Angry Robot

OK, fine, metablog

There I was, about to rail against a recent upsurge in metablogging, about to say little and offend many; poised, I readied the metaphor of USC, with its life-experience-free graduates only able to make films about other films; licking my lips, I prepared to encourage my fellow bloggers to pull their goddamned heads out of each others’ asses and write about life, man — when I realized this chunk of blogging coverage was written than none other than Henry Jenkins, fan culture expert and occasional videogame theorist, a man whose opinions interest me greatly.

(Here’s a much more in-depth essay by Jenkins on the topic of online community. It ends with a look to bloggers as “important grassroots intermediaries – facilitators, not jammers, of the signal flow.”)

So my anti-metablog stance fell by the wayside because a) I wanted to blog the goddamned article. And Jenkins’ writing made me realize that b) metablogging is a term for how this community communicates. As much as navel-gazing annoys me, to oppose metablogging is to oppose blogging as community. So what if writer X wants to post about writer Y’s post? They’re sharing something. Better in many ways than posting about media conglomerate Y’s latest article. MSNBC doesn’t give a rat fuck if I link to them. (In fact, they probably hate it.) The New York Times doesn’t want to kick back and shoot the shit with us. Mickey Mouse doesn’t want to hang out. Yet the problem we face is more that of the non-blogging weblog reader, who’s telling themselves right now: if this self-righteous clown says ‘blog’ one more goddamned time I’m going to close the window and never stray from Yahoo! again.