Dr. Dawg

A shameless plug (guest post)

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From constant reader and commenter “forgot to buy tinfoil” on his brand-new blog, Staggering Implications:


I’ve just joined a social network, and I didn’t mean to.

All I wanted was to start a blog. On the advice of pretty much everyone, I chose WordPress, expecting an environment for creating web sites and managing user comments. What I didn’t expect was WordPress’ way of connecting users, The Reader.

By default The Reader is an endless list of websites of all kinds, presumably curated. But you can also use it to find bloggers who have tagged their posts “optimism,” or “coffee,” or “sunshine,” or whatever you like. If you’re interested in sunshine — any aspect of sunshine at all — you’re sure to find at least one blogger with similar interests, and a multitude interested in sunshine for reasons you would never have imagined. It’s as though you’re in a cafe, and at every table, an animated discussion of sunshine is going on.

You may choose to join a table that interests you, and dive into the discussion. Thus WordPress promises a salon of ideas, a place where you can explore and develop your formerly lonely fascination with whatever makes you blog, and together with like minds, reach higher and clearer conclusions.

Whether it can fulfill that promise is another matter. Unlike other social media, WordPress does not (at least, not that I’ve discovered so far) offer a common space for direct discussion, with everybody piping up in the here and now . Rather it offers a field of individual, preserved narratives. For the most part, the structure of its blogging templates confines these narratives to a simple chronological unfolding. The result is that people can stay “in their own movie,” as a friend once expressively described a certain social attitude, and no real communication need take place.

For better or worse, I’ve tried to transcend the linear narrative of WordPress, taking greater control of the links and sequences in the fashion of a technical manual, which is the model I know best. My aim is to be “in his own book,” a qualitatively different experience that I hope works better for extended discussion. I’ll probably be blogging about it! And that’s my shameless plug for


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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on July 28, 2020 2:30 PM.

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