24 July 2006

Are life blogs boring?

My answer is a reserved "yes." The one life blog that almost sucked me away was Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey's blog. If you start reading it you'll get kind of sucked into her life. Then she has this little chat server thing. I talked to her online. I think my short-lived fascination was how she could be DOING so much stuff AND writing about it too (laptop with wifi helps here).

Then of course there is my newly ressurrected life blog, which I would suggest only to those who are considering their options and poking themselves with a pencil comes out on top. The problem is that normal stuff about peoples lives is kind of boring, because we all share it. And the stuff that is exciting is usually exaggerated for effect. However, if the story-teller is convincing, we really enjoy the exciting and unusual stuff.

These good story tellers are called comedians. Yes, there are the inspirational speakers too, but its kind of taboo to say that those guys are lying or exaggerating. Comedians, on the otherhand, are allowed to lie --because we want to be entertained when we listen to them.

Shouldn't inspirational speakers be allowed to lie too? There is that famous case with Oprah and James Frey, but really that is only bad because he got caught, right? If you neglect the lier's intentions and just look at the effects, some lies appear to help people. Other lies, told with the best intentions, hurt people. The same can be said for the truth.

Some films are considered inspirational. My favorite is Forest Gump. Obviously that is a film filled with exaggerations, but it's okay because we know its fiction. But it'd be wrong if everybody thought Forest Gump was a real guy.

The interesting part is that Forest Gump may be more real than many of the heros we traditionally celebrate. The packaging is crucial.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
Where do you think the best place to post things is? A personal blog or a site like the one you linked to and wrote about two coincidences?

Jeff Shepley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff Shepley said...


I'd say it depends on what you want to accomplish with your "things." A blog is a good place to put ideas and such that are unified by a theme. Mine is kind of loose, namely, things that might make you think twice or reconsider conventional wisdom. I try not to include many life events that aren't relevent to that theme. That way you are serving your audience by letting them know what to expect when they navigate to your site.

Putting entries into different "bins" could also help. I haven't messed with that but, if you categorize your entries -- i.e., personal vs. thoughts vs. discussion of current events, etc., that helps the audience get to what they are looking for even better (and you could keep it all on one site).

I've thought of porting over my easyjournal account to Blogger, because easyjournal doesn't support uploading photos. But it has a comments section and all that good stuff.

So, really, it depends on the functionality that you need.