sue watling

Blogging is a public arena without the audience; it’s standing on a stage speaking to empty seats. Like the  saying about a thousand mile journey beginning with one step, blogging is a single raindrop. This week the Guardian promoted software that allegedly anonymises Internet use.   It was a determined attempt to undermine a desire to be anonymous. Sometimes I like anonymity – not because I’m doing anything dubious but because anonymity can be a safety net, blank space to practice creativity. You can mess up and creep away to reflect without leaving your reputation in tatters. All creativity is a risk and sometimes it feels safer to disguise your identity, but to be anonymous, implies the Guardian article, you must be up to no good.

Like all art, blogging is a risk. It exposes thoughts and ideas but does separating words from thier owners diminish them?  To be taken seriously, does the reader need to know who is speaking. Blogs do seem to be less about what is said but who is saying it. Identity and the message become like sex and gender; which comes first? On the other hand, choosing not to blog ensures we are digitally invisible. What will the future implications of this be? 

Blogging challenges the ‘old’ order of ‘speaking in public’. Those of born astride the digital divide, with roots in the analogue past and futures in digital ones, will remember a time when having a public voice was a privilege. So inevitably blogging to an empty arena shouldn’t matter; it’s the ability to have a voice that counts. Chaos Theory and Lorenz’s Butterfly Effect could be significant here.



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