Saturday, January 29, 2005

Random Saturday Morning Thoughts

It turns out that some time in the past decade or so I have forgotten how to make an omelette. Oh, I can still get everything into the pan and cooked properly. But the technique that allows one to fold the omelette without making a terrible goopy mess has abandoned my memory entirely. Fortunately, I'm not too proud to eat a terrible goopy mess.

I could have turned to Mama Ellen for help, except that the boy decided sometime around 3am that he needed to see her about every 15 minutes until he finally collapsed into sleep around 7am. So she's sleeping. He got up about 9:30 perfectly refreshed. *&@$!% youth! From about 5am on I got to "sleep" with a wide-awake middle child, so I'm also exhausted. But Mama's exhaustion out-ranks mine, encompassing both more sleepless hours and more children.

All of which makes what was to be a rather relaxing Saturday slightly less pleasant. I have a trip down to Surdyk's to look forward to. I was originally going to take one of the kids with me, but I'm feeling rather anti-child at the moment, so we'll see.

The purpose of the trip is to pick up some wine for a dinner Gary from Dayton v Kennedy is kindly hosting for our families tomorrow. When I started blogging I truly didn't anticipate how much of a social activity it would turn out to be. Now I'd have to say it is probably the central reason for most of my social outings. Stereotypes about loners blogging away from the isolation of their mother's basements may be true in some places. But the center-right poli-blogs of the Twin Cities certainly aren't that way.

Which is one of the reasons I chuckled when I read this quote, from Duke University Journalism Professor Susan Tifft writing about her experience at the recent conference on blogging and journalism:

There was a lot of talk about the "community" that blogging fosters. I was bemused, therefore, to look around the room and at any given time see a third of the participants staring at screens and tapping on keyboards, presumably communing with others while those in the room were speaking. (Some were monitoring the webscast, I know). Much has been said in these posts about the enormous value of being with people this weekend, face to face. I agree. Which is why it was interesting to witness the art of being together, and apart, at the same time.

No, Professor Tifft, the community element isn't some kind of magic that works just because you stick bloggers in a room together. It's something that happens over time as people read each others words over weeks and months and then get together because they've discovered things they have in common.

But we're all sort of just discovering this through experience, so I can't blame her for not quite grasping it.


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