Making Blogs SexyTuesday, December 17, 2013
Making Blogs Sexy — The Post-Print Fetishisasion of the Written Word in Writers on Writing fascinated but, obfuscated (to use Green’s choice of word) me. Anybody who can find the excuse to use either obfuscate or flummox in an essay gets my word of approval.
For many of those geeks that like to write those essays that Green gently lambastes thusly: “Writers such as myself now can move into this gated community and the anxious concern is ‘how long will it be long until puerile “top 10…’ posts creep in and the editorial standard drops inevitably?” you might just take a little lesson from this man. If you should Google fetishisation you will get many hits defining the word. If you then Google Green’s choice of spelling fetishisasion you will get his Medium essay up front!
I sort of get Green’s drift in only slightly obfuscated by this concept of making a fetish of the word. But I am not obfuscated on how to make a blog sexy. I believe that the purpose of a blog must in some way be based on the idea that a web blog is simply a person’s diary on a screen as opposed to that erstwhile diary on an opened but always closed book.
To me I am not out there to write a blog to teach someone something or to make an orderly list on how to cook a chicken. As the photographer that I am my blog has given me the opportunity to put order in my mind of my extensive collection of photographs that I have taken both commercially and personally since I started taking pictures in 1958. My family, principally my daughters find that they get answers to many family questions in my personal blog.
I am not out here to teach people how to write. I am a photographer who writes and writing every day is perhaps the only way I know how to learn to write. I will not presume to tell others that my method is the correct one.
But I think that Green might have wanted to say that in the de-fetishisasion of the word we must remember the importance of telling a story.
A blog, I believe must tell a story.It cannot just be “how to” lists. Only in a novel like Walter J. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz can a delicatessen shopping list be the centre of the story.
Sometimes my blog consists of a single photograph with no words. This happens when I believe that the photograph, a strong one, a dramatic one, a sensitive one, will suffice. A photograph can tell a story. But often that marvelous symbiotic relationship between words and pictures can give us more than the sum of their parts.
I am not in the least concerned how many people might read my blog nor am I bothered by what they might comment if they were allowed to comment (I don’t allow comments). I find the exercise of writing the blog, the pleasure that I expect and nothing more do I expect.
My Blogger stats tell me that there are many who glimpse into my life, mostly by random accident. There are many who say with that sort of readership I should consider the placement of ads. Somehow, after a career as a magazine photographer and writer I think this would cheapen my intent.
But finally to how can one make a blog sexy? Green might have missed that intimate relationship that the written word (be it on print media or on the net) has always had with the photograph or the illustration. Medium allows contributors to easily place these photographs and illustrations to head the essays and to illustrate within the copy. And yet how many who write in Medium take advantage of this? How many illustrate fascinating essays with a boring image?
In a world of up-front pornography something can be said for an understated photograph that can help round out an essay and make it sexy. But then words can be sexy, too.