The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, October 31, 2003  

Who Are We Freaks?

I came across a blog yesterday with which I wasn’t familiar previously, Dual Loyalty, produced by Josez Imrich. He’s been blogging -- very adeptly -- since April, mostly about books, literature, literary news and trends, and, well, blogging.

While at Dual Loyalty I came across a link to a New York Times article I missed, “Blog Bog and an E-Mail Pony Express,” by Pamela LiCalzi O’Connell (October 23), citing a study by Perseus Development that found “fully 66 percent of the 4.12 million blogs, or online journals, created on eight leading blog-hosting services have been ‘abandoned’ -- that is, not updated for at least two months. And 1.09 million of those were one-day wonders.”

The implication of the article is not, however, that blogging is a fleeting fad. In fact, according to the Times, Perseus estimates there were 1.6 million active blogs last year, a number projected to rise to 3.3 million this year and 5.9 million in 2004.

Blogging, then, is not for everyone. You either get it or you don’t. Or, rather, it either gets you or it doesn’t.

I’ve participated in numerous surveys of bloggers conducted by academics, the media, and various consultants, most of which have had as their focus the mechanics and motivations of blogging. None has yet to try to probe my psyche or determine a psychological profile. That, I think, to the extent no one has yet studied the matter, truly goes to the heart of what drives successful, or at least persistent, blogging.

I’ve been blogging for 19 months, and in that time I’ve met, online and in person, a surprising number of what might be called kindred spirits, including, perhaps most shockingly, a fellow collector of a rather obscure sub-category of Catholic iconography. (Jane: Don’t give away the secret!) There’s something to all of this on a psychological level, something more than mere egotism, I hope, but I’m not sure what it is.

Speaking for myself, blogging is under my skin, in my blood, on my mind, what have you. This whole pared-back-shouldn’t-post-anything-have-to-find-a-job thing is killing me. You wouldn’t believe the incredibly amusing and informative posts I’ve been writing in my head the past two weeks. Some of my best stuff, I’m telling you, left unshared.

Okay, that’s not necessarily the case. I’m just sort of whining. But I do miss it badly.

[Note: Also added today: A post-publication addendum to my quick snark about’s interview with Camille Paglia, found here.]

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