I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a few weeks now after I read another blogger convincingly suggest that it’s a great way to work through one’s thoughts. I’m a sociologist and I’m hoping to move in some new directions with my research (I’m the first one who has thought to do that, right?), but shifting fields is a big, confusing task. The amount of work I anticipate has been making it hard for me to really get started in this new direction, but it also (pathetically?) was probably keeping me from even starting a blog. I’m afraid I’ll end up just doing what I’ve always done (discipline-wise), and that my blog will fade away after 3 to 5 unread posts. Still, I started it just now. Well, why?
I’m a baseball fan, and this year I’m taking a new approach to baseball. As a Brewer fan, typically there comes a point in a season when I give up on them and stop watching the game altogether. That’s too bad because I like baseball simply as a game. So, this year I’ve decided to take a purer approach and just appreciate ‘the game.’ As part of that goal I started reading a blog called ‘And That Happened‘ in which Craig Calcaterra (who is fantastic) briefly summarizes all of the prior day’s games. It’s great, and not only that, it typically has a number of funny and even insightful reader comments. Internet comments are rarely funny or insightful. Often they are ignorant, hateful, or just too random to make much sense. In fact, this is one of the things I’d like to start thinking and writing about when I move in my ‘new direction.’ What kind of ‘conversation’ happens on the internet? Can there be ‘deliberation?’ Can there be anything like the emotional and personal connection that can develop off-line, even among relative strangers? I don’t know right now, but I’d like to. Others have written great essays about these questions that I need to read.
But, still I haven’t answered the question: why did I start blogging today? Well, it’s because I read And That Happened and had the urge to make a comment. A snarky, one-line, stupid joke of a comment about the DH being socialist. To comment I had to register, and that happened to be with Word Press, and so I went through the steps for two reasons. The proximate cause was my desire to make a snarky, stupid web comment. The ultimate cause, I hope, was that I’d like my sociology to be a craft, and maybe a blog will help.
Addendum: I see that my stupid comment has 1 thumbs up, and 3 thumbs down. I think that’s a positive thing, really.