In my last post about mad scientist bloggers, I was exploring the idea of a way to approach blog writing that is true to form for some people, and also true to the format of a blog. This one continues the idea a bit…
In terms of being true to form, some people are going to be more inclined to the mad scientist approach—particularly those who naturally process their thinking by writing and who’s thinking influences their surrounding community (whether a corporate one or not). This kind of person is probably already inclined to keep a personal journal, a sketchbook, have a pen pal, tack up inspirational stuff in their workspace, and the like. These things, in and of themselves, are never finished, but represent a process of thinking; the most recent entry being a manifestation of their creator’s most current thinking.
This inspiration board used to hang in the main room of our office in Carrboro. We called it the “paper internet.”
Format, on the other hand, is different consideration. The word “blog” itself is a mashup of “web” and “log”—a log being a sequentially written record of events. Theoretically, you could open a written log to the last page and see the most current event.
This “Diary for the South Seas” was kept in 1839.
Similarly, the blog format tends to place the most recent entry at the top, with previous entries cascading in reverse chronological order. This format places emphasis on the current and, by preserving the previous entries, enables a retrospective reader to trace threads of thought backward. Those that follow the blog can experience the forward-moving threads of thought in real-time, as they are posted by the author.
The idea of a blog tracing thought processes brought the scene from Donnie Darko in which he follows those 4th dimensional time paths that protrude from his chest to mind. I couldn’t find the specific clip, but it’s briefly shown in this trailer at 0:29.
I really think that the blog format itself benefits from the unfinished. Though some blogs may have set periods of activity for various reasons, the format naturally assumes that one post will follow another, or, in other words, that posts could be figuratively separated by commas, rather than periods. Of course, this is only one way of handling a blog, but it happens to be the way that most of the writers I pay closest attention to do it.