Wednesday, November 30, 2005

the personal and the public

So, why write a Publications Office blog?

This started out as an experiment after a staff meeting when, Daniel, our web guy, talked about corporations hiring people to blog for them and university admissions offices asking students to keep a blog about their lives on campus. Something about this sounded oddly interesting to me.

One day, I was stuck on a project. Instead of continuing to feel frustrated, I typed "blog" into Google. Yes, I am so not with it that I didn't actually have any blogs bookmarked or RSS subscribed. I was - and still am - shocked at the number of people communicating with the whole world via blog on a regular basis. In so many areas of our lives, the personal and the public seem to be blurring, while, at the same time, we compulsively protect our identity.

If a major of theme of the twentieth century was isolation and alienation, the twenty-first century seems to promise an era of connectivity and communication, even if at this exact moment we may feel a little too connected (as we talk on the cell phone, give hand signals to hair dresser, while keeping an eye on CNN being broadcast on a television screen hanging from the salon's ceiling). We may feel like we are communicating too much as we answer dozens of e-mails and IMs each day, all the while blogging our most personal thoughts to the entire world. And then we go home and the television gives us reality shows - glimpses into emergency rooms and people's living rooms.

But, even if it all seems a little crazy and ill defined at this moment, I think in a few years the novelty of posting home movies, sending camera phone photos, and posting intimate thoughts to the web will have faded and we will better understand how to use these tools to create a sense of worldwide community. I think as a society we will internalize what poets have always known: the written word is the individual's most powerful tool.

So, I guess I still haven't answered the questions "why write a Publications Office blog?" But I will keep working on it.

1 comment:

Lucinda said...

...and as we communicate with multitudes simultaneously via an array of formats multi-task our way through endless days...do we ever really give ourselves a chance to really know those with whom we share our most intimate spaces...really ever know ourselves...I am reminded to slow down and "just be", "just listen"