All the kids are doing it

Hey, check it out: blog fever is running rampant at work. With increased media coverage about how Google and AOL are taking blogging to the masses, now even the people who have zero interest in blogs at least know what the word means (more or less). Kristin and Mike now have blogs (Snowboard Girl and Mike’s Blog, respectively), and they’ve linked to some other folks I know. Of course Matt has been blogging for some time now, and Kim is a Live Journalist from way back.

It’s interesting to see each person’s approach to the question “what the hell will I write about?” Live Journal steers people, naturally enough, in the direction of a dear-diary kind of journal. Blogs can swing both ways: “My car broke down again this afternoon” or “Christopher Hitchens thinks Ariel Sharon is a butthead, and I couldn’t agree more.” Predictably, women are more willing to share personal details than men. Regardless of gender, I’m often surprised at the things people are willing to share online… I learn things in five minutes that I wouldn’t learn in five years’ worth of work conversations. For the most part this is charming and a good antidote to the closed countenance we generally show the world. But the real test of a blogger is: will you keep it up? It reminds me of a quote by Mark Twain in The Innocents Abroad.

At certain periods it becomes the dearest ambition of a man to keep a faithful record of his performances in a book; and he dashes at this work with an enthusiasm that imposes on him the notion that keeping a journal is the veriest pastime in the world, and the pleasantest. But if he only lives twenty-one days, he will find out that only those rare natures that are made up of pluck, endurance, devotion to duty for duty’s sake, and invincible determination may hope to venture upon so tremendous an enterprise as the keeping of a journal and not sustain a shameful defeat … If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year.