Tuesday, December 13, 2005

We Live Round Here Too

I keep going back to this link (from NTK), which is the list of speaker bios for that event in Paris the other week, where someone called someone else an asshole during a presentation about how bloggers should be more polite to each other, which in turn seems to have provoked an enormous outbreak of name-calling across the whole blogging "élite", like some sort of unseemly prep-school food fight*.

This list has been making me feel nauseous for some reason, but I couldn't figure out what it was. At first I thought I was just having a fit of intellectual jealousy - because I'm always unbecomingly jealous of clever people, even ones that wear silly combat kilts and style themselves emigrés rather than ex-pats.

But it wasn't until I clicked on the blog of this individual** that I understood. These are the sorts of people that speak at conferences. You know, extroverts. And I don't know about you, but I've had it up to here with extroverts - always cluttering up pavements, chattering into mobiles, shouting at each other in bars, schmoozing people in suits, reading newspapers in business-class lounges, wearing expensive socks, touching complete strangers on the arm, and generally just being so alarmingly confident all the time.

Well, no, I mean, some of my best friends are extroverts, and lovely people they are too. But, you know, for years and years they've been making us introverts feel terribly inadequate, with our clumsy scuttling and blushing and avoidance of direct eye contact. But then along came blogging, and suddenly we had an outlet for our thoughts that didn't involve people looking at us and us having to say things. And it was lovely, dammit.

So when I come across a bunch of extroverts who think they own the blogosphere (although to be fair, some of them actually *do* own Technorati and Movable Type and stuff, damn their expensive socks) just because they used to be management consultants and can speak at conferences, it makes me all confused and upset. This was *our* revolution! We want it back! More specifically, I want it back! Mummy! Those nasty extroverts stole my dinner money!

Umm, I thought this was going somewhere, but it doesn't seem to be. And I didn't get to quote that Pulp song at length, either. Oh, why do these things always sound so much better in my head?


* Only with fewer custard pies and more gratuitous references to Hegelian dialectics.

** When I showed this to Tabby Rabbit, she said: "yeah, but she's got fuck-all comments. I got more comments than that for a post about Bobby Ewing's hair." Which is possibly the funniest thing I've heard all week.

19 comments:

Kyahgirl said...

Oh, there's that air of competition isn't there? Like we are amateur bloggers and should aspire to be professional bloggers of some merit and distinction.

This is the kind of thing that is going to give you another crisis P. Let the extraverted bloggers shout and make a lot of racket and the rest of us will carry on doing what we do and just enjoy the experience. No pressure.

patroclus said...

Yes...but...why are we here? What does it all mean? How do I define myself as an individual in the panopticon? Where's the chocolate? Who ate all the pies?

Urban Chick said...

ms tabitha rabbit makes an excellent point (thus spake one of the bobby ewing hair commenters)

p.s. i ate all the pies

patroclus said...

UC! Good to see you! How's the chicklet?

hen said...

It is the quietest of revolutions and that is why "they" will never win - they will confidently but desperately clutch at it expecting it to be yet another "thing" they can own and dominate but they'll never even understand as it evaporates between their greedy fingers disappearing like smoke and appearing somewhere else as another collective voice of nothing much in particular. You can't beat us - we are the new not so silent majority or maybe we are alone but who cares it is only people having some fun and meeting like minded people. Hmm... maybe I some sleep.

bdbnme: just letting go

Pashmina said...

Ah but don't forget they're only a teeny tiny number of "professional" bloggers, who are outnumbered by us amateurs by about six million to one (depending on whose estimate of total blogging numbers you believe).

Just pretend they don't exist, that's what I do.

patroclus said...

It's too late, Pash. I've developed some sort of class consciousness. Must co-ordinate shambolic, half-arsed uprising against evil bourgeois overlords.

Or I could just have a cup of tea and forget I ever saw "prolific" (prolific my arse, he's too busy talking at conferences) blogger Ben Hammersley wearing a combat skirt.

surly girl said...

i have to say, judging by proper-blogging-lady's blog, i'd rather hang around down here with the proles. i think we have more fun, and we've certainly got more to say. oh, plus there aren't so many narcissistic photos.

ooh, get me. touch of the bitch today....

patroclus said...

With you on the photos, SG. And everything else you said. Hurrah for us!

Chocolate, anyone?

GreatSheElephant said...

THAT'S a professional blog? What was all that stuff with guns fergawdsake? And what an arrogant title (and I should know).

patroclus said...

Quite. A goodly number of these people aren't professional bloggers so much as professional extroverts who like *talking* about blogging. Which is not the same thing.

And if pro-blog-bird's whole thesis is that markets are conversations (yeah, so you read the Cluetrain Manifesto once too, good for you dear), then her own market's a pretty piss-poor one.

Possibly I may be thinking about this too much.

Wyndham said...

Thatta girl!

Kellycat said...

She has categorised her posts! That's not professional, that's OCD.

And she's boring. I much prefer to talk drivel as an "amateur".

Although as I blog while being paid to work, does that not make me a "professional" as well?

longcat said...

AND you like elliott smith... i might read the avignon quartet, is it as good?

(not related to your post - which made me laugh - in a good way)

x

patroclus said...

Hey longcat, nice of you to drop by. I do indeed like Elliott Smith, which puts us in the same little cross-section as Justine here, who's even named after Durrell's Justine.

I read the Avignon Quintet in a long uni holiday in 1992, so I don't remember a lot about it now, except that it's beautifully written and has more in the way of action and plot than the Alexandria Quartet, which, let's face it, is mainly landscapes, cityscapes and mindscapes. Not that there's anything at all wrong with that. I think Durrell is one of the best writers of the English language ever. You can actually lose yourself in his books and forget you're reading.

longcat said...

i met a justine who is named after the book at a party on bonfire night given by another blooger... curious...

i only have the first one from the avignon quartet and it's in nothing like as nice an edition as the four alexandria books i've got...

might take it on...

the alexandria quartet really, really was my cup of tea (now there's an idea)

x

Juggling Mother said...

Comments maketh the blog. You totally win against the noisy extroverts who post dozens of times a day about the news - I mean, I watch the news for the news, I don't blog about it too unless it's a)funny or b)relevent to me personally.

And speaking at conferences - why? I don't want to go to conferences in any capacity, certainly not speak about blogging, which is an inherently private form of commentary.

Blog for yourself, (then feel smug at how many other people are interested in what you have to say).

patroclus said...

Wise words indeed, Mrs A.

BiScUiTs said...

Ah some of these people just take up blogging because it's apparently the 'in' thing and the reason they're so loud about it is because no one would know otherwise and they want people to know how trendy they are. Hopefully they'll get bored when the next new thing comes along.