Lovink (Reader, page 219) argues that bloggers are creative nihilists “who celebrate the death of centralized meaning structures and ignore the accusation that they would only produce noise”. Discuss:
When a friend comes back from holiday, it is often the case that you will be faced with one of two scenarios. Sometimes they will give you a brief low-down on the events of their trip, possibly interjected with some amusing anecdotes. However if your hypothetical friend is anything like myself, they will prefer to inform you of every minute detail in painstaking specificity and with no concern for the value of your time.
To me, this is what blogging is like.
With bloggers, the concern for external amusement from their produced weblogs is usually minimal (albiet with a few notable exceptions). Therefore it is often the case where a blog will be more centralized around what entertains the producer, rather than the consumer. The flipside of this is that because a blog is relatively easy to create and maintain, it does not particularly need to appeal to a consumer base. So the accusation that bloggers ‘only produce noise’ is not overlly relevant provided the assumption that blog creations do not particuarly aim to create desernable products.
I think a perfect example of this can be found in satire (as is often the case in the media), and what better satirists are there than The Simpsons? …well maybe The Chaser…or South Park, whatever…this example will be from The Simpsons. In the episode ‘The Computer Wore Menace Shoes’ (2000) Homer Simpsons creates a website which is of poor quality in terms of design and content. While the average blogger is obviously going to be savvier than Homer Simpson, I think this exemplifies the mentality of bloggers quite accurately. It means something to create content on the internet, even if it is in no way useful.
In terms of nihilism, I think the average blogger can only be seen as being nihilist to the issues which do not show direct importance to them. For example, a video blogger who uploads to YouTube can receive numerous negative comments; yet continue to produce their blog, no matter how many people plead for them to stop. Though this act displays anarchism in itself, the blog being produced may actually be a highly emotional appeal towards some political issue…involving clowns (I assume). In doing this, the blogger displays that they actually have interest and attention in some issue… even if it is something completely irrelevant. Therefore, the blogger cannot be completely nihilist by definition.
Ultimately I see blogging as being like this: The word ‘log’ used to assume a recording of messages (GangwayCinema 2008), usually taken for reflective or personal use. Blogs more or less run on the same principle, and while that may mean that the content they create is mostly ‘noise’, they do serve a reflective purpose for the producer (who will inadvertently become the consumer). Though I see most blog as largely irrelevant for this reason, it is (interestingly) often the best blogs(tuckermax 2011) that use personal reflection to create entertaining content, and that is what will keep them alive in their current form.
– GangwayCinema 2008, Youtube, California viewed 26 May 2011, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfzuRMthMzk?>
– tuckermax 2011, WordPress, Austin viewed 26 May 2011, <http://www.tuckermax.com>