A weblog, or blog, is well described by Dilbert.com:

When I see news stories about people all over the world who are experiencing hardships, I worry about them, and I rack my brain wondering how I can make a difference. So I decided to start my own blog. That way I won't have time to think about other people.

People who are trying to decide whether to create a blog or not go through a thought process much like this:

  1. The world sure needs more of ME.
  2. Maybe I'll shout more often so that people nearby can experience the joy of knowing my thoughts.
  3. No, wait, shouting looks too crazy.
  4. I know - I'll write down my daily thoughts and badger people to read them.
  5. If only there was a description for this process that doesn't involve the words egomaniac or unnecessary.
  6. What? It's called a blog? I'm there!

As I said, this is not a blog. Now you will understand why I say that.

However, I have an almost irrestible urge to blog. No joke, I do. Maybe it's a typical male obsession with things (toys). But maybe this obsession with the latest technology (MP3 players, camera phones, pocket computers, version x of whatever piece of software) reveals something deeper - some utter dissatisfaction with my current existence and a belief that these new toys will satisfy? Now let's be rational. Why might I find blogging attractive?

  1. Blogging is writing, and writing is good for you.
  2. It might enable me to meet like-minded people.
  3. There's no risk of you telling me to go away because I'm boring you (relationships without risk always seem attractive).
  4. It would allow me to bring all the aspects of my life into one place, so I might actually discover my "true" self. (Though in reality it is more likely to compound the problem than solve it.)
  5. Somewhere in the recesses of my being I genuinely believe that technology will satisfy my deepest needs (happiness, security, purpose, etc) and the needs of the world (peace, prosperity). Blogging is new technology, so maybe it provides the answer? Can't know until you try it!

I don't like the idea of blogging because:

  1. It takes time.
  2. The internet is big enough anyway.
  3. "I'll read my friends' blogs and they can read mine" is a pathetic substitute for real relationships.
  4. It may greatly enlarge my ego.
  5. I might end up preferring to spend time online with my community of "people just like me" rather than with the fascinating and diverse group of people I happen to meet in "real life".
  6. I'd be supporting my culture's desire for soundbites rather than substance. Just think, if you gave up reading endless blogs and articles for a week, you could read a book!
  7. Come on Anthony, you know that new technology won't solve the world's problems. Look back over the past few hundred years, look at the wars, look at the suicide rate in our "advanced" society, look at our broken relationships, social problems and bleak outlook for the future. Isn't it obvious? Every time something (some thing) lures us in, offering a better life, it fails to deliver on its promises, leaving us even emptier than before, and even more desperate to discover the next innovation, convinced that it might be the advancement we've all being waiting for. It's a lie! Don't believe it!

So here are my ground rules for future posts:

  1. Don't waste your time or other people's time.
  2. Handy hints for computing are acceptable.
  3. So is announcing/advertising things to the world (but not too often!).
  4. Thoughts about life, the universe and everything can be posted here only if they've already been shared with real people in the context of real, face-to-face conversations.

If I break the rules, please tell me!