By Rod

We go bonk bonk on your head.

I’m a guy who has done a lot of “thematic” blogging, and who is tired of it. In a medium which increasingly tends towards the lowest common denominator (e.g., a condensed Reader’s Digest in cyber-clothes), it just isn’t worth it to throw away quality prose on my readers. My area of expertise lies in the sciences, and that is one area where it is not possible to expound upon anything significant in the “short, focused posts” (i.e., 300 or words or less) which are guru-advocated for “quality, focused blogs.”

We must also consider that most people – Americans particularly – like glitzy trash over pure science, literature, geography, or practically any other “classical discipline.” This explains why the choppy, minimalist and eclectic “geekblogs” occupy the coveted (and lucrative) top spots in blogland (with the exception of few political and “self-help” blogs, which are up top because…well, bullshitting in circles has some kind of arcane appeal).

I think some people – aspiring writers, in particular – have this fantasy of their blog getting noticed by someone important, which in turn will somehow catapult them into literary fame. I realized that I, unconsciously, was entertaining that fantasy. Not to burst your bubble, but this probably isn’t going to happen. Why not? Simple law of averages. There are tens-of-millions of blogs out there – far more than could ever be seen by any one person in a lifetime – and it’s not like thousands of editors are perusing blogs looking for up-and-coming new talent.* It’s also unlikely that you can squeeze your brilliant prose into a bunch of the 300-words-or-less posts that are becoming requisite for “successful blogs.” Even if you can, people whose cultural and intellectual repetoire constitutes surfing YouTube and configuring their latest gizmo aren’t going to read it.

If you want to have a real bang-up blog, stop thinking in terms of “literary quality.” Go hang out with young programmers, young, affluent professionals and maybe some EMO kids. Learn what makes them tick, and then spoon feed that to them on a daily basis, in less than 300 words per post, with reasonably good grammar. Most of them don’t have time for anything more than that – they’re trying to become the last generation to live the American Dream before it all goes to hell in a handbasket. Don’t try to be John Updike or Ernest Hemingway. If they were here now, just starting out and trying to make it in the blogging world with the same stuff that sold big decades ago, they would be obscure, unheralded train wrecks, and Hemingway conceivably might get out the shotgun at an earlier age. And probably not even get an obit in Boing Boing.

If you want to get published, formally, then sit down, write a manuscript, and submit it to a publisher. Done in the proper manner, it is virtually guaranteed that your work will be seen by someone who has the power to turn you into an author, in the real. In the long run, it won’t be any more work than all that time spent chasing after pop trends and viral videos, while trying to think up catchy post titles, networking/fornicating with other bloggers for vulgar profit, figuring out what freebies you can offer to lure readers to ingest the contents of your cyber cereal box, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum

Off my soapbox. This blog is where I dump snippets of stuff that interest me, a few of my friends, and maybe someone else. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are that someone else, I hope you find something here you like.

*More likely, blocked writers are pilfering excellent but obscure blogs for ideas. Because, heaven knows, pilfering the “biggies” would be like pilfering Readers Digest or Computer Shopper.

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7 Responses to “About Bonk Bonk”


  1. February 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Oh yes, you’ve said it perfectly. I wish I’d said it first, but then I’d be the only one to read it anyway so why bother? I have recently come to the same conclusion, that the best use of a blog is a place to dump interesting stuff. And (although I will say that your blog title is, um, icky) your stuff is interesting! I think it would make a great series of postage stamps.

  2. 2 starmanjones
    February 29, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Oh yes, you’ve said it perfectly. I wish I’d said it first, but then I’d be the only one to read it anyway so why bother?

    Well, I haven’t checked the stats, but it may be that you really are the first (and perhaps the last) person to read this. Which is okay: that your attention span was sufficient to get you through the entire mini-essay, that you actually had an opinion about it, and you expressed that opinion, puts you in the non-moron category. Which is a good thing. One person who is not an idiot hit this page and read it.

    Re: the blog title. “Bonk-Bonk” is a play on “Boing-Boing,” (http://www.boingboing.net) one of the top-rated eclectic geekblogs on the Net. Which is running a Honda Corp. banner ad right now – their current sponsor. “Bonk Bonk” is also the name of the font which comprises the header. Finally, the “Bonk Bonk on your head” tagline is a metaphorical bonking on the heads of those who visit; e.g., exposing them to something other than the pop-culture crapola they crave. Probably a lost cause, but whatever.

    Re: The postage stamp idea. Maybe I’ll do that, With Photoshop, and post it here. Thanks for the idea.

    Some wonderful photography at your Flickr. I think I’ll add you to my sidebar.

  3. March 12, 2008 at 5:59 am

    heya

    I noticed your “ad free” banner. FYI, wordpress.com hosts ads on all of our blogs. You just can’t see them unless you’re logged in or using Firefox.

    http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/06/on-ads/

  4. March 23, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Your blog is a breath of fresh air in a cyber-world that smells like unbrushed teeth. Thanks for that.

  5. 5 starmanjones
    March 25, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Thanks for the kudos, Jim. I visited your blog, as well, and you’ve got a cool concept there: an opportunity for an inexpensive look (as opposed to a Vocations Vacations package – heh) into other people’s careers.


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