Entering the flow

While one technically savvy core of the blogosphere strives to develop structure and hierarchies and semantic richness, the leading edges of the churning cloud of webloggers is all about flow. One reason why blogging works as well as it does for a growing number of people is that the barriers to entry are low and the requirements are slack. Sure, a well crafted post can pay off with readers, and proofreading is always nice. And while for some a web aggregator is a personal goldmine of archived weblinks to be searched and massaged, data-mined and enshrined for all eternity, for others it’s just an ephemeral blur. Here today, gone tomorrow.
Whenever I feel that I’m accumulating too big a backlog of links to write about or ideas I want to stick somewhere on the web, I either get on with it or dump the links. Sometimes I find an old file where I jotted down a half-baked idea or three. If it still makes some sense to me, the ideas are sure to come up again. Sometimes I’ve already covered the big idear on another try. If it’s expired, then so be it: It just wasn’t meant to be for me to comment on that particular meme du jour.
At best, I’m very unselfconscious when writing in this format. Browsing the web, skipping from link to tangential link, grabbing and bookmarkletting items that stick to the velcro in my brain, framing a reply or extension or riff on the quoted or linked-to item from the Web, pushing the post button and resuming my mental grazing, sometimes it all feels like a nice hypnotic alpha state, very similar to the way I feel when I’m painting or working on a puzzle.
Letting go is part of surrendering to the flow. Weblogs just aren’t a very graspy medium. The archives may grow more concrete, but the living coral fringe of the web is about the next post, not the last one.