How To Read A Blog. Particularly this one.
It is strange that I have to write this, but unfortunately I do. A consequence, perhaps, of the circle of readers this little effort has slowly accumulated.
A blog is a kind of dialogue between the blog writer and his readers. Even when the readers cannot comment, they are linked to the blogger in the evolving of the story he is narrating (in this case, largely the Catholic events in the time of Bergoglism).
The way I see it, a blog post is not a BBC article. It does not necessarily tell you the entire story. Rather, many times it will develop a story through several blog posts. This presupposes that the reader is actually following not only the article, but the blog. It’s like taking part in, or listening to, an ongoing conversation.
Most of my readers, I am sure, understand blogging in this way and therefore follow me without difficulties. Others seem not to get the format.
When you read the BBC article, a chap there has worked all day. A text editor has reviewed it, perhaps several times. A separate professional has made the title. Other people might have been involved in research. The end product is a story, from beginning to end. Often with several links to other stories that help to better understand, or amplify the issue.
A blog is a series of short, personal reflections written who knows where, when there is time, perhaps with such a bad internet connection that it takes forever even to post a link. It does not give to the reader the pre-digested food, so that he does not have to make the effort to chew it. It does, however, presuppose that the readers knows what the blog author is talking about, because the reader is supposed to follow the ongoing conversation.
I often write several blog posts on a certain topic. If I refer to, say, “Rabbitgate”, I expect my readers to know what I am talking about. This is not a TV series where every blog post starts with “previously on Mundabor….”. If you, my dear reader, want to have all the story in the same blog post you are better served elsewhere, because I will not bore my readers with endless repetitions or spend time to explain my blog to those who, frankly, do not follow it.
Then there are those who complain about the missing link to a story. In the age of internet, three or four words about what the Pope is said to have said on the occasion in question will lead the reader to not one, but several links; at times it is literally everywhere. But no, there seems to be people who are lost and feel neglected as non-paying customers if, when the entire world is talking about the latest papal gaffe, you don’t give them one of them.
Look, at times it takes very long to make a link work; and this, for reasons you will have to take from me, and I don’t have to explain to you. I prefer to spend this time writing my thoughts for people who are interested in reading them, and already know the story or can found it instantly. I won’t do the work for you. I write a blog to comment on a story. If I can link to the fact, fine. Otherwise, I will write about the story. The facts are out there anyway.
Even professional semi-blogs work in this way. The “American Thinker” does not explain to the European reader what the topic is about. Very often you will have to inform yourself about the topic first, and then you will understand the context of their post. And you see, over there, a succession of posts which all imply that you already know. If you don’t, seek and you shall find. I never complained. And they are a professional site.
It seems to me that the fact that more and more blogs look damn good let people forget what is behind: a mother struggling to pacify her children; a father writing tired at the end of a long day; and many such like situations.
The content is the comment. The facts are easy to find, and even if it costs you to read back a half dozen of posts. I will link to Catholic blogs who deserve mention, or little known blogs, or little known stories. I will not link to what is on the mainstream media. Life’s too short for quarreling with a bad connection.
I wish I had less readers, but readers of my blog.
This is not a press agency.