On Blogging Part 5: broadcast perimeter and idiom-centric insertion and expansion [in other words, OH SHI- FLUTES]

[Post by Lelangir]

←[108]  jpmeyer brings up a whole lot of excellent points:

There are so many aspects of the blog format…that subtly subsume the writer to the blog itself.

Yes, the author is inextricably subsumed in the blog because – by the very fact of their existence in the blogosphere – they cannot exist without a blog. Revisit this paragraph:

lelangir: …[I]n the ‘sphere, it is not communication that is most significant, but being. Being is not a prerequisite for communication – communication is a prerequisite for being. In the ‘sphere, you cannot be unless you write and are read. If no one reads your blog, that makes you not a digital individual but simply a person who keeps a private online journal. Our public identities are predicated upon this collective society, and it is a discursive system of acknowledgment that grants us individuality. So in a world intrinsically reduced to mere letters, what more can we do than produce these mere letters? [my re-emphasis]

As for my cross-posting, jpmeyer asks:

Why post at one of the over 9000 blogs you post at over another unless they are all indistinguishable?

To which I responded with this diagram:

The hypothetical circumstance “indistinguishable blogs” (as I am interpreting the phrase) has one large implication; it assumes that the focus of the content is the same (i.e. twelve blogs focusing on mecha).

What happens when content is all similar? You get a smaller readership because the perimeter of your broadcast is reduced. Let me re-articulate the previous diagram:

Now we have overlapping paradigms: the content paradigm (mecha etc.), the blog paradigm, and the author paradigm. This diagram isn’t to scale – nor is this a precise way of visualizing the complexity of the sphere (which is too complex to bother). But just to clarify this visualization, Crusader’s sphere is totally within THAT’s sphere. Crusader is also within the mecha sphere, etc. Visualize indistinguishable content-blogs:

In this hypothetical situation (and hypothetically insofar as the entire mecha sphere is comprised of three blogs), because the three indicated blogs all write about the same thing, the perimeter of their broadcast is coextensive with their content – they don’t write about yuri hentai, do they? The outlined circle is just a representation of the broadcast perimeter, and the space onto which that representative perimeter is displayed is the readership. White space outside the mecha sphere is constituted of readers, but not mecha readers.

jpmeyer: Why make an identical post on two different sites which have very different focuses? That’s brand dilution on multiple axes.

(1) The focus of the blog is irrelevant when considering expansion of broadcast perimeter, as was depicted in previous diagrams. (2) “Brand dilution”? – I don’t know if “brand” refers to blog or blogger…but in any case that also has little significance. If the representational power of my handle is diminished, then so be it, what good was such power anyway? I haven’t noticed any sort of effect after doing this since August.

jpmeyer: Why have ghostlighting make a post here rather than WRL about pedophilia here rather than somewhere else if what truly matters is who is saying it? Or, this would indicate to me that the importance is on what is said, not who is saying it. [my emphasis]

This is half true – ghostlightning constitutes the ghostlightning sphere – his own entourage. If he didn’t post it, digiboy probably wouldn’t read it, so you lose reader[s] there. Then, ghost in part constitutes the [oh, say mecha] sphere, which is author-independent – readers of the mecha sphere read mecha posts, not ghostlightning posts, so a mecha reader reading ghost writing on mecha is just incidental.

jpmeyer: Thus, [the] reason that different readerships exists is because the different blogs provide different things. This would imply to me that the blog and its branding is more important than the author when dealing with [aggregate blogs].

He got me there – revisit this:

Which can be succinctly countered with: you’re not a reader until you’ve read.

So my previous thoughts on readers exist before the fact that they read doesn’t make any sense because I was confusing the author paradigm with the content paradigm. It’s like saying a reader that reads mecha is intrinsically a reader of Crusader before Crusader existed. Nope.

…however, because some readers of mecha read Crusader not for the fact that he’s Crusader but that he writes on mecha, that seemingly author-centric reading is merely incidental, as I said before. In this respect, the creation of Crusader functions as an insertion into and expansion of the greater mecha sphere.

Dr. Lolikit (PhD in lolikiteanism) gives us his last remark:

[W]ho’s saying it and where it’s being said BOTH matter.

Yes, and this is the only benefit of nomadic blogging: I have my own author-paradigm lelangir sphere, the entourage that follows my centralized feed, and I also appropriate the THAT sphere, the Cal’intents sphere, the F’aizen sphere, those blog paradigms.

Viewed this way, the internet is fractal – the previous diagrams in part constitute the sphere we are familiar with. But it is reducible to one circle that shares the same paradigmatic space with other content-oriented spheres, technology, news, porn, etc. What syntagmatically connects these spheres is cross-posting authors, trackbacks and links:

Maybe it boils down to that we need to recognize the author (unlike the plethora of bitches who don’t distinguish between authors in team posts) as the content-producer of the blog, the readership as an equally important component, and the blog as a significant, integral, intrinsic and inextricable part of the blogosphere (hence BLOGosphere, or what have you). Anyway, thanks, jpmeyer, for shoving a whole bunch of flutes up my ass…it was fun.

And chew on this for some idiolectic food for thought

Leave a comment


  1. Sometimes, lelangir, just sometimes, I want to tie your hands behind your back, blindfold you, and have my way with your mouth.

  2. Also, two notes on your final diagram:
    1. why is there no place where news, cars, anime, and porn overlap? gb2/sankaku/
    2. I’d love to hear all about the overlap in Aria and TTGL!

  3. lelangir

     /  8 January 2009

    errrr, thanks?

    anyway, I think that was the sexiest post I’ve ever written, in terms of how enlightening it was for myself.

    I don’t know if there’s overlap or not, it’s just symbolic…not really an accurate depiction of what’s really there.

    A giant diagram like that would take days to make accurate… @_@

    • Actually, there’s a bit of frustration in that first comment. But yeah, on the whole, it was a compliment I guess. In any case, keep up the flautings.

  4. lelangir

     /  8 January 2009

    ur supost 2 sei Y ur disgruntled!

    • 1. you misspell my name (no capitals, kthxbai)
      2. last diagram looks like a flute/bag of cans ergo it got me bothered and hot
      3. several of your diagrams look like you pulled them out of your ass in an attempt to prove that such things can be pulled out of asses
      4. I don’t see how jpmeyer “shoved flutes up your ass” at all; not to say that he was “just wrong” but it’s not like he Cuchlann-level raped you
      5. not enough graphs

  5. ghostlightning

     /  8 January 2009

    This is a whole lot of information, I’ll probably comment multiple times.

    Re: blogs vs. bloggers

    I do believe that ultimately, bloggers will have more power than blogs. Blogs will need to reclaim this by not being vulnerable to changes in human resources.

    I ask myself how can WRL survive without ‘ghostlightning’. It’s not an easy thing to answer, but part of the solution is to build templates/formats that can be easily associated with the blog. OH! is doing this, and so am I in my own (very) narrow way.

    • lelangir

       /  8 January 2009

      shit i forgot to address the speculative situation wherein OH suddenly disappears.

      for another day…

    • Blogs that make a concerted effort to sell its branding will survive with different bloggers behind the helm as long as they are all dedicated to that concerted effort. Most pro blogs do this. Establishing branding involves things what OH does, for example–templates, similar writing voice behind writers, consistent look and feel, whatever.

      It’s what you make of it.

      • Like I mentioned in that inane “in/on” thread, branding is soooooooo key. 538 and Nate Silver are linked, but it’s perfectly reasonable to think that 538 could exist without Silver as long as the new writer(s) were able to maintain the same level of statistical analysis. I’ve seen this with the Freakonomics blog. Freakonomics is inextricably linked to Professors Levitt and Dubner, but it easily accommodates people like Sudhir Venkatesh who can write about the same kind of material.

        But something like my blog or WRL couldn’t exist any other way. It exists purely for the specific author. It is, in a sense our centralized feed and the only way that I really think an author can be dominant over a blog. And on a technical, practical matter, by concentrating my stuff, it helps to create a larger audience through things like SEO and convenience. By managing my brand, there aren’t really many more places where I really could go to get a larger audience, either because the traffic elsewhere wouldn’t be as high or because I wouldn’t be able to post there anyway because I’d be off-brand. I noticed this with things like when Random Curiosity randomly had editorials and people really didn’t care that much, since they visited that site to get early summaries and screencaps.

  6. Well, nearly all of this is beyond me. So . . . what’s the thinking behind italicising people’s post titles on Anitations? Is it a stand against the idea that individual posts are part of a larger entity?

  7. lelangir

     /  9 January 2009

    notes for myself and you:

    @omo: yes that’s generally the case, but OH is special.

    @IK: italicising…just to differentiate I guess…stylistic preference.

    individual posts eh…that’s interesting but impossible IMO – you can’t separate the post from the author, ever (a la Barthes, ironically).

    When Author ‘objectifies’ people (he is the subject), it’s still author’s voice that is the dominant one. jpmeyer notes this as well.

    • I’d always imagined that blog titles, not individual post titles, would be italicised, with post titles being placed in quotation marks. Like the relationship between an anime as a whole and its episode titles, or a book and its chapters, or a journal and its articles, or a poetry collection and its individual poems. I wasn’t thinking about it on a theoretical level, just wondering about the rationale and whether it was a jab at the art-masquerading-as-science that is citation.

  8. Ubiquitial

     /  9 January 2009

    Of course, despite how well these charts may be drawn, the major problem in the sphere is that the anime section is very loose. Almost divided into factions, if you will. Here, in your anime portion, you described one area. But many other blogs, very unique, exist outside. How can you find all of them?

  9. Hot ellipses are hot. Um, so yea, blogs wouldn’t exist without bloggers; root and stem. You should check out the writers for Interview Mag, I think you may notice something interesting. What’s more interesting is the static editor position. I’ve been banging the necessary editor ticket for a while, and even suggested that to OH! Dunno if Riex too the advice, but beyond this blogger vs blog thing… it’s just author vs delivery mechanism.

    The trial then becomes, how great/stable is the delivery system? On the level of a periodical, they can swap writers in and out if they wanted, and I’m sure they don’t use all the source material in the first place. Blogs aren’t that big, there isn’t a diverse meta presence above the writers. Team/Group/Multi-author blogs, whatever, so they have a captain, and maybe an editor, but before blogs can truly become greater than authors, there must be a strong presence and framework for it… unless OH! is doing that I don’t see where its different, and until I see a “blog” with 50+ authors, and direction from editors, and all that jazz.. blogs are still blogs, and the big ticket is the writers, not the brand.

    Btw, there is a way to do this without the writers, and I’ve touched on it before. Aggregators do it brainless, while if you had a team of editors/readers/designers/content specialists, they could rely on the abundance of posts in this current ‘sphere, and bring out something truly professional.

    • whoa. anitations as a team. that is a hot idea.

    • Pontifus

       /  11 January 2009

      I rarely comment on posts like this because lelangir does the whole meta-blogging thing so much better than I do…I’m just a critic, and not even a particularly sociopolitical one. But…

      …blogs are still blogs, and the big ticket is the writers, not the brand.

      I think what we may have here is the beginnings of a separation of multi-author blogs into two camps. On the one hand, we’ll have those who fully embrace things like Ghostlightning’s templates, who may even have some kind of editorial direction; these blogs, concerned with “brand” over individual writers, will basically be magazines, and will probably stand to accrue larger followings than the second kind of blog. Then you’ll have blogs that are more or less open forums for writers, which is how I see Super Fanicom. In lieu of editorial control, these blogs hand-pick those writers who seem to best suit their general goals, provide for them an environment that lets them write in whatever way suits them best, and place them in close proximity to people with whom they can engage in joint projects, if they so desire. On the one hand, you have a magazine, and on the other, you have something more akin to a seminar (maybe not the best word, but a better word for the model eludes me). The question of which approach is best may depend upon the blog’s general subject matter and goals.

      Let me emphasize that I don’t think one kind of blog is better than another. They both have their advantages. Blogs like OH! and THAT are ideal for reviews and the like, and have high content output and consistency, while blogs like this one are more conducive to exploratory writing and intellectualism (or so I like to tell myself :P). The former kind of blog is concerned more with readership, while the latter is concerned more with writers — as it’s all about discourse, the volume and quality of comments means far more than hit counts (though I’m not about to deny the correlation between the two).

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