For the longest time I've wanted to use this photo of myself as, well, "Our Lady of Curious Notions"? It appeared, according to bloggers at Rhinebeck 2007, on Sunday morning, the last day of the event. Disappeared at once. Captured on digital, by Kay Gardiner, it came to light in her blog post, "Oz."
And that is my intro to a radio interview heard as I lunched and knit today. "Blogsifting" was the title (link will take you to a rewind) on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show. Sarah Boxer of the New York Times has written a book, "Ultimate Blogs, Masterworks from the Wild Web." Selecting 27 blogs from the 80 million-plus out there, she sets herself up for much attention. Clearly that's the objective.
Last month, just before her book appeared, Boxer wrote, "Two years ago, I was given a dreadful idea for a book: create an anthology of blogs" in an article in the New York Review of Books. We definitely knew where she was coming from. Ronni Bennett described it accurately as "snarky." Boxer article was timed to appear as her book hit the stores. Tonight she and two bloggers with her on the Lopate show appear at a local Barnes & Noble.
"It's not so hard to find good blogs," Boxer explained--and pointed to her own book as "the way." She herself has never been a blogger. Knows how to research and has read many. If I were to be as bold to do a book on the subject, my direction would be toward categories of blogs--regional, mommy, visual, elderblogger, etc. We learn what Boxer likes but nothing of the rich dimensions of the blog world.
Both bloggers on the program--and I guess her extra-special faves--were very likeable. If I cared about the ins/outs of classical music, Alex Ross' blog, The Rest Is Noise would be on my list. He is also music critic for The New Yorker magazine. A thoughtful guy, he sees the breeziness of blogs linked to certain late 19th century writing. Jennie Portnof, who blogs at Johnny I Hardly Knew You has been at it since 2000, is a poet, believes blogging emerged from and were influenced by the way interactions happened on the Muppets shows--an aside here, another there.
On the "ethics of blogging" she replied, "Not to hurt anybody." In contrast, Boxer disagreed, "...many bloggers are incredibly mean to people!"
Here's an idea. A weekly program coming from different parts of the country (this show was too NYC, white, college-educated)...2 or 3 bloggers talk with a non-blogging moderator. Improve on this, if you wish. I have to get the mail.