Monday, October 10, 2005

Politigeek - the blogger contribution

I was composing an email earlier today describing the things that attracted me to geek subculture when I was young. If I were going through the same stage of life now, many of the aspects of the social environment "back then" would not be available, nor have any clear analog in today's 'net environment.

I found myself writing the following :

[Otaku] seemed an apt description for what I enjoyed as a kid -- interacting with people who had managed to find modems, bulletin boards, small groups of people sharing interests, essentially removed from a populist movement, where social reward was given not through the best example of conservatism, but on what might almost be termed a political contribution to the share environment.

The common usage appears to be about something else entirely. I shall have to find myself a new word.

I find myself driven to contribute my opinion to whatever group I find myself with, but I hate the thought that I'm attempting to control it. It is hard to make consistent the strong desire to opine about important issues, and the strong desire not to be seen as dominating it.

Such opining is, in some ways, a political contribution. This is because in a small community, such opinions are the very thing which attracts people to it. Not a monoculture, nor a place of similar alliegances within which a popular culture might arise, but a culture of political interaction. Social rewards go not to those who are the best examples of a generic set, but rather to those whose injections of opinion are most interesting to most people.

Ah, maybe I'm just rambling. It's hard to tell sometimes. I think I nearly had a good point though... I had wondered whether blogging culture was populist or not though. Most likely there are some networks of blogs which are like this, and some which are not.



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