As I am a relatively new blogger, I have been spending considerable time cruising other blogs, noting what I like and learning the lingo and the format. It's a fascinating new genre of writing and exchange, which I am sure will lead to many dissertation topics someday. Maybe it's just because I am new that this is so fascinating, maybe it's just old news, but the wacky culture historian in me just feeds off of it.
Here is a great summation of the various types of photo blogs from the folks at American Photo on their blog "State of the Art." In the post Shoot it, Blog it, Share it, they go over various kinds of blogs - from the philosophical blog primarily dealing with other's work and not one's own (i.e., Alec Soth) to extensive general and interview-based photo sites such as Conscientious to blogs used mainly for promotion of one's work as well as those used as a virtual critique group. Another important blog is that of Jen Bekman, who was just named one of American Photo's gallery innovators of the year and who just happens to be the PRC's juror for our juried exhibition this year! Her blog, personism, is quite impressive, extensive, organized, and has all that stuff like feeds and delicious links that I am still learning about.
Now onto the envy part. I've noticed that either a posting idea comes to me or rack my brain for a nice topic. Recently, I thought of a juicy topic, only to find someone else had tackled it. Now, I realize that I would do it differently and I could quote the other and generate discussion, but it just seemed to deflate my excitement. I also find myself quite envious of how some execute a very short post - juicy, raw, and just begging me to click on their links. I will call this the "mystery list post". Here is an example from Modern Art Notes. I hope to learn from these examples and get over my blogging fears. I expect that blogs evolve over time and find their own rhythm.
It's also quite fascinating to see certain blog discussions ripple through other blogs and how they grow and change in each instance. Take the recent and oft-quoted and linked Soth-Polidori "where are the people" Katrina discussion as it was quoted on Modern Art Notes. However, this short quote doesn't do this very considered discussion justice. One really needs to read the original post and comments. Even Chris Jordan jumped into the discussion.
Another interesting phenomenon is what I will call "blog clusters." As you'll see on the above blogs, they have very similar lists of other blogs on their sites. Visiting these sites will often reveal a web of cross-references and interesting ripple discussions of topics. Sometimes these blog clusters are regional. There seems to be a strong mid-western blog contingent, from Soth and Todd Deutsch in Minneapolis to Brian Ulrich and Jon Gitelson in Chicago. Something really seems to be going on out there in the midwest! In fact, Brian, Jon, and Matt Siber organized a fascinating panel on intersections and regionalism at the last SPE in Chicago.
Here in Boston we have Joel Brown's Hubarts, Geoff Edger's Exhibitionist on boston.com, Greg Cook's New England Journal of Aesthtic Research, and (I think) Modern Kicks. Although not a blog, the Boston area online art journal Big, RED & Shiny is published every two weeks and I just drink it in every time it comes out. Go to the site and click on links for their list of links and blogs.
Now, I have just gone and worn myself out with what has turned out to be a much longer post than expected and linking all of these links! I think my next resolution is to use more photos and less words in my next post and work on developing my "mystery list posting" skills.