Friday, February 11, 2005

Blog Neglect TM And Other Known Blog Diseases

Well, there are plenty of interesting things going on like the Middle East Peace Initiatives and whether they will succeed, or Condi Rice in Europe and the ME, or post election Iraq, which I'm sure I'll get to, but I have been remiss because I have been spending time at other blogs and online doing instant messenging with some folks that I met via the blogs.

In short, I feel like I've used up all of my best commentary on other people's blogs. Mainly because, I think and write in BIG swaths and do a lot of research before I do on my own blog and that is very time consuming and very exhausting because it is often so much work.

Like, last night, I was posting about morality and money. I researched a lot of information on spending for certain programs that were once actually handled through social contract of the citizens with each other. I know, I'm being general, but I don't want to give it away because I think I will approach the subject again. Suffice it to say that, I thought I was doing good copying as I went along just incase blogger got crazy, but apparently, I hadn't copied near enough and, half way done with the post, instead of blogger eating my work, my IE had a conflict with something and shut down.

I had spent almost three hours looking things up and it went up in smoke because I didn't have the latest and greatest explorer update. I was too tired after that to be angry, but I figure I can look it up again. I'm not sure if all my points will the same and I always hate it when I think I've made some very good points and now they are gone like ghosts on the internet. So, here I am, three days later, finally posting something and the Good Lord knows if anyone has stuck around for three days without posts to read.

I guess that means I will never be one of those great bloggers that have thousands of hits every day and hundreds of regular readers, but I finally figured out today that I didn't mind because I like this small community. I'm not sure how I would take three hundred comments in a day.

So, I was feeling a little drained tonight and couldn't think about the big "social contract" post I wanted to write. I wanted to get back to "Why I am Single" but I've been suffering writers block since the big elections in Iraq. But, I think I'm starting to settle down a bit. However, I wasn't ready to revisit all the thinking through the chronological order of things that happened in the last decade, but I knew I needed to write something and that's when it came to me. Why don't I write about trying to come up with something to write about?

There you have it. Strangely, the words started tripping off my fingers.

Part of the problem is that there are so many things I want to write about and things that just catch my attention or stories I remember, but I have a difficult time because:

1) I originally intended this blog about researching and posting information that busted conspiracy theories. Most of that information is available but people don't always know where to look or take the time to research all the parts.

2) I then started posting about Iraq war and things going on there and, not that I lost interest, it's just that there were almost too many things to cover from there and so many sites that already did so much of it, I started feeling, well, impotent (I think I need some internet viagra or whatever the female version is)

3) I wanted to do some more writing and said I would about my personal experiences that seemed to get so much feedback, but I go through periods of writers block (I don't know how the hell real writers with deadlines push through it all the time) and I have to be, well, in the mood.

4) I hate to admit it but I wonder if I have some sort of attention deficit problem? I mean, I read and post whole series of things and then I often feel like I've personally come to understand something, the whole thing and it's no longer necessary for me to write it down to organize in my mind or I've gorged myself on so much information that it short circuits the brain and I have a hard time organizing for writing. Then, of course, I feel bad that I might have left people hanging in the middle of a story or information mock up.

Here I am with at least 10 topics that I want to write on, but not feeling all together "together" on them so I avoid them and then I haven't got a thing to write about except that I don't have anything to write about. And, it's 3:30 AM and I can't stay up much longer because I have to be functional in the AM for a conference call so I can't do all the research and link stuff that I normally do.

The question that has been bugging me, aside from asking myself why I can't find anything to post about is, "have I let any readers down with my long silences?"

I feel like folks here, whoever they are, are friends and I hate to let friends down. I guess, if I was Catholic or Jewish, I'd recognize that I was suffering from a typical guilt complex sooner and tell everyone about my guilt complex sooner, but, being a Protestant sort of less than regular adherant, guilt complexes are not the usual form for me and more difficult for me to recognize, diagnose and treat.

Interestingly, the thing that I have enjoyed these last three days, in a guilty pleasure, was just taking time to visit some of the other blogs that I always visited and chatting and exchanging ideas with them. You know, owning your own blog and writing things in it sometimes can isolate you from the people that inspired you in the first place. I also started having IM chats with these folks and they were very entertaining and informative. One of my most exciting forays was chatting up someone from the Netherlands regarding European politics. What was interesting wasn't just that they were from the Netherlands, but that we both did not really speak each others language. With the help of an online translation tool, we managed to have a very nice conversation.

In the end, all of these things took me away from my blog and now, like a parent or a pet owner who feels guilty about not spending enough time with their child or pet, I am feeling guilty about Blog Neglect. I know it's not a new phenomenom, but I think, like all the good psych doctors (and snake charmers) that came before me, I believe I have just diagnosed and named a known, but ignored internet disease.

Remember, you heard it here first. We all know about "blog addiction", "flame throwing", "trollitis", "blog blocked " or even "blog withdrawal ", but I bet we don't sit around talking about it. I mean, who would understand about these things, but another blogger?

I know, what will be next? Blog therapy?

Well, aren't blogs and comments a sort of therapy of their own? Where else can you sit in your comfortable clothes, comfortable chair (if you're at home) and tell the blog therapist(s) (your commenters and potential passer's by) all your troubles? Of course, there are some of us that let everything hang out and others that kind of keep a few things back. There are those bloggers that only share the political side or information side of themselves and only let on a little about their personal lives. I mean, the internet is so open, do you really want to share everything there is to know about you?

Maybe not, but it is one place where you could be relatively anonymous and say anything that you want. Just be careful not to give away too much like full name, date of birth, exact address, etc and we should be fine. You still have to be careful about identity theft.

But, here, you could say pretty much whatever you want.

And, like all would be therapist, the therapist is always their own first client, so here I am, practicing a little blog therapy. Admitting my guilty conscience about neglecting my blog for other blogs and ignoring my friendly commenters for some old friends.

I feel so much better already.

Don't you?

Now, sit down, get comfortable and tell the blog doctor all about your blog issues. Maybe you have a known blog disease? Or, we just might find a new one.

The doctor will see you. now

Blog Diseases

Blog Neglect: Not blogging for two days or more in a row. Symptoms include a lack of input or new post on blog site, guilty conscience. Side effects may be a serious decrease in readership and "hits". The longer the blogger delays in posting, the more guilt they may feel which may lead to avoidance of the blog. Simple treatments may be to get the blogger to post at least one sentence to remind the blog world they still exist. It may require intervention on the part of family and friends to remind the blogger that they are cared about in the blog world.

Blog Blocked: The inability to write anything of any significance. Symptoms may include prolonged absences from the blog, short posts with no real content, posts with only outgoing links to other sites with limited commentary, or completely unrelated topics to the normal blog outline. Side effects may include increased frustration, possibly lashing out at other blog sites or lurking at other blog sites without commentary. Treatment may require a short period with no blogging or reading or even touching the keyboard.

Blog Addiction: Spending more than two hours a day reading or writing a blog. Symptoms may include inattentiveness to spouses, significant others or children; poor hygiene, insomnia, full ashtrays, empty refrigeraters, empty food packets around the computer, angry bosses and phone calls from creditors or phone calls from relatives that wonder where you've been lately. Treatment may be difficult, but may require either a slow withdrawal from blog hours or even the extreme of complete blog denial for several days.

Blog Withdrawal: This is usually precipitated by an infestation of viruses or complete crashing of the computer or denial of internet access prior to the onset of the disease. It may also be brought on by private life or personal crisis interfering with blog enjoyment. This is particularly painful for people with "blog addiction". The disease is described as not having access to the bloggers favorite blogs or their own blogs. While not a direct cause of this disease, dial up with a connection of less than 56k can lead to a similar condition. Symptoms may include shakes, sweats, angry out bursts, pounding of computer hardware, angry phone calls to internet providers and inability to concentrate on any other topic until the next round of blogging is achieved. If "blog denial" is the desired effect, cold turkey is the best treatment. Find nine grain bread, smoked turkey, several slices of colby jack cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mustard and/or mayonaisse to desired effect and eat with a bag of chips. If this fails, the blogger may wish to take up some other hobby like reading real books, watching a movie or actually spend time looking at and talking to real people. More effective treatment may be to find immediate internet access and log on to blogs for at least 30 minutes until all symptoms are reduced or completely gone. Continue treatment until all symptoms have disappeared. Warning: blog withdrawal may be a sign of blog addiction. Please speak to your blog therapist regarding this possibility.

Trollitis: Being infected with Trolls. Trollitis can be either chronic infestations of common known trolls who appear regularly on a comment section or flare ups when a troll has figured out how to by pass the IP block or "drive by" trolls who visit the site once. Trollitis can be passed from linking or exposure on other sites (most common) or stand alone infestations. Symptoms include angry, discordant comments or attacks (also known as "flame throwing") on either the blog owner or regular commenters on a site and angry commenters demanding the banning of said Troll. While there are many treatments that include registered comments or tracking and blocking IPs, there are no known cures for this disease.

Flame Throwing: This can be practiced by both trolls and regular commenters. It is the practice of leaving angry, discordant comments or attacks on the blog host or commenters for no reason other than to get a reaction. The comments are usually not even related to the post, but certain posting subjects and commenter discussions can lead to an increased chance of Trollitis and Flame Throwing.

Coming soon: Blog doctors complete index of blog diseases.

Help the blog doctor isolate, name and classify blog diseases!

Go to comments and tell us about your blog diseases, symptoms and any attempted curatives.

You may save a blogger today!


Jamie said...

SO funny, so true. I have an idea about something to add, but I'll have to think on this and get back to you. That's because I truly do suffer from A.A.D.D. (Adult A.D.D. or maybe its senility, I'm not sure) Besides, I'm at work and its not nice to blog while you are at work!

DagneyT said...

With my age group (old), I have enough trouble explaining what a blog is!

Kender said...

Hi, my name is Kender and I'm a blog addict.
(everyone: Hi Kender.)

My addiction started when friends of mine begged me to blog wit hthem because my rants that filled their inboxes made them laugh. But once I started blogging I decided that their were people that needed an education and my smartass would show some of them the error of their thinking. My blogfirends do a much better job though, so now I cruise the blogosphere and post comments about things I agree on or that tick me off.

Sometimes I suffer from Blog Neglect, but it is always due to scheduling conflicts and a lack of actually being near a computer.

I believe I suffer from a new disease called "Chronic Snarkiness", where I tend to be a huge smartass when someone hits a hot button of mine. It is a disease that flares up occasionally, but I notice that it is usually set off by encountering another bloggers disease known as "Terminal Stupidity".

Terminal Stupidity unfortunately is usually not terminal, and is marked by a bloggers unceasing adherence to ideas, thoughts and beliefs that cause one to wonder if perhaps the sufferer is in need of a glass belly button so that they could see what they are typing. In cases when it is terminal you can read about it in teh Darwin Awards.

Jason Rubenstein said...

I'm was in the middle of a good comment and I lost the point and suddenly stopped my post.. so that'd be "Blapnea"?

I also forgot what I blogged yesterday, so when I get an apropos email I think "What the hell is this person talking about?!?" That'd probably be "Blognesia".

Reading someone else's blog that makes you feel really angry, or sick, epecially to your stomach, could be "Blogtulism". Or "Kos", one or the other.

Frankly, the word "Blog" sounds like the name of a galaxy-eating creature from a 50's science fiction B-movie, but I digress....

The G-man said...

lol! Kat, only you could write a volume about having writer's block...

Kat said...

Tone..I think that first problem is "blogus interruptis" or something like that. Or maybe that IS blognea and blogus interruptis is when blogger eats your post or some other technical or personal difficulty interrupts it.

I was thinking about adding "blogitis". This would be back, neck or other joint pain related to too much blogging.

"blog eye" for red and strained eyes from too much reading.

I dig blognesia. it could even be where you forget that you posted a comment to somebody else's blog and then get an email re: the subject and have no idea what they are talking about.

Kender: Chronic Snarkiness, that's a good one.

I'm not sure we can classify "Terminal Stupidity" as a blog only disease. Maybe stupidity on the blog is a secondary condition to real life "terminal stupidity"? I'll look for related mental diseases to come up with the condition.

I think we could also talk about "blog phobia" which many MSM folks seem to suffer from with some of their incessent carping on the lack of "ethics" and "editorial" efficacy of blogs (as if; apparently, in the MSM, the editor only fixes grammatical and spelling errors these days, I don't know if they really double check their sources)

Dagney..I will think on this. Maybe it is "Blognility" or something. There must be a word that word identify the inability to explain.

jamie, looking forward to some thoughts from you.

Maybe another diagnosis is "blog obsession" identifiable separate from "blog addiction" by the fact that a person or commenter is obsessed with one particular blog or blog owner. Characteristics would be visiting only three or less blogs on a regular basis, repeated overly friendly or complimentary comments, anger when the overture is not returned.

this may result in "blog stalking".

Maybe we need to look at "chronic lurking" as well? Likes to read posts and comments but never leaves a comment.

Kat said...

GMAN...when you need a topic, sometimes it's right in front of you! LOL

Can you add to our blog disease list? Help me out. I think we could cause a new wave of blog language. We'd be like the Louie Pasteurs of the blog world. LOL

Moron99 said...

nah man, "blogus interuptus" is when your connection drops, explorer freezes, or power goes out right before you have a blogasm. So what is a blogasm? It would be that feeling of contentment and release that you get when you learn or share something really profound.

Monster Kabasue said...

himmmmmmm, Don't know what to tell you, other than two hours is nowhere near enough to "Blog Surfing". I can agree about the Blog Neglect, in some way Bloggers feel that thier blog is a product, and in order to have a good product one must keep material comeing to keep the customers happy. Very good material can take days to collect, sort, and compile thus leaveing you a day or two of slack. Now I am not a profound blogger (or hell even a good one), but I have many days where I donot feel moved enough to right something serious, so what I have is blog filler. Three or four news sites that have non-stop articles. I archive intresting or funny articles that I find. Something that doesn't require me giveing a speach about, and can be summed up in a senctance or two. If at the end of the day I can't come up with anything intresting to say, I go ahead and publish a couple of the links to the articles. Word Press (blogging tool) is great for this, you can save many articles with out publishing them. This way I keep all 4 of my readers intrested in my site, even though I am haveing a case of BlogBlock

-Monster Kabasue

Robert said...

Oh, I feel your pain Kat. I was making a small post yesterday, and I messed up and deleted it. And that was draining. You research tomes of information. It sucks. But, it happens. What can you do?

When, in a year or two, you're making crazy blog money, don't worry, we'll still love you.

Oh well. :)

riceburner147 said...

kat: i am looking forward to you continuing your "Single" series, but i completely understand how it is. I have promised my daughter i will write a post on her birth, which i really want to, but its been, like, 2 weeks since i said i would do it and am still probloginating (really reaching on that one!) My thought, take it easy on yourself, its supposed to be fun. In the meantime,i am happy to read whatever you feel like putting out there.
Off-topic, do you ever watch HGTV, jen and i are totally into winning the drean house they have in Tyler Texas. We are committed to it being a haven for all bloggers to rest up and recouping :lol: (word ?). Only a few more days to enter and win.

Jamie said...

I had some thoughts on Friday when I was at work, but then my son came in from university and we've been busy since then. This is the first chance I've had to get online and my mind is a complete BLANK - I'm blog blocked!(and don't you guys listen to those folks who will try and tell you that it is my normal state of mind!).

Anyway, I'm going out of town tomorrow (Sunday), and I won't be anywhere near a PC. Knowing me, I'll probably start showing symptoms of withdrawal by nightfall. And then again, maybe not. I'm going to the casinos in Mississippi, so I'm replacing one fixation with another. I guess after I lose some money, I'll have my gambling "fix" in and won't need to go again for a couple months.

blogger phobia - fear of blogs/bloggers. Primary symptom is an irrational fear of people wearing pajamas. Those most likely to suffer from this are members of the mainstream media/politicians.

Jamie said...

Blogophobe - one who suffers from Blog Phobia. (Or is it "blogophobia"?)

Wow, you already have a new post - I'm glad I signed back on. I can get my blog "fix" now before I go on my trip! Yippee!

Tom said...

Oh gawd I'm sicker than I thought!

CMAR II said...

OCB (Obessive-Compulsive Blogging)

Continuing to blog even after you have declared to everyone that you will stop because you don't have time.

Victims of this disorder chronically find that things present themselves in such away that they demand a blog response.

Some forms of medication seem to make the condition worse.

Kender said...

I have a new one. A troll wandered into my lair and said he hated my blog. I responded by saying his blog was the blog of a sad little man that can't think logically.

He shot back with "I'm not going to try argue with you about whos blog is more popular. Congrats, you win. But I didn't really think my personal worth and intellect was measured by the number of fucktards who buy my line of bull shit."

I never said one thing that would lead him to this comment or line of reasoning.

Therefore I can only conclude that I have found a case of "Blog Envy".