Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Funny How This Title Seems To Say Nothing Much At All

Over at over at Gizmodo is an article which basically says the blockquote is the death of good blogging:


10: The blockquote sandwich
Lede, blockquote, analysis, quip.
The form is simple, and done well, it makes for a perfect post. As a formula, however, it's poison.
First, introduce what you're going to quote. Then quote it. Then say what you think of it. Got nothing to add? Drop the analysis altogether, or replace the quip with a question for your readers.

The article goes on to say that it's even worse form to just rewrite someone else's post and then sit back and pat oneself on the back as having written original content.

My little insight with that is, that makes pretty much every piece of commentary on articles, an act of plagiarism.  Would my readership prefer it if I just sort of mentioned a particular piece of news or whatever that I've dug up, but then went on to discuss something entirely different?

Let's call it the Blogopathic Blogging Style - that would satisfy my metaquoted source above.  You'd benefit because you'd essentially get two blog articles for the price of one - you'd get the blockquote and link, then my own section which will deal with something totally unrelated, and if I work things right I could even make the title of the post a mini article on a third and totally unrelated matter...

Of course, whatever I've written, I must have heard or read somewhere, so I must be, by their terms, "rewriting" the article or experience.  Unless I become totally narcissistic and only ever write about things I've personally lived and experienced.  I can just see it now "The TEdALOG Blog of Logs I've Flushed" - and then I realise that this isn't a new idea either, judging from some of the shit I've read.  But yeah - it would satisfy the "no rewrites of someone else's material" requirement.

Let's face it - unless I have a journalist's credentials to get me into places, and the equipment to record those places and my thoughts on the places, all my blogging is going to have come from stuff I've read or heard someplace else, and becomes a form of metablogging.  It's the "insight" part of the structure quoted above that makes blog articles worth reading, the meat of blogging.  Fine, I've read the journalist's finely crafted story, but now what do other people around the world think about it?

Well, I've taken the "Strunk & White of Blogging" mantle on, and I think that my new blogopathic style could conceivably take off, and fix both Gizmodo's groanings and BoingBoing's bitches.  Not that I'd be comfortable using it, but I can but give it a try.  But I also think that I personally wouldn't be comfortable using the style that the above two blogs seem to think are desireable, i.e. let's just forget about attributions and quotes because my article doesn't need no steenking explanatory leenks.

Because I prefer to know what I've plagiarised...

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