Just finished this article that Tom linked to (thanks, Tom!). It’s by Andrew Sullivan, a former editor of The New Republic, and it’s on blogging as a way of writing and creating a community. It’s rather utopian, but in that good, inspirational way, and it’s made me return to these thoughts I’ve been having about blogging the Bunker. Basically, I don’t do enough of it.

Sullivan argues strongly in favour of the instant quality of blogging — the live writing — and distinguishes between that and more considered, formally judicious, as well as longer, writing. Thing is, I kind of like the latter, even on the web, despite being aware that most people don’t have the patience to read at least longer pieces. At any rate, I don’t do enough of the shorter, more instant kind of writing here and will endeavour to do this more in the future, all the while maintaining the more traditional pieces as a central element of the blog.

Another thing Sullivan extolls are the virtues of keeping one’s writing open for instant commentary. I have resisted this because I used to run and moderate a discussion forum at the now discontinued Danish comics site rackham.dk and that eventually soured me on the whole exercise. I’m afraid this kind of thing almost invariably means diminishing returns. But Sullivan has me thinking I should perhaps try it again, in this slightly different form, so from today I have opened this site for comments on a probationary basis.

So, you know, feel free to comment!


  1. Hi Matthias,

    Well, I for one applaud you choice (give yourself a pat on the back, a random nettite agrees with you on something..): I’ve always thought that the most interesting and promising feature of blogging is its possibility as a truly inclusive mass media. Its (possibly utopian) possible effect on public (and hence private) discourse on things great and small is, in my opinion, difficult to underestimate.

    Who says most people don’t have the patience for longer pieces? For that matter, who says you have to write for those who don’t? I for one find blooming, quasi-obsessive niche writing quite enjoyable, and not just when Alan Moore is at the other end of it.

    That said, perhaps you should add a comment on what sort of comments you would like, and to what subjects? For instance, do you have some sort of mental expiration date, posts that are simply too old to bother you anymore (otherwise, I’d like to ask if Ganesha has been generous so far), are there any subjects (politics, religion, etc.) you don’t want people to get into? Anything else?

    Ellers er der vel ikke andet at sige end: Held og lykke. Jeg håber, du ikke får nogen anledning til at fortryde din beslutning.

    Den Håbløse Observatør

  2. Hmm..
    “Who says most people don’t have the patience for longer pieces?”
    Okay, so Sullivan does (I just read that article). Well, I don’t think I would say that he does so “strongly”, at least not if that is to mean effectively. Eloquently, stylishly, wittily; sure, sure, sure. But the thing is, I just read that piece. And presumeably, so did you, Matthias. Can it be considered short, spontaneous, provisional, jazzy? Not in my book.

    So, I should like to think that the good *Mr.* Sullivan proves himself wrong, along the – admittedly very interesting – way.



  3. Thanks for the encouraging remarks!

    Sullivan of course, does write this towards the end of the piece:

    “The triumphalist notion that blogging should somehow replace traditional writing is as foolish as it is pernicious. In some ways, blogging’s gifts to our discourse make the skills of a good traditional writer much more valuable, not less. The torrent of blogospheric insights, ideas, and arguments places a greater premium on the person who can finally make sense of it all, turning it into something more solid, and lasting, and rewarding.”

    …and he describes the piece itself as a traditional, non-bloggish one. So, yeah, he’s not an either/or guy. My initial thought was just that maybe I wasn’t making as good use of this format as I could — when you have the opportunity to write in different ways, why not experiment a little more with it. But we’ll see if I actually manage or am just too old school.

    Regarding posting comments to older pieces, I don’t know quite what to do. It seems the software doesn’t allow me to open them all up in one fell swoop, which means I have to do it individually for each of them (unless there’s something I’ve missed?). So if anyone wants to comment on an older post, please send me an email or let me know here, and I’ll open it.

  4. Hi Matt…

    I’ve been reading your blog since way back and commenting to you (as the author) whenever I agreed or opposed (as the recipient) but the interactivity is missing, when nobody else knows about our conversation. An open blog might lead to a fertile discussion on any subject matter – at least I think it’s wise of you to give it a try!


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