Thursday, December 18, 2003

Blogging about blogging

Now, the coolest thing about the Site Meter report (if you're too cheap to get the premium version, anyway) is its time zone graph. It delights me that I have a (proportionally) sizeable Japanese and Dutch readership. (I'm perplexed tho about how it evaluates its data. It generally shows a little bar for the time zone that runs through Iceland, for example, but I've never seen an Icelandic time zone in any of the detail reports. Not that I've gone through them systematically. But do I really have an Icelandic reader? If so, welcome!) And every once in awhile the time zone graph registers someone in Western China or Tibet, which also delights me. Of course it might well be a Chinese censor-bot or something, drawn by my Tibetan references. But even so, the graphic representation of my words floating around the world gives me a little frisson of egotistic delight, every time, especially when I think of all those people writing stuff that further people all over the globe read, and so on.

Tonio's come up with what looks like a very clever way of making comments optional. Which brings me to comments. Are they a good idea? Yes and no. It's intriguing to see what will elicit comment (sex is the big front-runner. We're shocked, shocked). And it's wonderful to hear from people. But certainly I start angling for comments, which is either a curse or a very mixed blessing. And then the discovery that qB was reading paralyzed me for a day, since I discovered in myself an intense desire to win her approval. Someone who writes such lovely prose, and who also wears the apotheosis of pointy boots, and is English -- cf. Colin in Milwaukee -- I was utterly abashed. Likewise Paula, who writes extraordinary poetry and appears to be conducting several demanding lifetimes (doctor, poet, naturalist, linguist) simultaneously and effortlessly. Instant writer's block.

Why do some people intimidate me, and others not? I guess the academics don't intimidate me -- I've been one of those. And then there are people who are my daughter's age -- they don't intimidate me either. But then by rights Tonio, who's an extraordinary poet, should intimidate me, and he doesn't

So -- I tend to start paragraphs with "so" when I'm dimly aware that in fact there is NO connection with the preceding paragraph (you will also notice the parenthetical impulse increasing as Christmas nears)-- this leads me to the protocol of answering comments. I have had an absurd delicacy about this, which I've just recently thrown off. The comments, I thought, belonged to my reader, not to me, and I shouldn't be bustling around in them, like one of those officious hosts who won't let private conversations start up at a party. But then I realized that what I want of all things, when I comment on someone else's blog, is for them to comment back. "Do as you'd be done by," right?

So, to continue with my present discontinuity, let me note that Common Beauty, challenged on the bridge over a chasm, almost got through with an explication of the tyranny of metaphor. It links to me and I thought linking back might secure the other end of the bridge. Not much use if you forget your favorite color; but we're taking all the continuities we can get, today.

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