15 April 2007

A man of posts (not letters)

My blog has defined me as a man of posts. It’s not, perhaps, a true definition of who I am, but it is a description of what I do with my blog.

Unlike collaborative efforts like Wikipedia (or a conventional print encyclopedia) where individual authors remain invisible, my blog gives me instant visibility. It gives me ownership of what I write – and responsibility for it. It gives me a voice, a consistent identifiable voice, which creates a persona most conventional authors of books enjoy. My blogger profile provides a contour to this persona, but it’s the content of my posts which really determines who I am to my readers.

Since each post is stamped with a date and time, and archived (in a backward chronological order) by the blogging software, my readers can discern my mood and personality from my posts – something authors of books cannot share with their readers. But, that’s not all. I can hyperlink and connect my posts to other relevant material on cyberspace, thereby laterally expanding the horizon of my posts… and their contents.

What my blog also provides is a quick interaction with my readers through the feature of ‘comments’ – an almost-instant feedback mechanism unavailable to authors of books. It’s like having a conversation with my readers, exchanging views on my posts, some of which have inspired me to re-think my views and temper my blog posts in the future. All of which is on public view on cyberspace.

Conventionally, the alternative to this is a laborious and time-consuming exchange of letters, where authors have to rely on readers taking the trouble of writing letters to publishers, hoping the letters would be passed on to them faithfully. Then there is still the matter of the author responding to these letters, which is assuredly a private matter.

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