The Invisible College of Blogs

The phrase in the title was plucked from yesterday’s issue of Warren Ellis’s Orbital Operations newsletter. As I’ve been spinning up to put more effort into this website and less into social media, it turns out that Ellis and others have been having the same ideas. He refers to the Invisible College of Blogs and the Republic of Newsletters, who are “pro-reading, pro-thinking, pro- the independence of voices.” As things have been shifting away from writers and toward microblogging, podcasts and video, the infrastructure for long-form blogging, magazines, and even books has been collapsing. The problem with this is not just that some of us still love to write and prefer to read, it contributes to the suppression of ideas and the dumbing-down of culture.

Before I read the Ellis’s newsletter, I was already planning to write about my plans for this blog. I’ve already explained why I’m backing away from social media. I’ve tried to be clear why I’m putting content that in years past would have been blog fodder into HUBRIS: The Journal of Cultural Horror. All of this seems suicidal and counter-intuitive, because logic dictates that a creator has to go where the people are. I’m running away from the crowd, rather than trying desperately to get its attention. Which is why the notion of trying to reinvigorate the blog, let alone the specific things that I’m going to attempt to do, are going to seem very strange to a lot of people.

For the past several weeks I’ve been writing a new post once per day, six days per week.┬áStarting today I’m going to begin supplementing that with a few more posts scattered at random throughout the day, the way we used to do it in the heyday of blogging. The sorts of things that I will post will be the type of content that, up until recently, I’d put on social media. Technically, they’ll still end up there, because these posts get automatically added to the Facebook and Twitter accounts I’m pointedly ignoring. The difference is that my focus is going to be on linking to, and commenting on, other blogs. I still have a few friends who maintain blogs and write new posts now and again, and I’d like to give them a signal boost. Which means I’m going to need to start looking for more blogs that still have a pulse.

All of this has to be pursued in the spirit of zero fncks given. I am doing this as a way to express myself. I am doing this to comment on the current state of culture. I am doing this, as always, to connect with the tribe that I find, who will be willing to step off the treadmill of what algorithms feed them in search of content that is relevant and people they can connect with. This is about art and soul and craft and dignity and reconnecting with the better angels of our nature.


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