one of my desk drawers and summarily concluded that I was a skittle racist. I responded by indiscriminately gorging myself on handfuls from each bag. The posterboard became a gigantic paper-airplane, and I glued impotence-treatment ads to the pages of my textbooks before selling them back to the bookstore). So 3 months of semi-regular posting seems somehow significant. And when you consider that in 22 days the side-bar will list months from two consecutive years, well, that's clearly impressive. It seems Philosofickle is here to stay.
This may seem like good news to all those regular and semi-regular readers out there (to the semi-regular reader: I'd recommend more fiber). In some ways it seems like people are interested in what I have to say. But mostly it seems like they're paying attention just long enough to determine that they're more interested in something else. Anything else.
Actually, anything else might be misleading. It seems there is a very specific other-interest which my blog has sparked: the desire to create one's own blog. Mom, Gina, Josh, Kendrick, Emily, Theresa (apparently), Maria, Anna, Eric, Eric (a different one), Kajsa, Dykhoff, and apparently even Joel, who already has his own website, is contemplating a blog. These in turn are spinning off other derivatives. It seems I've created a monster.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm excited that so many other people are blogging. I like reading about Gina's wedding plans and what Emily had for lunch. I'm interested in Anna's petition and whether Dykhoff is living in a palace or just a plain old mansion. The problem is, for a little while, I was one of the only people I knew with a blog. And, for most of those who know about Philosofickle, I was also one of the only people they knew with a blog. It made me unique. All I had to do was post periodic rants, or original humor about peeing into a sink and people would say, "did you read Philosofickle?" But now that so many others have blogs they don't ask such questions. Instead I have to distinguish myself by content!
As is to be expected, I am indignant. It seems I was unable to keep others from entering the market. Actually, I encouraged others to enter the blog market (and still do)(anti-trust, my ass). But now, because of my very noble unselfishness, it appears that competition and the invisible hand are driving the quality of the product (why Adam Smith ever put a transparent, unattached appendage behind the wheel, I'll never know). Sure, I've got a low overhead, which means my only real costs are variable and therefore I can afford to stay in business as long as it suits me, but the pressures of competition are not without effect. I don't just want people to read my blog, I want them to love it. But with so many other terrific blogs out there, I'm afraid I won't be able to cultivate that somewhat awkward romance between two camp counselors on opposite sides of the lake that sweltering summer when she was 19 - Wait, sorry, that's a totally different story.
Now, as we all know, I'm trying to keep this from becoming a "typical" blog. I don't want it to be too journally. You know the type, all "I found six dollars on the street today" or "I can't believe they voted Chad off of Survivor - he was such a dreamboat!" And I don't want it to be full of trite opinions like "The Portuguese suck!" or "The Apprentice 2 is a total ripoff of The Apprentice."
The problem is, most of the other blogs I read have some of these elements. I get to read about what is going on in the lives of my family and friends. And I really enjoy it. I've been checking each blog several times daily. I feel more closely connected. And I worry, because maybe this isn't a good thing: Maybe in some way this technology is hurting us. If I want to know how Gina is planning her wedding, and get some suggestions, I just read her blog instead of calling her. If I want to give Kendrick my opinion on his love-life, I post a reply, instead of writing a letter. And in some way, there might be something wrong with this. In the past month I've felt really close to my family and friends because of the blogs - it gives me a chance to get updates that I wouldn't normally get, to experience things I wouldn't otherwise. But what if this becomes permanent - what if every single one of us blogs until the next big technological shift? Will we lose some of the depth in our relationships? Will they become just superficial updates? Will we still call home? Write letters? (I don't think I've ever written a letter to home in my entire life). Will we just splash our lives on the screen and paste our hurried thoughts to the end of an entry, without giving real time and thought to the people behind the post?
The answer, I guess, is "I don't know." But maybe it isn't really so dangerous. After all, this is a pretty terrific opportunity. We get to share our thoughts and opinions. We get to keep connected. We get to be more directly involved in the lives of others. Overall, this sure looks to be a good use of technology. And a good use of technology can never be dangerous, can it Mary Shelley?